Rigorous Research

On Intuition and Affinity: Timeless Aspects of Modern Art and the “Ahistorical” Exhibition

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Juxtaposing artworks and artifacts has become something of a recurrent tendency—even a trend. In 2013, for instance, the 55th Venice Biennale, curated by Massimiliano Gioni and titled The Encyclopedic Palace, opened not with art but with an architectural model by Marino Auriti; elsewhere visitors found the mineral collection of the French intellectual Roger Caillois and Ca...

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Curator's Favorites

New Spring

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New Spring Painting Exhibition (Xinchun huazhan) was not a show I saw in person. And there is not much visual record of it, as far as I know; those directly involved seem not to have produced any photographic documentation. Furthermore, in historical narratives of contemporary art in China, it is usually only mentioned in passing, ...

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Rear Mirror

Complicit

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For some artists, a solo, survey, or retrospective exhibition at a major museum is cause for celebration. For others it’s torturous: a psychically painful exposure to a potentially judgmental, indifferent, or even hostile public. Or, maybe worse, a misrepresentation by the very institution that claims to honor them. Many artists who made their reputations th...

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Assessments

32nd São Paulo Biennial: Declining Assertions

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Writing about the 32nd Bienal de São Paulo just over six months after its opening has reaffirmed its relevance. In September 2016, when the exhibition was launched, Trump was still an unlikely possibility. In Brazil, reactionary President Michel Temer had just taken office following a parliamentary maneuver that ousted elected President Dilma Rousseff. All of t...

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32nd São Paulo Biennial: Of Use and Memory

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When teaching art criticism, I don’t forget the basics: take notes, and write your thoughts up as soon as possible. So hopefully no future students will read this: a review written months after the fact and without the scribbles that normally serve as guidance. While I am loath to set a bad example for my...

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32nd São Paulo Biennial: Open Plan

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Uncertainties are as alive in the present as they have been in nearly every other moment in the past. Their names sometimes change, while the threat of a disaster endures, and is at times fulfilled. The uneasiness that characterizes the contemporary world has been familiar to many generations before us, and the suspicion that we ...

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Dialogue and Discourse

One Man Anti Show

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The following walk-through took place on Tuesday, January 24, at the exhibition Július Koller. One Man Anti Show at mumok, Vienna. The participants were Kate Sutton, a writer based in Zagreb, and Nataša Ilić and Sabina Sabolović, two members of the curatorial collective What, How and for Whom? / WHW, based in Berlin and Zagreb, resp...

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Geomancies

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The following conversation took place on February 25, 2017. The participants were Aram Moshayedi, a curator at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, and Sohrab Mohebbi, of similar trade at REDCAT, Los Angeles. Organized by Ruth Estevez, Geomancies, devoted to the Los Angeles–based artist Miljohn Ruperto, forayed into “concepts of possession, opposition and metamorphosis.” To this, we can ad...

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Ruins and Rituals

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The following conversation took place on the cusp of spring 2017. Piper Marshall invited Molly Superfine, an art historian studying performance art and art of the African diaspora at Columbia University’s Department of Art History and Archaeology, to tour Beverly Buchanan’s Ruins and Rituals exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, curated by Jennifer Burris and Park...

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