Art Review – April

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Art Review is one of the world’s leading international contemporary art magazines, dedicated to expanding contemporary art’s audience and reach. It believes that art plays a vital role in inspiring a richer, more profound understanding of human experience, culture and society today.

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Featuring Maria Eichhorn, Tomo Savić-Gecan, Stan Douglas, Kerima Tariman, Harry Gould Harvey IV, Marine Serre

The April issue of ArtReview takes the world’s most celebrated art event – the Venice Biennale – as an excuse to look at the work of artists who refuse to perform at such events. Call it an act of resistance, if you like. Although the artists in question are both showing at this year’s Biennale (23 April to 27 November): Maria Eichhorn, representing Germany on this occasion, and the Croatian representative, Tomo Savić-Gecan. What’s important is that they are doing it on their own terms, by refusing to engage in the culture of spectacle inherent to such events.

Maria Eichhorn is known for confounding expectations (such as actually exhibiting art); moreover she has, as Martin Herbert notes, a reputation for ‘using art’s bloated, cash-lined, pretension-heavy infrastructure’ to enact social change, however symbolic. Her own brand of institutional critique has seen her closing a gallery for the entire duration of her show and hosting instead a symposium on labour conditions in the artworld; using the production budget of her exhibition at an art centre located in a former castle to restore one of its towers; and, more recently, founding the Rose Valland Institute, debuted at Documenta 14 in 2017, which documents the expropriation of property formerly owned by Europe’s Jewish population and inviting the public to share research into looted artefacts that have not been returned.

If you want to see Croatian artist Tomo Savić-Gecan’s work for Venice, Herbert continues, ‘look anywhere but the Croatian Pavilion. That venue is likely to be closed, or at least empty. Instead, Savić-Gecan’s project will locate itself unpredictably in other pavilions and exhibition spaces, and you may experience it without even realising it.’ The ever-elusive artist started working during the 1990s, and his practice is ‘one of the most quietly… extreme reconsiderations of the practice of artmaking you’re likely to find today.’ Constantly slipping through your fingers, Savić-Gecan’s work is always pushing and redrawing the contours and definitions of what art is.

Also in this issue

Marv Recinto profiles the late Kerima Tariman, a revolutionary poet and leader of the guerrilla group New People’s Army, who died last August in a clash with the Philippine military. Amid the ongoing orgy of extrajudicial killing in Rodrigo Duterte’s Philippines and ahead of the presidential elections in May, Recinto pays tribute to a resistance fighter who understood the revolutionary potential of art.

Plus

Ross Simonini speaks to Harry Gould Harvey IV, an artist, founder of the Fall River Museum of Contemporary Art in Massachusetts and ‘reluctant Christian’ about faith, mysticism and spirituality; in the first in a series of columns, Emmanuel Iduma explores absence and presence in the colonial gaze through an encounter with an archival photograph; fashion columnist Clara Young turns to Marine Serre’s art of upcycling. Plus the usual mix of exhibition and book reviews from our critics around the world.

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