Monthly Archive: March 2020

From the Editors

ARTMargins, Volume 9, Issue 1, Page 3-6, February 2020.

The articles in this issue belong to, or fall in between, paradigms constituted alongside or in response to the new world order of universal global capitalism. While some articles fall within the purview of “global art history” or “global art criticism”—a relatively recent epistemological formation seeking ways to engage with the infi nite manifold of global cultural production—others (in particular, the book review by Adriana Michéle Campos Johnson and the artist project by Daniele Genadry) gravitate toward “global environmentalism,” another form of world consciousness that addresses nature, or what has become … Read more

Forging a Public Sphere: José Leonilson in the Folha de São Paulo

Between 1991 and 1993, the artist José Leonilson contributed a weekly illustration to Folha de São Paulo, Brazil’s highest circulation daily newspaper. This article argues that these drawings inserted a minoritarian voice into the public sphere in a way that contested its normative operations by emphasizing the micropolitical and the intimate, often through allegory. Some of the illustrations address AIDS, to which Leonilson succumbed two weeks after the last was published, and this article situates his work in relation to the intertwining discourses around sexuality, public health and media in Brazil at the time. What emerges is a conception of … Read more

Art as Resistance in Postwar Lebanon

This article attempts to read a number of contemporary Lebanese artists by using the Foucauldian-Deleuzian concept of regimes of visibility. The article shows how a specific aesthetical problematic pertaining to Post-War Lebanon unfolds in the electronic and digital regimes of visibility. Last, the article contrast the Lebanese artists with other artists operating in Europe and the U.S and propose other artistic strategies when dealing with the same regimes of visibility.

After Moscow Conceptualism: Reflections on the Center and Periphery and Cultural Belatedness

Conceptual art is not only subject to a striking unevenness and a range of diverse forms across national territories during its emergence, but each national-cultural context in which it emerges is also exposed to the general belatedness of conceptual art’s relationship to its own avant-garde past. Each national-cultural formation was working with, and through, very different cultural and historical materials on the basis of very different kinds of awareness of the avant-garde past and the recent conceptual present. This article addresses this unevenness and belatedness by looking at the case of Moscow conceptualism in the 1970s and 1980s. In a … Read more

Art and Our Surrounds: Emergent and Residual Languages

This essay undertakes a review of recent books by T.J. Demos (Decolonizing Nature: Contemporary Art and the Politics of Ecology (2016) and Against the Anthropocene: Visual Culture and Environment Today (2017)) and Jens Andermann (Tierras en trance: Arte y naturaleza después del paisaje (Lands Entranced: Art and Nature after Landscape, 2018)). Demos and Andermann participate in the paradigm shift taking place under the name of eco-criticism, forging connections between the debates around environmental crisis and the fields in which they have written and published previously – art criticism and visual culture and Latin American literary and cultural studies, respectively. Both … Read more

The Material Conditions of Representation

Seethrough Mountain interrupts this journal through a physical shift in paper, texture and scale, and thereby proposes a pause or possible site of hesitation where the reader can consider the qualitative and material aspect of what they hold in their hands. The two works, a drawing and a constructed photograph, each creating the illusion of transparency, orient the reader’s attention to the material support of the images, and institute a shock, so that the reader might see through the representations to their material conditions. Seethrough Mountain draws attention to the nature of varying forms of information, and proposes that both … Read more

Introduction to “A Conversation between Chinese Artists and Mexican Painter David Alfaro Siqueiros”

In October 1956, the Mexican muralist David Siqueiros traveled Beijing and engaged in two dialogues with artists from the Chinese Artists’ Association. His visit came at an inflection point in China’s foreign and cultural policy. As Sino-Soviet relations deteriorated, China used cultural diplomacy to cultivate relationships with unaligned countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. China’s cultural policy mirrored this shift by relaxing its adherence to Soviet-style Socialist Realism and promoting new stylistic practices, including a revival of ink painting techniques. This policy shift re-animated a debate among Chinese artists over the best mode of representation for socialist art, with … Read more

A Conversation between Chinese Artists and Mexican Painter David Alfaro Siqueiros

In October 1956, the Mexican muralist David Siqueiros traveled Beijing and engaged in two dialogues with artists from the Chinese Artists’ Association. His visit came at an inflection point in China’s foreign and cultural policy. As Sino-Soviet relations deteriorated, China used cultural diplomacy to cultivate relationships with unaligned countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. China’s cultural policy mirrored this shift by relaxing its adherence to Soviet-style Socialist Realism and promoting new stylistic practices, including a revival of ink painting techniques. This policy shift re-animated a debate among Chinese artists over the best mode of representation for socialist art, with … Read more

Hungary Turns Its Back on Europe: Dismantling Culture, Education, Science and the Media Under Orbán

Hungary Turns Its Back on Europe: Dismantling Culture, Education, Science and the Media in Hungary 2010-2019 is the result of voluntary work by more than 30 Hungarian intellectuals, academics, researchers, and journalists. The booklet, which we here make available to a larger audience, is the first comprehensive report on what has happened in Hungary since 2010, when Viktor Orbán and his Fidesz party won the elections (which they did again in 2014 and in 2018). The focus of the report is on the areas of culture, education, science, and the media. The project was coordinated by OHA (Network of Academics), … Read more

Daiga Grantina: What Eats Around Itself at the New Museum

Daiga Grantina: What Eats Around Itself, The New Musuem, New York, 21 January 2020-17 May 2020.

New York’s New Museum for Contemporary Art is hosting the first U.S. solo exhibition of the Latvian artist Daiga Grantina, with a single multi-piece sculptural installation entitled What Eats Around Itself. Grantina has exhibited internationally, especially in France, Germany, and Austria, and was recently the featured artist in the Latvian Pavilion of the 2019 Venice Biennale with her site-specific installation Saules Sun. Her New Museum installation, which includes both ground-based and suspended sculptural elements, occupies the gallery at the rear of … Read more

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Valdis Āboliņš. The Avant-garde, Mailart, the New Left, and Cultural Relations during the Cold War

Ieva Astahovska and Antra Priede-Krievkalne, eds., Valdis Āboliņš. The Avant-garde, Mailart, the New Left, and Cultural Relations during the Cold War (Riga: Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art, 2019), 662 pp.

Few publications deal with Latvian artists in exile who settled in various Western countries after they (or their parents) fled the approaching Soviet army at the end of the Second World War.(For a useful introduction to this topic, see the catalogue: Dace Lamberga, ed., Latviešu māksla trimdā – Latvian Art in Exile (Riga: LNMM & Neputns, 2013).) Costly and time-consuming research abroad is often necessary to tell the … Read more

Calling the Dead in Budapest: Ágnes Eperjesi on Art, Women, Power and Violence

In 2018, on an October evening, the Hungarian National Gallery became the site of unusual activities: the artist Ágnes Eperjesi appeared in Cupola Hall of the building that was once the Royal Castle to ceremoniously cover the bronze cast of a naked girl. The life-sized sculpture, made of two unattached bronze shells by artist Gyula Pauer (1941–2012), represents seventeen-year-old Csilla Molnár (1969–1986) who won the country’s first postwar beauty pageant in 1985. One of the most publicized events of 1980s Hungary, attracting more than two thousand contestants, the pageant was broadcast on television for the viewing pleasure of millions and … Read more

Entitlements and Entanglements

Sarah Dornhof, Nanne Buurman, Birgit Hopfener, and Barbara Lutz( eds.), Situating Global Art: Topologies, Temporalities, Trajectories, (Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag, 2018), 333 pages, b&w and color illustrations. 

Situating Global Art is a richly conceived contribution to contemporary global art studies with an extensive bibliography, useful summaries of the main issues and events, and case studies by curators, art historians, and artists. It developed out of an international conference by the same name organized in 2015 by the International Research Training Group, Interart Studies, at the Freie Universität, Berlin. The volume aims to continue the work of the conference by presenting … Read more

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Notes on Contemporary Art in Kosovo

Katharina Schendl, ed., Notes on Contemporary Art in Kosovo (Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2018), 128pp.

Notes on Contemporary Art in Kosovo is a slim volume collecting eight short essays and two interviews focused on Kosovo’s art scene. Published as part of the tranzit.at (the Vienna-based branch of the transnational contemporary art network tranzit.org) Glossary series, the book’s stated goal is to provide the grounds for understanding how the contemporary art scene in Kosovo shaped itself beginning in the ‘90s decade. The texts included in the volume span the last twenty years,(In a few cases, it is unclear precisely when and Read more