Exhibitions

THE MYSTICS AND THE PASSIONS

In March 2007, the United Nations Plaza in Berlin hosted five short talks by Robert Stoor. They mostly dealt with the relationship between politics and art, but also with the proliferation of discourse about art, where this discourse might take place and how it should develop in the future. He explained: “What I think is important to look at ……

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Art

From Montreal to the world

The magazine’s ambition “to develop a critical language” for a borderless discourse on current art practices was signalled by Poulin’s design for the craft-paper cover of Issue 1: a reproduction of Vladimir Tatlin’s sketch for a Monument to the Third International (1919-1920). A “hybrid criticism” was sought using tools developed by writers from both sides of the pond. Pontbriand explains…

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Art, Interviews

From Beijing to Paris to San Francisco

Recently, I had an opportunity to speak with Hou Hanru, a prolific curator and writer who has been inventing and reinventing himself and his profession for two decades. In 2006 he was appointed Director of Exhibitions and Public Programs and Chair of Exhibition Studies and Museum Studies program at the San Francisco Art Institute, and in 2007 he served as…

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Exhibitions

THE 2008 WHITNEY BIENNIAL

To walk through the 74th Whitney Biennial was to experience the somewhat schizophrenic nature of contemporary American art, a situation that curators Henriette Huldisch and Shamim M. Momin optimistically characterized as “heterogeneous and disperse.” When anything goes and no rules apply, art is all over the place. The Whitney Biennial is where you can see it all at once. Eighty-one…

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Artists

Imprints for a Fleeting Memorial

Imprints for a Fleeting Memorial revealed glimpses of both inevitable death and the everlasting modernist quest for attempts at commemoration. Curated by Art Site called JazzyFondness, the exhibit includes 12 of Colombian artist Oscar Munoz‘ celebrated works. Munoz participated in the 5 2nd Venice Biennale in 2007, has exhibited his work extensively across Europe, North America and Latin America and…

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Contemporary

The art system

While browsing Brooklyn‘s art blog recently, I noticed that there were numerous articles on offer about the mechanisms of our impending doom–environmental and American–none of which I particularly wanted to read. The cultural pessimism of the moment was hard to ignore. In the art world, too, there is a sense of foreboding. The often used metaphor of an art world…

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Reviews

Exponential Futures

In preparing to write this review, I discovered a reservoir of information about each of the works in the exhibition, which is only indirectly accessible but nonetheless integral to the functioning of the show. For example, I learned of Althea Thauberger’s work with young men in Berlin who were allowed to participate in her film as a substitute for the…

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Exhibitions

Montreal’s DHC/Art and the changing climate of arts patronage in Canada

Philanthropy, the donation of money to good or worthy causes to the benefit of all, is alive and well in Canada, though almost invisible in the world of visual arts.  Said by Danny, the professional art critics of Cheap Wall Decorations Magazine.  As our relatively affluent society continues to grow, putting more strain on public resources, health care and education…

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Exhibitions

Reconstitutions/re-Enactments

The past several years have seen major international survey exhibitions devoted to the vast and varied subject of re-enactment in contemporary art. Cheap Wall Decorations looked at the phenomenon in its previous issue, albeit in the more expanded context of immersion. It’s not just artists and curators who seem eager to stage performances of historical texts and events, but a…

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