Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fwd: Afterall Newsletter 18.09.12

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Afterall Film Club
Mark Leckey: Wednesday 3 October 18.30–21.00

We are pleased to announce that Mark Leckey will chair the third meeting of the Afterall Film Club. Leckey will introduce a film of his choice, which will be discussed following its full screening.

Mark Leckey rose to prominence with Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore (1999), a collage of found and original footage of UK music scenes and subcultures from the mid-1970s to the early 1990s. He once described it as being about 'how images from the past have an effect on you, and can give you this really sickening sense of nostalgia'. More recently, his performative lecture Mark Leckey in the Long Tail (2009) used props and examples including Felix the Cat and the BBC to visualise the 'long tail' theory of internet-based economics.  

Afterall Film Club is free and takes place eight times a year at Central Saint Martins new building. To join the club and book a place email filmclub@afterall.org. On receipt you will be sent a confirmation email with access details.

Exhibition Histories
From Conceptualism to Feminism – Lucy Lippard book signing at the New York Art Book Fair

Lucy Lippard will be signing copies of our latest Exhibition Histories book, From Conceptualism to Feminism: Lucy Lippard's Numbers Shows 1969–74 on Saturday 29 September following her keynote speech for the Contemporary Artist's Book Conference, at the New York Art Book Fair.

From Conceptualism to Feminism: Lucy Lippard's Numbers Shows 1969–74 features extensive archival material, including over 130 images, and is complemented by a new essay by Cornelia Butler and interviews with Lippard, Seth Siegelaub and exhibiting artists as well as critical responses written at the time by Peter Plagens and Griselda Pollock. Examining the 'numbers shows' and following Lippard's trajectory as critic and curator, this third title in the Exhibition Histories series traces her growing political engagement and involvement with feminism. The volume also includes an essay by Pip Day analysing artists' initiatives in Argentina as a context for Lippard's emerging political consciousness.

From Conceptualism to Feminism: Lucy Lippard's Numbers Shows 1969–74 is now available to buy from Koenig Books, London. For more information about the book and the event visit Afterall Events.

Rhetorical Gestures: The 18th Biennale of Sydney

... the 18th Biennale of Sydney … was blighted by deeply exaggerated claims about art's capacity to mobilise social change. … Aesthetics plays a role in re-imagining or reconfiguring our conceptions of everyday life and politics, but this is different from claiming that the nexus of participation, interaction and art is implicitly that of a better, more democratic, world.

Veronica Tello critiques the confusion of participation with inclusion, and rhetoric with politics, in her review of the 2012 Biennale of Sydney. Visit Afterall Online to read this and more specially commissioned content.

Image: Jorge Macchi, Blue Planet, 2003, collage on paper, 30 x 30cm. Photograph: Mark Ritchie. Courtesy the artist and Centro Gallego de Arte Contemporáneo, Santiago de Compostela

One Work
Michael Asher: Kunsthalle Bern, 1992 by Anne Rorimer

The transformation of the Kunsthalle Bern […] was a monumental aesthetic achievement. It evidences not only an apparent rejection of the traditional material nature of sculpture, but also Asher's deft ability to find unconventional methods by which to represent, in ever-shifting perceptible terms, the invisible systems underlying the collection, housing and display of art in museums and galleries.

For the work Kunsthalle Bern, 1992 (1992), Michael Asher relocated the building's radiators from its exhibition spaces to its entry-way gallery and presented them as a group. Steel pipes connected them to their original valves, coursing linearly along the Kunsthalle's walls and keeping the hot water flowing. Such 'displacement of givens' offers a perfect example of site-specific practice by Michael Asher, one of the foremost installation artists of the Conceptual art period and an inspiration for Institutional Critique. 

Michael Asher: Kunsthalle Bern, 1992 by Anne Rorimer, one of the lastest additions to our One Work series, is available now. Purchase it through The MIT Press website.

One Work
Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirror Room – Phalli's Field by Jo Applin

Save for a narrow pathway, the floor of the room was covered with a carpet of several hundred soft fabric protuberances that Kusama had made by stitching together sections of cotton, polka dot-printed fabric. Each of the white and red sacs was stuffed tightly with wadding, packed to stand taut and upright, arranged in crowded and haphazard clusters on rectangular sheets of plywood. Together they formed what Kusama has described as a 'sublime, miraculous field of phalluses'.

Almost a half-century after Yayoi Kusama first exhibited her landmark installation Infinity Mirror Room — Phalli's Field (1965) in New York, the work remains challenging and unclassifiable. Shifting between Pop-like and Surreal, Minimal and metaphorical, figurative and abstract, psychotic and erotic, it seems to embody what the 1960s were about, while at the same time rejecting the prevailing aesthetics of its time.
Jo Applin examines its ongoing importance in the context of Kusama's 'obsessional art' and discusses its relationship to contemporary theory and the practice of artists involving environments, 'eccentric abstraction', play, sexuality and softness.

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirror Room – Phalli's Field by Jo Applin is now available. Purchase it now through The MIT Press website.

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