• A neanderthal in agnès b.

    Last week I visited the Neandertal exhibition at the Musée de l’Homme in Paris. The show was instructive and lively. And reasonably busy, for a Friday morning. There is clearly public interest in our nearest prehistorical kindred. Just why this should be, I’ll hazard a guess at the end of this post. There wasn’t too …

    April 24, 2018
  • L’abbé Breuil and Bisonte cigarettes

    Henri Breuil (1877-1961) has been called the father of prehistory. Little known in the UK, he should really take a place alongside Freud, Darwin and Marx as one of the scientists who sent shockwaves through 20th century thought; he changed the way we see our place in the world for good. Breuil was a cleric, …

    April 19, 2018
  • Q&A: Anna Jaxe

    As a Brighton-based blogger, criticismism is underpaid when compared to millionaire video blogging neighbours like Zoella or PewDiePie. So I’ve been quite curious about the format, and keen to see if the moving selfie can work for art. Well, the good news is that it can. As demonstrated ably by Anna Jaxe, whose Creoddity channel …

    September 13, 2017
  • Phil Collins, dűnya dinlemiyor (2005)

    Dűnya dinlemiyor is Turkish for The World Won’t Listen, which as you may know is a 1987 compilation album by The Smiths. At the time of release, the world was listening. The album was a chart hit. And that was just in the UK. As this work by artist Phil Collins reveals, the sentiment and …

    August 8, 2017
  • Mark Leckey, Affect Bridge Age Regression (2017)

    In hypnotherapy, an affect bridge is a way of linking feelings in the present with feelings in the past. But if an affect bridge were a bridge in real life what form would it take? Mark Leckey has free associated a bog-standard graffiti strewn motorway crossing. It’s an icon we never knew existed, until we …

    July 18, 2017
  • Christopher Gray, The Dumas Complex (2017)

    In recent times, most things have been considered an art. There is, for instance, the art of baking, the art of conversation, and, for sociopaths everywhere, the art of the deal. But at J Hammond Projects in North London, one applied art form is proving to have enough legs to endure for the foreseeable future, …

    July 11, 2017
  • Richard Deacon, Never Mind (1993-2017)

    Does a ship replaced beam by beam remain the same vessel? Does a broom with 17 new heads and 14 new handles remain the same broom? Does a refabricated sculpture remain an original? Never Mind once looked like a hull. So it is apt that Richard Deacon’s long running artwork be used to illustrate Theseus’s …

    July 4, 2017
  • Chris Burden, Beam Drop Antwerp (2009)

    I once knew a live music review to open with the following line: “Blur used the minimum of props to the maximum of effect. Damon was lowered from the roof in a giant TV set.” The author, who was a colleague on the student newspaper I wrote for, accosted me in the bar and read …

    July 3, 2017
  • Larry Achiampong and David Blandy, Finding Fanon 2 (2015)

    If you play Grand Theft Auto you may be closer to understanding this piece than me. So far as I gather, both artists have had to play their way into all the footage which accompanies this film. There’s not a stolen car in sight, mind you. The duo wear suits, rather than gang attire. They …

    July 3, 2017
  • Literary pictures: two art world novels and their authors

    When it comes to the world of contemporary art, it can be difficult for a journalist to paint the people and the parties in their true colours. So perhaps it is unsurprising, given the suspension of disbelief required by the market and the legal protection afforded by fiction, that the most convincing picture of the …

    June 7, 2017