Flash Art International no. 316 September – October 2017

We are pleased to announce that the September – October issue of Flash Art International is out now. This issue serves as a window on developments in the field of artificial intelligence. It therefore sits at the intersection of several contiguous discourses, among them contemporary art and new media studies, as well as computer and social science. Our ongoing cession of identity to nonhuman agents and intelligence demands new structures of analysis.

This edition divides its treatment of AI according to theories of utopia and dystopia, of existence and consciousness, and of gender and identity. For each of our featured artists (Ian Cheng by Sandro Weilenmann; Mario Klingemann by Luba Elliott; Sondra Perry by Nora N. Khan; Sam Lavigne; Harold Cohen’s AARON by Alex Estorick; Lawrence Lek by Anya Harrison; Jenna Sutela; Lynn Hershman Leeson by Elvia Wilk; and Cécile B. Evans by Katharina Weinstock) AI serves as a problematic –– oscillating between visibility and invisibility –– that articulates the struggle to represent our changing selves through often hybrid approaches to new technologies.

How does art reveal the cyborgian condition? How might automation reduce cultural diversity? Will AI render artists and curators jobless? And what happens when robots get tired of our oppression? Contributors to this issue — scholars, writers and researchers from the fields of data analysis, systems theory and digital culture — seek to address these and many other questions.

Edward A. Shanken triangulates the work of artists Leonel Moura and Stelarc with insights on human-robot interaction. Katherine Cross exposes the racially and gender-motivated bigotry hardwired into the nascent AI “service industry.” Eli Diner explores scenarios of automating the looking at and the making of art. Steve Kado questions whether, by fueling the AI project, we are really asking machines to change our minds. Lev Manovich sheds light on AI’s role in our cultural lives through his ongoing analysis of big cultural data and global cultural trends.

Against a backdrop in which AI’s implications are being contested by Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, our final word, with Ars Electronica’s artistic director Gerfried Stocker, cautions against leaving developments in machine learning up to engineers and private companies, instead suggesting that AI be considered in relation to society as a whole.

In “Reviews”:

Louise Lawler at MoMA, New York; Sidsel Meineche Hansen at Ludlow 38, New York; “In Search of Expo 67” at the Musée d’art contemporain, Montreal; Marisa Merz at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Camille Blatrix at Bad Reputation, Los Angeles; Manuel Solano at Karen Huber, Mexico City; Mathis Gasser at Chewday’s, London; Richard Serra at Museum Boijmans, Rotterdam; Win McCarthy at Silberkuppe, Berlin; Jenny Holzer at Hauser & Wirth, Zurich; Beatriz González at Peter Kilchmann, Zurich; Cerith Wyn Evans at Marian Goodman, Paris; Haroon Mirza at LiFE, Saint-Nazaire; Nick Mauss at the Serralves Museum, Porto; “TV 70” at the Fondazione Prada, Milan; “Moscow Diaries” at MMOMA, Moscow; “Canton Express” at the M+ Pavilion, Hong Kong; and Patty Chang at Bank, Shanghai.

Finally, we are pleased to announce Flash Art’s participation in the 2017 editions of Contemporary Istanbul; Art Berlin; Vienna Contemporary; Frieze London; Fiac, Paris; and Paris Internationale.

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Flash Art International no. 315 June–July–August 2017

We are pleased to announce that the June–July–August edition of Flash Art International is out now. Rei Kawakubo is the cover artist for this summer 2017 edition.

Having founded her label Comme des Garçons in 1969, Rei Kawakubo is only the second living designer (after Yves Saint Laurent) to be honored with a solo show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. According to Jeremy Lewis, “What makes [her] clothes radical is that although they are not always recognizable as clothes, they were always meant to be worn.” Kawakubo’s deconstructed style –– raw and cerebral –– seems to take clothing outside of itself and to reposition it in a contemporary space nonetheless rooted within her own Japanese cultural tradition.

A season marked by global political uncertainty has foregrounded artist Pope.L’s long concern with just that: uncertainty, unknowability, misrecognition. In Whispering Campaign at Documenta 14, a fragmentary narrative is diffused throughout Athens twenty-four hours a day –– as it will throughout Kassel –– via city-wide speakers and wandering, whispering performers. In his conversation with Jibade-Khalil Huffman, Pope.L relates how he sees “language as a means of duration, and time as a way of making meaning.”

Also in this issue:

In “Macro”:

Tess Edmonson considers Lindsay Lohan as a cultural phenomenon.

“There’s a weird temporality to Lohan’s public flirtations with Islam under Trump, as though she’s misplacing Islam in the mediascape. Popular media has neither clichés nor discursive tools by which to attach her actions — those regarding the Quran, refugees, the Arabic language — to meaning.”

–– Tess Edmonson

In “Features”:

Chiara Parisi asks Pier Paolo Calzolari about his life and career, from Arte Povera to his current New York show.

“In the 1960s reality was different, totalizing, dictatorial. There was a sort of aristocracy of art, not a democratic ‘dissemination’ of it, which instead I observe now.”

–– Pier Paolo Calzolari

Amy Zion sheds light on the enigmatic art of Rodrigo Hernández.

“Instead of beginning from the premise that we all know what the world is, that it is one thing, and that an artist can find some sort of Archimedean point above it, from which she looks down and produces art and commentary, Hernández’s work remains stuck in the swamp of the world.”

–– Amy Zion

Jennifer Piejko considers the choreography of Ligia Lewis.

“In front of us, the dancers occasionally pause in a tense first ballet position, fists out at either side, before gracefully opening to a wide second and sliding into a discrete fourth before lunging into third position. Lewis maintains their tight stature: ‘Left foot!’”

–– Jennifer Piejko

Hyunjin Kim examines the filmmaking of Park Chan-kyong.

“In Park’s narrative, the history of Korean shamanism embodies the violence of the grand narrative of Korean modernization.”

–– Hyunjin Kim

In “Reviews”:

Jeff Geys at Essex Street, New York; Céline Condorelli at P!, New York; Lindsay Lawson at 8-11, Toronto; Mathis Altmann at Freedman Fitzpatrick, Los Angeles; Eliza Douglas at Overduin & Co., Los Angeles; Alexandre da Cunha at PIVÔ, São Paulo; “Disobedient Bodies” at The Hepworth Wakefield; Jacolby Satterwhite at Banner Repeater, London; Seth Price at Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Bruno Gironcoli at Clearing, Brussels; Lucy Dodd at Sprüth Magers, Berlin; Rainer Fetting at Thomas Fuchs, Stuttgart; “Art/Afrique, le nouvel atelier” at Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris; Amalia Del Ponte at Museo del Novecento and Studio Francesco Messina, Milan; Stephen Kaltenbach at Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz; Malak Yacout at Townhouse Gallery, Cairo; “A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth glancing at” at Beijing Commune; Lee Kit at ShugoArts, Tokyo.

We are pleased to announce Flash Art’s participation in the 2017 editions of Art Basel and Liste.

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Flash Art International no. 314 May 2017

We are pleased to announce that the May edition of Flash Art International is out now. The issue’s cover is dedicated to the late Italian artist Maria Lai, whose work is on display at both Documenta 14 and the 57th Venice Biennale.

Lai’s art developed in response to an art industry whose heteropatriarchal worldview — her teacher Arturo Martini saw her as a “little girl” from a terra vergine — became grist for projects of collective empowerment. The cover is a photograph from Lai’s action Legarsi alla montagna (Tying Oneself to the Mountain, 1981) in which the artist physically connected the inhabitants of her native Ulassai with a single ribbon, tied from house to house and up the mountainside overlooking the town. Barbara Casavecchia, who profiles the artist in this issue, calls Legarsi alla montagna “a contemporary rite for conquering the fear of being devastated, wiped out, cancelled.”

Lai’s projects, committed to tearing down normative understandings of the self, resonate with filmmaker Bruce LaBruce’s responses to today’s controversial and rapidly mutating gender discourse. His latest film, The Misandrists (2017), narrates the actions of a secret cell of feminist terrorists plotting a new female world order, pandering to the “male gaze” while audaciously subverting it. As LaBruce explains to Bruce Benderson: “I insert myself in the film as a nun, in drag, as a way of distancing myself from my own gaze, or making it self-conscious, to myself and to the audience. At the same time, the lesbians in the film are making and directing their own pornographic film, and that film, at some point, becomes the film we are watching. So in a sense the characters take over the making of the film.”

Also in this issue:

Ciara Moloney unveils the Apollonian and Dionysian in the work of Jill Mulleady.

“These works suggest that the restless nights filled with uneasy dreams will always take place amid the mundane reality of everyday life, the inference being that such phantasms are as workaday and banal as the washing-up.”

–– Ciara Moloney

Xavier Veilhan, Christian Marclay and Lionel Bovier talk about their collaboration for the French Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale.

“Duration really plays a central role, because if visual art falls within the domain of the instant, music comes in to impart its implicit chronology to the project.”

–– Xavier Veilhan

In his discussion of Patrick Jackson, Associate Editor Eli Diner addresses what it means to “know yer city.”

“Whatever distinct signification we see in, say, the stoic black male youth or the menacing bearded white guy, the overall effect of this typology of countenances is, more than anything, the surface and texture of urban experience.”

–– Eli Diner

Surveying the art of Yan Xing, writer and curator Boliang Shen notes a predilection for absence.

“However, absence also signals an act of extreme passivity. To some extent, to make art is not to create from a position of authority but to do so in the absence of power.”

–– Boliang Shen

In “Time Machine”:

Jeff Rian asks Vija Celmins about the conscious and unconscious processes that bring art to life.

“One of the reasons that I make small paintings is that I want you to grasp limits. Okay, the ocean is vast and amazing, but the painting has limits: it’s a controlled object; you can see what it’s made of when you get close to it. At maybe ten feet it goes flat. It lives through your interacting with it.”

–– Vija Celmins

In “Reviews”:

Paul Chan at Greene Naftali, New York; Agnès Varda at Blum & Poe, New York; Michael Jones McKean at The Contemporary, Baltimore; Olga Balema at Hannah Hoffman, Los Angeles; “Hippie Modernism” at Berkeley Art Museum; Faivovich & Goldberg at Slyzmud, Buenos Aires; Alice Theobald at Pilar Corrias, London; Ian Wallace at Greta Meert, Brussels; Lawrence Carroll at Buchmann, Berlin; Michael Sailstorfer at König, Berlin; Michael Krebber at Kunsthalle, Bern; Taro Izumi at Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Hercule Florence at NMNM, Monaco; “Art et Liberté” at Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid; Will Benedict at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome; Garage Triennial of Russian Contemporary Art; Neïl Beloufa at Pejman Foundation, Tehran; Paulo Monteiro at Tomio Koyama and Misako & Rosen, Tokyo.

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Flash Art International no. 313 March – April 2017

We are pleased to announce that the March – April issue of Flash Art International is out now.

Discussing the painting practice of Kerry James Marshall with Hans Ulrich Obrist, fashion designer Grace Wales Bonner cites Marshall’s intention to keep producing images of blackness “so that you’re broadening the spectrum and flooding people with that kind of imagery until it becomes normal.” “I think that’s probably why I’m on this path as well,” she concludes. Her words are central to this issue of Flash Art, which is premised on broadening the spectrum of representation of disenfranchised and marginalized communities and giving voice to creatives emerging out of these groups.

This issue gathers together artists and practitioners concerned with the development of creative languages “for empowerment,” all of whom “weaponize” creativity. In a tacit homage to Lutz Bacher’s interview project “Do You Love Me?” our cover artist Puppies Puppies meets with fellow Los Angeles–based artist Nancy Lupo. To his question, “What do you think about power in my work?” Lupo replies: “We are mutually vulnerable. The project of finding out when and where love begins is irresistible because it allows you to inscribe yourself into something that’s already happening. You get to choose your archetype, although it’s true that archetypes can be vexing, as are readymades.”

Also in this issue:

Associate Editor Tess Edmonson surveys the drawings and narratives of Amsterdam-based Chinese artist Evelyn Taocheng Wang.

“As Wang moves in and out of alignment with a fixed and oversimple image of Asian culture and subjects, she both lives through and performs her alienness.”

–– Tess Edmonson

Charlotte Laubard examines the “self-taught” Italian artist Roberto Cuoghi, whose empirical methodology infuses creation with emancipation.

“What stands out in Cuoghi’s practice across the twenty years since he left art school is his obstinate drive to develop each project like a leap into the unknown.”

–– Charlotte Laubard

In his exploration of Raymond Pettibon as an art-world outsider turned insider, Associate Editor Eli Diner discusses the phenomenon of zines in vitrines.

“The obsolescence of the social and political milieu that incubated Pettibon’s snide and violent comics of sexual anxiety and juvenile delinquency facilitates the transfiguration of the drawings into happily deracinated luxury commodities.”

–– Eli Diner

Tayyab Amin addresses the sound environments created by musical collective NON WORLDWIDE.

“In headphones, it demands full attention. The same music on a sound system feels like an attempt to rewrite and re-canonize the physical and cultural architecture of club spaces that are so often tainted with white-supremacist heteropatriarchy.”

— Tayyab Amin

In “Reviews”:

Beverly Buchanan at Brooklyn Museum, New York; Ann Greene Kelly at Chapter, New York; Andrea Crespo at List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge (MA); Cauleen Smith at University Art Galleries, Irvine; Ian James at Vacancy, Los Angeles; General Idea at Museo Jumex, Mexico City; Do Ho Suh at Victoria Miro, London; Alex Baczynski-Jenkins at Chisenhale Gallery, London; Emily Wardill at Bergen Kunsthall; Raoul De Keyser at Zeno X, Antwerp; Sean Snyder at Neu, Berlin; Omer Fast at Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin; Tala Madani at Le Panacée, Montpellier; Peter Campus at Jeu de Paume, Paris; Jean Pigozzi at Gmurzynska, St. Moritz; Huda Lutfi at Gypsum, Cairo; Trevor Young at Magician Space, Beijing; Tetsuro Kano at Yuka Tsuruno, Tokyo.

This issue introduces Tess Edmonson as Associate Editor. Tess replaces Laura McLean-Ferris, who after serving Flash Art brilliantly for nearly three years is leaving her position to undertake new cultural endeavors. Welcome Tess, good luck Laura!

Finally, we are pleased to announce Flash Art’s participation in the 2017 editions of Armory Show, New York; Independent New York; Art Dubai; Art | Basel | Hong Kong; miart, Milan; sp-arte, São Paulo; Art Brussels; and Independent Brussels.

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Flash Art International no. 312 January – February 2017

We are pleased to announce that the January – February 2017 issue of Flash Art International is out now.

While reviewing past issues of Flash Art, we stumbled upon an article by British artist Victor Burgin discussing the show “Difference: On Representation and Sexuality,” held at the New Museum, New York, in 1984. According to the show’s press release, it was premised on “recent interest in the issue of representation [that] has prompted many artists to explore the cultural formation of our notions of sexuality.” In Burgin’s article, which we reprinted as this issue’s “Time Machine,” he analyses in terms of the “difficulty of difference” the critical response against the “political conceptualism” embraced by many of the “Difference” artists, whose works were dismissed as démodé during a time when formalist and expressionist fashions were ascendant. “What was at issue in the work was not a transient aesthetic form but a long-established semiotic form — text/image — encountered in most aspects of the everyday environment.” Defending his and his fellow artists’ lack of concern with the development of a recognizable style, Burgin explains that “the work of such ‘works of art’ was upon systems of representations which were not confined within the institutions and practices of ‘art.’” Amid the hostility encountered by the “Difference” works, Burgin discerned “a reflex refusal to admit difference that has more to do with our ‘large-scale’ politics than we care to imagine.”

This issue of Flash Art takes Burgin’s meditation as a starting point to stimulate a discourse around difference within the current political climate. On the one hand, as theoretician Walter Benn Michaels suggests in this issue’s “Macro,” reflecting on the recent Kelley Walker show at CAM St. Louis, the politics of representation may be a red herring with regard to the problem of economic inequality and the critique of capitalism; on the other hand, artist Jimmie Durham, also featured in this issue with an essay by Jennifer Piejko, boasts a lifelong engagement in civil rights struggles, mastering the “specificity of the political in art” that emerged through the political dissensus of Burgin and his fellow “political conceptualists.” To highlight a vivid distinction between the representation of politics and the politics of representation — both in art and in life — should be our goal for the year we are entering.

Also in this issue:

Olivian Cha examines the transitional paintings of Sadie Benning.

“Benning possesses a singular ability for identifying the most elusive spatial and temporal shifts in form and further embodies them across different media and mediums.”

— Olivian Cha

Associate Editor Eli Diner discusses the images and objects of Oliver Payne.

“As much as Payne’s objects and images present a glimpse onto other worlds, they are two-way portals — the gaze passes this way as well.”

— Eli Diner

In conversation with Assistant Editor Alex Estorick, Paul Pfeiffer addresses what the age of augmented reality means for art.

“I’m trying to find a form that includes a jump from one dimension of reality to another, because in a way that’s the aesthetic experience essential to our consciousness now.”

— Paul Pfeiffer

Associate Editor Laura McLean-Ferris talks to Anna-Sophie Berger about the care and attentiveness at the heart of a social life.

“To me care is not confined to the realm of objects but is naturally also expanded to care of oneself — notions of the fragility of life and finitude as an ultimate bracket to existence.”

— Anna-Sophie Berger

In “Micro”:

Responding to Paolo Sorrentino’s The Young Pope, Cristiano de Majo reflects on shifts in representation of power in recent TV shows.

“In The Young Pope, the sovereign is left with little to do other than exercise free will, in its more or less rational manifestations.”

In “Reviews”:

Georgie Nettell at Reena Spaulings, New York; Alex Da Corte at Maccarone, New York; Pietro Roccasalva at The Power Station, Dallas; Fred Lonidier at Michael Benevento, Los Angeles; Paul Sietsema at Matthew Marks, Los Angeles; Matthew Hale at José García, Mexico City; Bojan Šarčević at Modern Art, London; James Richards at ICA, London; Leigh Ledare at Office Baroque, Brussels; Hannah Perry at Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin; Etel Adnan at Institut du monde arabe, Paris; Sarah Charlesworth at Campoli Presti, Paris; Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement, Geneva; Wael Shawky at Castello di Rivoli and Fondazione Merz, Turin; Bianca Baldi at Swimming Pool, Sofia; Naama Tsabar at Dvir, Tel Aviv; Chen Shaoxiong at Boers-Li and Tang Contemporary, Beijing; He Xiangyu at Kaikai Kiki and SCAI The Bathhouse, Tokyo.

We are pleased to announce Flash Art’s participation in the 2017 editions of artgenève, Geneva; Arte Fiera, Bologna; Zona Maco, Mexico City; Arco, Madrid; and LA Art Book Fair, Los Angeles.

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Flash Art International no. 311 November – December 2016

We are pleased to announce that the November – December issue of Flash Art International is out now. This issue explores the interfaces between clubs, clubbing culture and creative communities.

The issue is built on two mirroring trajectories. The first addresses club nights, which since the early 2000s have served as backdrops for some of the world’s most vibrant urban scenes: Asian Dope Boys in Beijing and Shanghai (by Milia Xin Bi); Bliss in Vienna (by Natalie Brunner); Clara 3000 in Paris (by Daniele Balice); Dudesweet in Bangkok (by Onsiri Pravattiyagul); GHE20G0TH1K in New York (by Alex Frank); House of Mixed Emotions in Zurich (by Daniel Horn); Janus in Berlin (by Tess Edmonson); Mamba Negra in São Paulo (by Vinicius Duarte and Germano Dushá); N.A.A.F.I in Mexico City (by José Esparza Chong Cuy); Príncipe in Lisbon (by Margarida Mendes); Progresso in Milan and Club Adriatico in Ravenna (by Michele D’Aurizio); Skotoboynia and VV17CHOU7 in Moscow (by Felix Sandalov); Tropical Waste in London (by Steph Kretowicz); and Wildness in Los Angeles (by John Tain). A nexus for new understandings of the collective, these parties are signifiers not only for new sonic endeavors, but also for new dance-floor configurations, new dance moves, even new personifications of the “clubber.”

Our second trajectory examines artists who have considered clubbing culture through their own practices. Pierre-Ange Carlotti, Chen Wei, Anne de Vries, Amy Lien & Enzo Camacho, Daniel Pflumm and Stephen Willats have been invited to share how they process and interpret the social ritual of clubbing.

For the issue’s “Data” we have linked up with the research studio AMO. Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli introduces a special project that digs into the status of contemporary nightlife and its spatial implications. In line with these questions, for the issue’s “Macro,” Martti Kalliala invites us to consider clubs as built spaces with layered temporalities, designed not as ephemeral interiors but rather reconciling the incommensurate timescales of a building that might last several centuries and an individual club with a limited lifespan.

While the 1990s are still regarded as the era of high clubbing, this issue affirms the many social and cultural innovations that clubs have nurtured for millennials, reminding each of us to never stop dancing.

In Reviews: Ryan Gander at Lisson Gallery, New York; Kyle Thurman at Off Vendome, New York; Kelley Walker at the Contemporary Art Museum, Saint Louis; Ry Rocklen at Honor Fraser, Los Angeles; Xanti Schawinsky at Karma International, Los Angeles; Akram Zaatari at Galpão VB, São Paulo; Olivier Foulon at Kunstraum; Olivia Plender at Maureen Paley, London; Mohamed Bourouissa at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Decor at the Boghossian Foundation, Brussels; Joachim Bandau at Galerie Thomas Fischer, Berlin; Dena Yago at Sandy Brown, Berlin; Gülsün Karamustafa at Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna; Adrift on Plastic Island at Galerie Bernhard, Zurich; Valerie Keane at High Art, Paris; Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster at the MAAT, Lisbon; Sadie Benning at Kaufmann Repetto, Milan; Mediations Biennale, Poznań; Human Commonalities at the Vadim Sidur Museum, Moscow; Hu Yun at Aike–Dellarco, Shanghai; Danh Vō at White Cube, Hong Kong.

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