• Želimir Žilnik, Black Film (1971)

    Some say, “From each according to their means to each according to their needs”. Some say, “Do as you would be done by”. But very few live up to either of those incontrovertible principles. And though I have witnessed several decent people buy sandwiches for homeless individuals in Brighton where I live, I have never …

    February 15, 2016
  • Douglas Gordon, 24 Hour Psycho (1993)

    How can one comment on a work of art based on an experience of no more than 10 minutes with it, when the entirety lasts an entire day? Well, the elevator pitch for Gordon’s film tells you enough. This is the Alfred Hitchcock thriller Psycho (1960) slowed down from 24 frames a second to just …

    February 11, 2016
  • Michael Craig-Martin, Untitled (travel adaptor), 2014

    The Instruction Manual by John Ashbery is a poem of some 74 lines, which mentions more than 30 colours. And these colours evoke Guadalajara, Mexico, a place the speaker hasn’t even seen. But having said that, he pictures it well. His senses appear to have been sharpened by the deadline for a technical writing gig, and they …

    February 10, 2016
  • Annette Messager, Les interdictions (2014)

    As 1968 begins to pass out of living memory, the date begins to lose its power. Sadly. We are by now a long way from barricades and a long way from a revolutionary tipping point. It seems. Perhaps to keep the memory alive and honour the students who could have brought down a Western government, …

    January 30, 2016
  • The Fervent Arts Company, Ictus (2015)

    As you may be aware, cinema therapy is a thing. For those with mental health problems such as depression or anxiety, a well-chosen movie is, some will argue, the perfect prescription. But if you suffer from epilepsy, watching Ictus could be the worst ten minutes you ever spend. No spoilers here, but it’s clear from the …

    January 11, 2016
  • Shane Finan, ADA (2015)

    There’s the painting you can see and the work of art you can only grasp in the mind: 96 panels that will soon make their way through the world’s postal networks and scatter the material object. Shane Finan’s painting is a landscape jigsaw, where interiors and exteriors interrelate and a bridge connects the artist’s studio …

    January 8, 2016
  • Simon, Numbers (2015)

    He doesn’t sound like an artist. Without a surname he sounds like a character from a child’s game. His paintings don’t look like paintings. They look like price tags. But Numbers is a certainly a work of art. It undermines its own claim to genius, immateriality, aura and transcendence, so in this day and age …

    December 10, 2015
  • Interview: Karelle Ménine

    The technical challenges of poetry have usually to do with meter, rhyme and form. In Mons this year, the greatest poetic achievements have all been around measuring buildings and tracking down their owners. By the end of December, the results will be 10km of verse painted onto the city’s stony grey facades. This single, sinuous …

    December 3, 2015
  • George Barber, Fences Make Senses (2015)

    It happened so fast. I heard a rip, saw a blur of yellow tarpaulin, and then saw the panicking youth. He dropped down onto City Road and began to sprint in the direction of Islington. The lorry driver, who was already on the pavement and could have come from anywhere in Europe, had a few words …

    November 27, 2015
  • Bob and Roberta Smith, Letter to George Osborne (2015)

    You cannot help but wonder: did a 50-line letter painted onto the front and rear of a pair of white radiator units have any incidental effect on government policy? Did it really spark a heated debate? Beyond the headlines about tax credits, the Autumn Statement revealed that the Arts Council can also breathe a sigh …

    November 26, 2015