On the occasion of her carte blanche at the Palais de Tokyo from 18 October 2017 to 7 January 2018, French artist Camille Henrot is the guest editor-in-chief of this issue 26 of the magazine Palais, devoted entirely to the exhibition “Days are Dogs.” For this exhibition, Camille Henrot brings together an extensive group of her own works along with contributions from international artists with whom she maintains a productive dialogue. The invited artists are David Horvitz, Maria Loboda, Nancy Lupo, Samara Scott, and Avery Singer, as well as the poet Jacob Bromberg. The exhibition “Days are Dogs” explores the ways in which the invention of the seven day week structures our relationship to time. It reveals the way the notion of the week reassures us—giving us routines and a common framework—just as much as it alienates us, creating a set of constraints and dependencies. Each of the seven thematic parts of the exhibition is accordingly dedicated to a day of the week, an allegory for a series of emotions and activities associated with each day which the artworks reflect. Following this same organisation into seven parts, this issue of the magazine Palais explores the different themes of the exhibition. With texts by Ben Eastham, Orit Gat, Haidy Geismar, and Chris Kraus; Miranda Lash in conversation with Lora Ann Chaisson, Chris Sharp and Polly Staple; an interview with Camille Henrot by Daria de Beauvais, the exhibition’s curator; with original contributions by the guest artists Jacob Bromberg, David Horvitz, Maria Loboda, Nancy Lupo, Samara Scott and Avery Singer; as well as a large selection of images of Camille Henrot’s works. Published three times a year, Palais magazine offers an in-depth perspective on the exhibitions and program of the Palais de Tokyo. Palais allows people to see contemporary art in a topical way, as often as possible from the point of view of the artists themselves. Each season, the magazine includes dossiers, interviews, essays, special projects and inserts, all contributed by artists, art critics, historians or theorists, making Palais magazine an essential tool for apprehending contemporary art.
This academic study collects 11 essays that explore how avant-garde film and alternative media have used nature, landscape, and cityscape to evoke an American sense of place. MacDonald (Bard Coll.) flashes back and forth through film history, shuffling metaphors of America as the new Garden of Eden and making a case that the films discussed both intersect with and enlarge the field of American studies, notably 19th- and 20th-century literature, landscape painting, and photography. Densely written chapters measure the contributions of experimental filmmakers such as Kenneth Anger, Stan Brakhage, and Jonas Mekas plus a few surprising mainstream films: Twister, Natural Born Killers, and Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing. Many of the independent films featured here are obscure, and MacDonald makes a plea for their preservation, wider distribution, and discussion. But while he claims that his book is meant to be accessible to students and general readers, it is marred by reams of less-than-scintillating prose. Comments from the filmmakers would have added variety and relief from the pedantic narrative, which might, however, be useful for spot reference.
Just how do images retain their power to fascinate, despite the background swell of visual chatter that has come to characterise contemporary social and cultural life? Despite the prevalence of ‘the visual’ in today’s social and economic world order, we know surprisingly little about how images function. Models of communications theory and ‘semiotics’ have provided valuable insight into the way in which art, in film, television and advertising convey specific beliefs and messages. But this is only one facet of the life of images. Beyond there lies a hotly disputed theoretical terrain ranging across different, more-or-less discreet academic disciplines and areas of research: from philosophy and psychology on the one hand to semiotics and mediology on the other; from theories of perception to reception theory; from theoretical sociology to the more open field of contemporary cultural criticism. In this volume, some of the foremost thinkers in the field of ‘visual theory’ provide important critical insight into the very real difficulties involved in theorising the image, both from a ‘technical’, philosophical and/or political point of view. Including essays by Régis Debray, Martine Joly, Dick Hebdige, Scott Lash, Heinz Paetzold and Richard Wollheim.
Volume 79 of the influential international art journal Parkettfeatures Jon Kessler, Marilyn Minter and Albert Oehlen. In the tinkered gadgetry of Kessler’s retro sci-fi installations, we peek through surveillance cameras to see our own image among his analog programs crammed with detritus of all kinds. Kessler’s vista of (d)evolved cyberstuff is in a manic state of accumulation, as this data-diving artist masters the ecology of pure information. Within Marilyn Minter’s fetishistic, flawless pictures, we find a painter obsessed with the clear articulation of magnified sweat beads and pore-smeared glitter. In each successive lip-smacking painting, Minter sets out to perfect beauty’s disguise, affirming both her pleasure in fashion imagery, and an appreciation of its vulgar mishaps–say, a drag queen’s eyelashes clumped together with too much mascara. According to essayist John Kelsey, Albert Oehlen’s collage-paintings “seem almost bored of their own shock-value.” And yet this artist, one of the most significant German painters of the past 20 years, can make boredom look like a rigorous, if not delirious experiment. Also featured: Spencer Finch, Gelitin and Mark Wallinger, as well as essayists Paul Bonaventura, Mark Godfrey, Glenn O’Brien, Katy Siegel, Andrea Scott and Pamela Lee, to name a few.
For his recent series of work entitled Easy Fun-Ethereal, Jeff Koons employs new computer technology to merge populist icons into desktop collages, which he then transforms into traditional oil paintings rendered with photorealist precision. Drawn from glossy magazines and advertisements, the imagery includes smiley-faced sandwiches, spiraling roller coasters, succulent lips and abstract juice splashes. These hybrids of fun and fantasy simultaneously celebrate childhood pleasures and adult sexual desire: in keeping with Koons’s stated intention to “communicate with the masses,” the cheerful works are accessible to all. Accompanying an exhibition of seven large-scale paintings commissioned for the Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin, this lively volume features 40 full-color reproductions. Art historian David Sylvester’s interview with Koons puts forth the artist’s perspective on his career to date, while Robert Rosenblum’s essay provides an in-depth analysis of the technique and imagery employed in EasyFun-Ethereal.
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