• 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
  • Entangled: Threads and Making

    There are two major subsets of the art world which have grown in visibility in recent years: ‘women in art’ and ‘contemporary crafts’. For reasons below, a venn diagram of their relation would be heavy on the overlap. Add another circle labelled ‘domestic production’ and you might find textiles in the central corral. Given that women-making-textile-based …

    April 5, 2017
  • Where culture sinks in: a look at Hull 2017

    At time of visit, the city of culture franchise was barely a month old and already the statistics were out in force. In the run up to 2017, Hull attracted £1 billion in terms of investment, with £100 million spent on cultural infrastructure. Job creation is up 12 percent since 2012. Those are just the measurables. …

    March 17, 2017
  • Jean Tinguely, Study for an End of the World No.2 (1962)

    In these end times, it is worth remembering we have been here before. We have had more than 70 years to get used to the idea of nuclear weapons. In 1962 the psychic shock was fairly raw. As in rock music, fast food and situation comedies, the USA led the rest of the world, the …

    February 22, 2017
  • Diary: a flying visit to Amsterdam

    Since Amsterdam is most famous for narco-tourism and legal sex work, it is the perfect city to get high on art and get in bed with a famous airline in return for a 24-hour trip there. KLM had got in touch to publicise a new art history primer which sits quite comfortably on the pages …

    January 30, 2017
  • What’s left for art in 2017?

    The vital importance of visual art, in this emerging plutocracy, is without doubt. Even though, for most politically engaged artists, it can seem like swimming against the popular tide. But the cultural reversals of 2016 are, in fact, just a reaction against the false promise of aesthetics. They are anti-art, anti-intellectual, anti-fashion, and opposed to …

    January 2, 2017
  • Interview: Suzanne Treister

    The time tested way of introducing a story (“Once upon a time…”) is little help when writing a blog about art. And so faced with the most narrative-driven work in this year’s Liverpool Biennial, I don’t know where to begin. HFT The Gardener is a multi-faceted piece display which comprises of some 174 works on paper and a …

    September 26, 2016
  • Our City, How Do We Look? @ BPB2016

    Brighton Photo Biennial 2016 will look at the way photography fosters our understanding of style, the body, gender and subcultures. It is arguably the biggest visual art event on the city’s calendar, and this year the month-long festival issued a call out to BA students on Brighton Uni’s acclaimed photography course. Four chosen artists, who appear …

    September 14, 2016
  • Drawing the line somewhere: writing for free about art

    Art Rules was a shortlived online experiment from the ICA and in 2013 I was one of many people asked for some wisdom. “Don’t plan on getting paid or laid,” I wrote. “The work is its own reward.” Well, Lucky pdf, an arts collective who are much cooler than me, wrote “Don’t work for free”.  But …

    September 7, 2016