The ICA Bookshop has put together a brand new reading list to accompany the latest exhibition Bloomberg New Contemporaries. All of the titles are available to purchase in the ICA Bookshop, either online or in person.
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The selectors this year are Ryan Gander, Chantal Joffe and Nathaniel Mellors, who blend together their wide interests in sparklingly humorous conceptual work, robotics, passionate painting, illegal wood and arse based plays into one combined talent spotting eye. The BNC catalogue is normally our bestselling item and this time it’s a satisfyingly chunky black and white affair full of wit and intrigue so snap it up before they all fly out.
Joshua’s wonderfilled tumblr gives source materials and documents which are well worth your time. Neomaterialism explores the meaning of the world of commodities, and reintroduces various notions of dialectical materialism into the conversation on the subjectivity and vitalism of things. Complex stuff I know, this talk serves as a much better advert for the ideas in this book.
Here’s a quick-fire round of questions, immediate correct answers please: How far can provocation in art go, before it becomes cynical and abusive? Does “good censorship” exist? Are ethical decisions seen as more urgent in participatory art? When were you last shocked by art? Will you buy this fascinating book of texts by Petra Bauer and Annette Krauss, Franco Bifo Berardi, Nina Möntmann, Peter Osborne and many more? Includes Chris Burden shooting at a Boeing 747, Valie Export as a dog, and of course King Juan Carlos of Spain vomiting cornflowers while having sex with a Bolivian activist who is herself being, “fucked by a wolf.”
[...After the Media]
We open with: The media are now redundant. The essay ends (cutting to the chase here) with possibilities of how things could proceed in a post-media world. The manifesto of the book advocates for a distinction to be made between online existence and offline being. “Be Offline and Exist Online.” Points of contact with an arts perspective include a fascinating reinterpretation of the artist Nam June Paik, including his giant “online” (via television?) happening from 1984, “Art for 25 million people” (with Beuys, Cage and Laurie Anderson); Dieter Roth patterns, Serra’s “ultimate video” and much more, instant sex, Stephen Hawking as superman, God ejaculating in 1928, etc. etc..
History in Motion
The table of contents reads as such: Interesting Times, Transforming Time, Shock and Suspense, Performance after Television, Playtimes, Autonomy in Action and Unnatural History. Once upon a time to find out about history people had to read a vast clunk of words. Now contemporary history can be watched in HD from multiple angles. Analysing a variety of films, video pieces and performances, Lütticken evaluates the impact that our changing experience of time has had on the actualisation of history in the present.
In a nutshell, this is essential. Rosler’s collection of essays written between 2010 and 2012 presents illuminating answers to questions such as: What makes a city successful today? Has a contradiction emerged between the declared politics of artists and their actual role in flows of global capital that course through biennials and art fairs? Can we take the broad commitment of so many artists to the Occupy movement as a signal of their desire to redirect their energies back toward social justice?
Words For Art
Who critiques the critics? Barry does! Energy, curiosity and passion bounce on the page in this volume of short, marvellous essays covering abstraction, deskilling, politics, American art, grumpy Clement Greenberg, reading what was never written, prehistoric man looking at the sky, Matisse paintings existing before he painted them and minimal art that is “boring, on purpose.”
The Myth of Artisthood
Camiel Van Winkel
Every artist you will ever meet is a towering seven-headed genius, right? Swoon in the presence of these spectacular humans, infinitely deep and unique! Are all artists, by definition, trapped in the myth of artisthood? Can this myth be ignored? Is any kind of artistic practise conceivable without mystification and a claim to special status? Jesus Christ, Rodin, Rilke, Merleau-Ponty, Francis Bacon, Balzac, Manet and a few other heavyweights join in to discuss.
Factories of Knowledge, Industries of Creativity
Do we need a reassessment of the importance of cultural and knowledge production? What is the central role of the university? What should it be? A factory of knowledge? A place to calmly listen? Or, as Rauning states, a place for critical disobedience. A place to attack. As deindustrialization spreads and the working class is decentralized, new means of social resistance and political activism need to be found in what may be the last places where they are possible: the university and the art world. On a side note: If you are afraid of mice, be warned: Kafka’s “Mouse Folk” run amok within the book.
Stine Hebert & Anne Szefer Karlsen
An appalling economic situation has suddenly demanded that artists become more er.. artistic in the way that they organise themselves. Think “Wrong Gallery,” “Minigalleriet,” “KBH Kunsthal” Group Material, Kickstarter, virtual galleries, and maybe Petrellas Imports, etc. etc. This new anthology of accounts from people who are having to self organise (beyond the norm) includes contributions by artists, as well as their institutional counterparts, that provide a fascinating observation of the art world as matrix of interconnected positions where the balance of power and productivity constantly shifts.
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Tagged with: Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2013, Suggested Reading, BNC 2013, bloomberg new contemporaries, bookshop, Joshua Simon, Nina Montmann, Siegfried Zielinski, Sven Lutticken, Martha Rosler, Barry Schwabsky, Camiel Van Winkel, Gerald Raunig, Stine Hebert, Anne Szefer Karlsen