2018 / 322 September – October 2018
Issue 322
September – October 2018

Contents

The cover of this issue of Flash Art portrays Tony Conrad, an avant-garde filmmaker, pioneering musician, artist, theorist, philosopher, committed teacher, and activist. On the occasion of Conrad’s traveling retrospective, soon on view at the MIT List Visual Arts Center and the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University, we dedicate a twelve-page dossier to this unique figure in the recent history of arts and culture. An essay by Nora N. Khan considers Conrad’s vast creative output, the result of his dedication to challenging the boundaries between artistic categories. “Nearly every piece in Conrad’s oeuvre shows evidence of a shifted frame, from the instruments made from rusty Band-Aid boxes, coke bottles, tin foil, copper tubing, wire, scraps of wood, and tape, to the many hours of rangy, hysterical, buoyant, and strange video works,” Khan writes. “Creating new taxonomies by pushing the frame was a political act: not only the literal frame, but any attempt to frame, to position, to establish criteria that go unexamined… The choice of a frame was the moment of creating meaning.” Along with Khan’s text, musician and artist Charlemagne Palestine pays homage to Conrad’s memory by recounting their musical partnership — fifty years of what he calls “aural symbiosis.”

This issue includes also the “CCCO (Cultural Capital Cooperative Object) License Agreement,” a document drafted by artists Nikita Gale, Sidsel Meineche Hansen, Candice Lin, Nour Mobarak, Blaine O’Neill, and Patrick Staff, working as the Cultural Capital Cooperative (CCC). The licensing agreement, which the cooperative drafted in dialogue with lawyer Daniel McClean, provides an answer to questions about how to collectively produce works of art, and moreover, how the cooperative as a model of mutual ownership might envision the future sale and transfer of works. In CCC’s words, “[it] seeks to counter the contemporary art market’s usual focus on the individual isolated artist.” In doing so, the license agreement is a legal mechanism available to other artists — “as an instrument, as a proposition… and with a knowing possibility for its further unauthorized reproduction or adaptation.”


FEATURES

Yaniya Lee on Tony Cokes’s 1988 video Black Celebration (A Rebellion Against the Commodity)

“Using a simple collage of text and sound and moving image, Cokes conveys a lucid antiestablishment sentiment to criticize mass culture and undo the mechanisms that obfuscate a better, different, possible world.” —Yaniya Lee

Eli Diner on the vagaries of geography and history in the work of Raul Guerrero

“If a Chicano conceptualism was a tough sell in its own right, the irony, playfulness, even capriciousness in Guerrero’s work made it altogether unmanageable, out of step as well with the expectations of what would come to be enshrined under the banner of identity politics.”Eli Diner

Julia Moritz on fact and fiction in the art of Tobias Kaspar

“You can never really tell if Kaspar’s object-works are intentional one-liners — a no-frills appropriation of commodification’s deadpan functioning to expose that fact alone — or if their well-crafted superficiality only serves as a thread in a broader tissue of contemporary skepticism, a flagship circumnavigating its product.” —Julia Moritz

Luca Cerizza on the minimalist tendency in Rasheed Araeen’s work

“If American minimalism embodies a unity that evolves and transforms within a permutation, Araeen’s minimalism corresponds to the equivalence and equality among the elements within a group, to a totality which only the dynamism of an external gaze can activate, invoking its kinetic potentialities.” —Luca Cerizza


REVIEWS

“Readymades Belong to Everyone” at the Swiss Institute, New York; Frances Stark at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York; Diamond Stingily at ICA, Miami; Made in L.A. 2018 at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Helen Cho at Trinity Square Video, Toronto; Feminist Land Art Retreat at Audain Gallery, Vancouver; Mira Schendel at Bergamin & Gomide, São Paulo; Julien Nguyen at Modern Art, London; Evan Ifekoya at Gasworks, London; Los Carpinteros at Peter Kilchmann, Zurich; Alexander Kluge at Belvedere 21, Vienna; Liz Magic Laser at Centre Pompidou, Paris; Manifesta 12, Palermo; Lito Kattou at Point Centre for Contemporary Art, Nicosia; 13th Dak’Art, Dakar; 2nd Yinchuan Biennale.