Forensic Architecture at the ICA

Institutionally, the group’s activity is indicative of how both academic and curatorial cultures have become entwined in this wider shift in the locus of political activism, with the art gallery becoming just another channel of dissemination for this broader political culture of independent and quasi-institutional activism. My review of Forensic Architecture at the ICA, for… Continue reading Forensic Architecture at the ICA

Violence and representation

In the wake of the controversy over Dana Schutz’s painting Open Casket, my comment on an artist’s right to make images of other peoples’ suffering, for artreview.com What effect can paintings have on politics? It’s a recurring, never-really-resolved question, since as an artform, the history of painting is one in which the question of its power as… Continue reading Violence and representation

David Hockney: Sixty Years of Work

Tate Britain, 9 February – 29 May   If there’s one overarching sensibility running through this retrospective of David Hockney’s work spanning six decades, it’s not necessarily the artist’s much-touted commitment to the ways of best representing the visible world, or indeed the emphasis the Tate want to put – in the fiftieth anniversary year… Continue reading David Hockney: Sixty Years of Work

Feeling safe? Defending hate speech for artists

My Friday 26 January comment for www.artreview.com Only a few days after they had been published to support the women’s march day, artist Paul Chan’s publishing house Badlands Unlimited found that their anti-Trump protest posters had been pulled from Facebook and Instagram. The four posters aren’t exactly polite: ‘GOD HATES TRUMP’ reads one, along with… Continue reading Feeling safe? Defending hate speech for artists

Public Vs.Private

My column for the January-February 2016 issue of ArtReview, now online. Read it here (requires free registration to artreview.com) 'The purpose of the public museum is to ensure the long-term availability and display of art.’ With his first sentence, Chris Dercon, soon-to-be-former director of Tate Modern, had already lost the argument. Back in June last year, Dercon gave a speech… Continue reading Public Vs.Private

How not to make public art

My column on the latest sculpture commissions for Trafalgar Square's Fourth Plinth on ArtReview.com. Read it here "The Fourth Plinth committee appear to imagine the public as a strange fusion of bored teenager and angry mob; restless, distracted, excited by bold shapes and colours and thoughtless political truisms about the state of the world."

Review: Hannah Sawtell at Vilma Gold, London

My discussion of Hannah Sawtell's show RE PETITIONER IN ZERO TIME for Art-Agenda "The building, superimposed on the larger sequence of the pre/post-historic wasteland, is of a factory of sorts, a place for the production of political ideology, at a time when working people’s actions had a direct effect on the world. The building stands in for the… Continue reading Review: Hannah Sawtell at Vilma Gold, London