CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 10/14/2015
In her introduction to Photography is Magic, Charlotte Cotton's new, must-have survey of contemporary art photography (published by Aperture), Cotton writes, "Close-up magic—the kind of intimate, right-in-front-of-you sleight of hand that brings pure wonder and delight—is the inspiration for this book, which gathers the work and words of more than 80 artists operating in the related field of photographic magic. The idea that close-up magic has bearing on the critical mass of contemporary photographic art centers on their shared capacity to recalibrate established creative forms in ways that relate to our collective present: to conjure imaginative and open-ended experiences and trains of thought in the viewer. Magic in both realms is a multisensory experience that calls—instantaneously without our consciously knowing it—upon our capacity to script our own sense of visual reality." Featured image is Sara Cwynar's "Girl From Contact Sheet 2 (Darkroom Manual)" (2014).
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 10/12/2015
Wednesday, October 14, ARTBOOK and Swiss Institute present the New York book launch for 'International Pop.' Curators Darsie Alexander and Bartholomew Ryan will appear in conversation with Godfre Leung, author of the book's visual chronology, followed by a signing.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 10/12/2015
Reproduced from MoMA's new Walid Raad exhibition catalog, The Atlas Group's Hostage: The Bachar tapes (English version) (2001) "is attributed to Souheil Bachar and is about the abduction and detention in Lebanon in the 1980s and early 1990s of Western men like Terry Anderson and Terry Waite by 'Islamic militants.' This episode directly and indirectly consumed Lebanese, US, French, German and British political and public life, and precipitated a number of high profile political scandals like the Iran-Contra Affair in the US. In Hostage this crisis is examined through the testimony of Souheil Bachar who was held hostage in Lebanon between 1983 and 1993. What is remarkable about Souheil’s captivity is that he was held for three months in 1985 in the same cell as five American men: Terry Anderson, Thomas Sutherland, Benjamin Weir, Martin Jenco and David Jacobsen. In 2000, Souheil collaborated with The Atlas Group to produce 53 videotapes about his captivity. Tapes #17 and #31 are the only tapes Souheil makes available outside of Lebanon. In the tapes, Bachar addresses the cultural, textual and sexual aspects of his detention with the Americans."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 10/11/2015
"Like many around me in Beirut in the late 1970s, I collected bullets and shrapnel," Walid Raad is quoted in MoMA's new exhibition catalogue. "I would run out to the streets after a night or day of shelling to remove them from walls, cars and trees. I kept detailed notes of where I found every bullet and photographed the sites of my findings, covering the holes with dots that corresponded to the bullet’s diameter and the mesmerizing hues I found on bullets’ tips. It took me ten years to realize that ammunition manufacturers follow distinct color codes to mark and identify their cartridges and shells." Featured image is The Atlas Group's Let's be honest, the weather helped (1998/2006).
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 10/10/2015
In 1955, James B. Byrnes, director of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, wrote of Italian artist Alberto Burri (1915-95), "Using his skill as a surgeon he opened wound-like apertures, closed others with a suture, with the result that the material itself took on the character of something physical, now a landscape, then a corpse. The finished work speaks of decay and death, with each wounded canvas itself the subject of operating room activity. Those works which are less physical in intent suggest an aerial view of a pock-marked battlefield." Sack and Gold (1953) is reproduced from the Guggenheim Museum's major new retrospective catalogue.
KYRA SUTTON | DATE 10/9/2015
Correspondent Kyra Sutton reviews Italian photographer Nicoló Degiorgis' fascinating document of makeshift places of worship in Northeast Italy.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 10/9/2015
Made of burlap, synthetic polymer paint, thread and Vinavil on black fabric, "Sack H 8" (circa 1953) is reproduced from The Trauma of Painting, the comprehensive catalogue to the Alberto Burri show opening today at the Guggenheim. The importance of this exhibition cannot be overstated—it marks the first time the artist's work has been treated to a retrospective in an American museum in more than 35 years; it is also the most comprehensive overview, ever. To quote Giulio Carlo Argan, "Burri's painting is not a painting of symbols, but rather of signs. It is not painting that prefigures or announces something. It is painting that wants to be touched."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 10/8/2015
In celebration of the New Museum's exceptional Jim Shaw retrospective, we present "One Way" (1991) from JRP|Ringier's Jim Shaw: My Mirage. Of this epic project, which chronicles the character Billy from confused and pressured youth to born-again adult, Fabrice Stroun writes, "This space delimits a white, middle-class America to which Jim Shaw himself belongs, at a time during which the main value and significations systems were collapsing—a dissolution allegorically personified by Billy. The character's ultimate conversion is symptomatic here of the lobotomized reconstitution of a subject whose dispersal has taken on the appearance of a new 'spiritual homogeneity.' This diagnosis—expressed in a tone that is both ferocious and humorous, tinted with a slight melancholy—might have appeared, when it was first issued in the mid-1980s, as incredibly pessimistic, to the point of probably seeming reactionary. Unfortunately, as the figure of the 'born again' has since become fully naturalized in American culture by the force of the highest and most brutal political powers that be, Jim Shaw's twisted morality play still needs to be reckoned with."
Agnes Martin's 1989 essay is reproduced from our essential new monograph, published to accompany the critically-acclaimed touring retrospective currently on view at Tate Modern. Patricia Albers makes special note of this text in the "New York Times Book Review" this weekend, asserting that it is "not to be missed."
Last week, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Metropolis Books launched the SOM THINKERS series with 'The Future of the Skyscraper,' featuring texts by Bruce Sterling, Tom Vanderbilt, Matthew Yglesias, Diana Lind, Will Self, Emily Badger, Dickson Despommier and Philip Nobel, whose Introduction is excerpted here.
Lisa Pearson of Siglio writes on publishing as "An act of resistance to the literal, the authoritarian and the facile... and as a testament to the 'book' as refuge, dissent, beacon, and nexus."
This week, Beyond Shelter author Marie Aquilino initiates a regular column for Metropolis Books, reporting on her work with the Montesinos Foundation in Titanyen, Haiti.
"Paging through a book is like closing a door behind you that simultaneously opens another onto a new room -- all the while keeping the previous room available, just behind the now-closed door of the turned page. Here I am in the hallway of the introduction..." -- excerpt from Sharon Helgason Gallagher's remarks at the New York Public Library panel discussion The Future of the Art Book