Liina Siib: Politics of Paradise

Born and raised in Tallinn, Estonian artist Liina Siib belongs to what anthropologist Alexei Yurchak, in his seminal 2005 book Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More, calls “the last Soviet generation”: people who came of age during the “late socialism” period, the three decades that preceded the Perestroika. Siib graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts in 1989, when the Soviet system was in its final throes. Continue reading Liina Siib: Politics of Paradise

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A conversation with Ralph Rugoff

The most relevant Venice Biennial he has seen was Francesco Bonami’s mad experiment when he had nine co-curators each do a separate section. It played with the format of the Biennale in a very radical way. Talking to Ralph Rugoff about his coming central exhibition May you live in interesting times at the Venice Biennial of 2019. ‘There’s a type of political art which promotes a particular point of view and to me that’s the opposite of what art does.’ Continue reading A conversation with Ralph Rugoff

Letter from Zacatecas

Opened in 1979, the Swiss-made funicular gliding above the silver-mining city of Zacatecas in North-Central Mexico, was the first of its kind in the country. The short ride on the recently refurbished cable car took me up to Cerro de la Bufa – the shapely hill named after a pig’s bladder (bufa) – past or rather over a sea of whitewashed and bright-coloured houses staggered on the slopes of a narrow valley that contains the city centre. Continue reading Letter from Zacatecas

Tania Bruguera: Where Art Can Work

Cuban artist Tania Bruguera’s exhibition “10,142,926” takes over Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall this fall with a series of works and interventions, including a heat-sensitive floor that uses the warmth of visitors’ bodies to reveal the portrait of a young man. In an adjacent gallery, a substance that induces tears is diffused in the air. Agnieszka Gratza spoke to the Cuban artist on the occasion of the exhibition.
Continue reading Tania Bruguera: Where Art Can Work

‘Low Form’ at MAXXI

The evocative, if not entirely obvious, title of this group show points to the ‘unstable forms produced by artificial intelligence’, in the words of Fondazione MAXXI’s president, Giovanna Melandri. The notion of ‘low form’ is somewhat at odds with the highly sophisticated nature of some of the digital tools and algorithmic processes used to generate the works on view by the 16 international artists included in the show. Mostly born in the 1980s, or failing that the 1970s, they belong to the Millennial Generation and are – just about – ‘digital natives’. Continue reading ‘Low Form’ at MAXXI

Companion Planting

The roundtable discussion was part of a three-day event (7-10 June 2018) held at artist Fritz Haeg’s Salmon Creek Farm in northern California. Conceived by James Voorhies from the Bureau for Open Culture as a think tank of sorts, Companion Planting: A Manual for the Ecology of New Art brought together artists, writers and academics. Participants were invited to present one of the six modules – Artists, Audience, Economics, Education, Institutions, Publicity – and to consider what is needed to sustain a healthy contemporary art scene from a perspective 30 years into the future. Continue reading Companion Planting

Franz Erhard Walther

Conceived and curated independently, these two parallel exhibitions—Franz Erhard Walther’s first in the Mexican and Latin American context—beautifully complement each other. One takes over the top floor of the David Chipperfield–designed Museo Jumex in the industrial district of Nuevo Polanco; the other is staged amid the clutter of Casa Luis Barragán, the final residence and studio of the revered Mexican architect, situated in the working-class Tacubaya neighborhood of Mexico City. Continue reading Franz Erhard Walther