• Interview: Sahej Rahal

    The artist appears to have a simple and urgent proposition: to render the past absurd is to neutralise the rhetoric of the political right. Without a golden age to hark about, no one can promise to make America, the UK, or India ‘great again’. And we can instead progress to a state of internationalism, equal …

    July 30, 2016
  • Mark Leckey, Dream English Kid, 1964-1999 AD (2015)

    We can tell a number of things about Mark Leckey from this autobiographical film. So, the Merseysider grew up in the shadow of the Beatles, the A-bomb and the 1999 solar eclipse. Dream English Kid is a life story made with footage found online. So we also pick up on memories of motorways, pylons, football crowds, …

    July 11, 2016
  • James Coleman, Untitled (2011-15)

    It surprises me that the artist filmed this himself. It looks like a degraded home movie, out of focus, a bit over exposed. But no, it’s an afternoon of fieldwork into a four second loop. Indeed, it is a loop within a circular loop. The carousel offers what Nietzsche might have recognised as an eternal return, …

    June 17, 2016
  • Bedwyr Williams, Strafed (2012)

    “Strafing is the military practice of attacking ground targets from low-flying aircraft using aircraft-mounted automatic weapons ranging from machine guns to auto cannons or rotary cannons.” Armed with this knowledge, if not this hardware, we can safely say that Williams’ picnic suite appears to be the worse for an encounter with an airborne machine gun. …

    May 31, 2016
  • Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed Drones (2016)

    Saint Mark’s chapel in Kemptown has been throbbing for five days straight. That is what you get from this piece, a relentless pulse of skuzzy, kilowatt-heavy hum which envelops you. Where’s the band? You might ask, if you are keen on music of this persuasion. Well, they’ve left behind some eight unmanned guitars leaning on a similar number …

    May 17, 2016
  • Jac Leirner, The End (2016)

    The drug addict and the contemporary artist share a certain flair for rebellion. And so the sight of a high tensile steel cable threaded with roaches from spliffs makes perfect sense here. We are told that Leirner is/was an addict and that the work here in her blue-chip show at White Cube was originally put …

    April 18, 2016
  • Ambrosine Allen @ DOLPH Projects

    One (the?) aim of art writing is to interpret with words. But the imagery of so much art is so strong, that verbal language can only play an ernest second fiddle, happy just to be at the gig. (Works of literature isolate themselves on shelves and in libraries. Aware they fail to represent the visible world, …

    March 13, 2016
  • Clue: Cold, Stefano Amoretti and Mino Tristovskij (2014-present)

    Long after his death, forensic photographer Luigi Tomellini has become an ‘artist’. Producer Stefano Amoretti and photographer Mino Tristovskij have put him in a book and a show. This could not have happened had not his analogue photography lost its value as evidence gathering. The very obsolescence of the medium gives these documents a certain …

    February 26, 2016
  • The Village Table @ The Hat Factory

    To begin again by stating the obvious: you can’t eat art but artists have to eat. And so from early times, the hunters and gatherers of this world have shown a great degree of largesse towards artists. But in recent decades, that same largesse has become a focus for the visual arts. Since Rirkrit Tiravanija cooked …

    February 22, 2016
  • Ruth Angel Edwards, Trace Programme (2016)

    Skate parks are paradoxical places: social enterprises often supported by local councils which still manage to attract, engage and win over even the most disaffected kids on two to four wheels. Contemporary art can be this way. Projects with an ‘edge’ can still attract funding. You might even say that funders like a soupçon of youthful …

    February 18, 2016