• Book: See/Saw – Looking at Photographs; by Geoff Dyer

    The eye, and the mind, of author Geoff Dyer are easily sparked and perpetually active. That appears as true if he finds himself encountering a billboard shot by Dayanita Singh, at Delhi airport in 2006, or at home poring over Fred Sigman’s book Motel Vegas, or even Googling photos by Luigi Ghirri. All three ‘exhibits’ …

    April 16, 2021
  • Book: Mimesis: culture – art – society by Gunter Gebauer and Christoph Wulf

    Whereas the word has its ancient Greek roots in ‘mime’ and is related to ‘mimicry’, mimesis is not mere imitation. As this book shows, there is enough meaning in the term to have kept philosophers chewing it over for the last two millennia. But the discussion remains vital because the stakes are high. Facts, Gebauer …

    March 29, 2021
  • Book: Photography After Capitalism, by Ben Burbridge

    Publisher: Goldsmiths Press // Pages: 240 // Date: Dec 2020 In 2011, a contemporary artist and a US council of war both made use of a series of photographs taken from satellite imagery. The artist was Mishka Henner; his Libyan Oil Fields appropriated the aerial views of petroleum extraction in that country which are freely …

    February 18, 2021
  • Who are we to judge?

    I always wanted to be a reviewer, but I don’t really like to sit in judgement. Just consider Gregg Wallace, about whom more later. Why do people read reviews? The answer, via Pierre Bourdieu, may be this: so they can gain cultural capital, a form of currency by which the dominant classes manage to confirm …

    October 2, 2020
  • A history of madness

    I remember reading Derrida take issue with Foucault. It was about madness, funnily, and the founder of deconstruction asked how it was possible to bear witness to insanity, The essay was ‘Cogito and the history of madness’, and while much flew over my head, I was struck by the humility with which Derrida showed to …

    September 28, 2020
  • Walter and Zoniel, A Simple Act of Wonder (2020)

    Before I heard about this exhibition and community-based artwork, Moulescoombe was just a destination on the front of the 49 bus, a neighbourhood so different from the middle-class bubbles in which I’ve lived, I had never gone there. And yet go there, properly, we did, myself and co-writer/co-photographer, 9-year-old Aysha, who enjoyed spotting the newly …

    September 3, 2020
  • Be a rambler

    In the late 90s, Diesel ran an ad campaign promoting tourism. It was the age of cultural missions in advertising, and the fashion brand encouraged you to “Be a tourist”. Diesel’s target audience were taking gap years and backpacking in the Far East with a dog eared copy of Alex Garland’s 1996 novel The Beach. …

    July 31, 2020
  • Interview: Sofia Karim

    In my last post, I detoured away from art to ask why the Indian Government was locking up students. Since then I’ve spoken to Sofia Karim, a Bangladeshi artist who has a few answers. “When I speak to people in the UK most people don’t even know what’s happening in India,” she says, “and they …

    July 13, 2020
  • Why is the Indian government locking up students?

    For the last two and a half years I’ve been pursuing a PhD in Art History at the University of Sussex. In the last month, the fate of another Sussex alumni, Devangana Kalita, and several other students in India, has come to my notice, hence this blog post. Student protest: it’s a welcome phenomena. Students …

    June 22, 2020