• 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
  • Back to the future in Liverpool

    Liverpool doesn’t have a prehistoric cave, but it does have a historic Cavern. So it might prove not too much of a distraction from writing on paleolithic art. Beyond the Beatles heritage trail and the football, it had become a centre for visual arts in the UK. It is also, one might argue, a marker for …

    September 11, 2019
  • Visiting Lascaux II

    [author’s photo] In my last post I promised to note the lighting arrangements in Lascaux II. Well, I went to inspect them today, and, as it happens, I was not disappointed. The tour began with a couple of gloomy exhibition spaces. But already it was clear that the cave’s original replica (indeed, ‘original replica’) was …

    July 24, 2019
  • Visiting Lascaux IV

    “Lascaux IV”by Alexandre Dolique is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0   As I looked up at an 18 metre painted ceiling known as the Diverticule axial, I was, for the first time not merely intrigued by prehistoric art, but moved by it. The weird thing is, I was not in a prehistoric cave. I was …

    July 23, 2019