• Eimear Walshe, The Land Question: Where the fuck am I supposed to have sex? (2021)

    History, says Eimear Walshe, with a look that could kill, is interesting. And the history of Ireland, related in her film, is a sorry one in which the poorest have always suffered the worst. So once, as landlords expanded their estates, you had the eviction of tenant farmers in Ireland’s west, you now have 10,000 …

    July 23, 2021
  • Karla Black, Waiver for Shade (2021)

    Taking a break from her hallmark candy-coloured sculptures, Karla Black has responded to a former warehouse at Fruitmarket with an installation comprising a ton or so of black soil. The light is low, here, in the gallery’s new space. But the minimal illumination is amplified by the introduction of gold and copper leaf, a multitude …

    July 10, 2021
  • Book: The Recognitions, by William Gaddis

    “My dear fellow, the priest is the guardian of mysteries. The artist is driven to expose them.” At 70 shy of 1,000 pages, this difficult 1953 novel is the most exhaustive tale of fakery, art, and religion one could hope for. Through the activities of forger Wyatt Gwyon, and his shadowy agent Recktall Brown, we …

    May 26, 2021
  • 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