Our annual winter support keeps the Rail independent, relevant, and free
Viewing 2009 Turner Prize winner Richard Wrights pareidolia-like no title (2009) sets in motion a collection of considerations about the contemporary condition of art. Something prime is shifting.
An initial question intrigued me on visiting the American modernist painter Beauford Delaney’s Parisian show Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color: How did a black gay painter remain so full of light and joy during the struggle against racial and sexual bigotry taking place in the 1960s?
The exhibition Hypnose (Hypnosis), curated by Pascal Rousseau for the Musée darts in Nantes, is a chronicle both compelling and comical. Although submerged in a stream of spiritual consciousness tied to artistic principles of universal connection, the exhibition also flirts with certain kitsch clichés, most notably the iconic hypnotic-disc that by spiraling supposedly sucks suggestible cerveaux down a somnambulist whirlpool.
The Pompidou Centre is currently presenting, in retrospective form, about 50 relational art projects by Pierre Huyghe that span more than 20 years. This retrospective is further augmented upstairs in the permanent collection that includes his two-channel video The Third Memory (1999), where John Wojtowicz tells his story of the robbery portrayed in the movie Dog Day Afternoon (1975).
Venets current show, 1961 & 1963: les origins at Ceysson & Bénétière Paris, puts him back into that post-Duchampian / Yves Klein context with early minimal works that ponder the power of black and the pull of gravity through an inter-disciplinarian methodology.
Christos exhibition, situating art as a material process, presents a selection of his historic covered cases, all hidden behind a covered vitrine.
Draw a Straight Line and Follow It purports to be a definitive biography of the famous but elusive avant-garde American composer La Monte Young (born 1935) and thus of particular interest to those involved in transcendental black metal, experimental electronica, psychoacoustic drone, and difficult noise music.
Unofficial Release is a brimming book that captures the key cultural philosophies of self-released music and sound art, emphasizing activities within the cassette networkthat was so exciting to partake in back in the 1980s (a k a cassette culture).
Artaud’s Metamorphosis: From Hieroglyphs to Bodies Without Organs (2017)
The Three Stigmata of Friedrich Nietzsche: Political Physiology in the Age of Nihilism is a terribly expensive but mesmerizing book of contemporary interdisciplinary theory that comes across as a chaotic-black velvety luxury item of immense merit.
Binding Surrealist automatism to workplace sabotage, the book raises issues for deliberation that benefit opportunities to review the premise of the life-as-art/art-as-luxury-lifestyle aspiration as nothing more than a consumerist enterprise equipped with cloaking theoretical elements that have artfully ducked anti-capitalist and anti-art critical postures. This fever-dream history of subversion as sex machine invites you into a contemplation of your intimate erotic life, put in relationship to its oppression.
Including versions of his Auto-Destructive Art Manifesto, the moral content of this collection is unashamed melancholic rage at the state of the world. Metzgers writings, at times naïve, can still mess with heads in right-wing America.
This eloquent book attempts to inaugurate a positive appraisal of what the author identifies as positive barbarism. However interesting the brutal aesthetics of sloppiness might be to a modern art historical exegesis, Brutal Aesthetics arrives at the grim doorstep of an offended world in the wake of endless uncouth brutalizations made by a mendacious macho American president.