Afterall 28

Ricardo Basbaum
Jean-Luc Moulène
Lia Perjovschi
Emily Wardill

We are delighted to announce the launch of Afterall issue 28, Autumn/Winter 2011, which looks at the mediation of relationships by objects—artistic objects, pedagogical tools or commodities.

A prolific writer, educator and art practitioner, Ricardo Basbaum has shifted the way that artworks and audience understand and shape each other. Pablo Lafuente discusses Basbaum’s practice as a pedagogy of emancipation centred on the art object, and Basbaum writes a history of participatory art practices, developing an infrastructure from his own work.

Afterall is also proud to present the first English translation of Hélio Oiticica‘s 1971 text ‘MARIO MONTEZ, TROPICAMP’, in which Oiticica critiques the commercialisation of the New York underground, celebrating in counterpoint Mario Montez’s drag performances and Jack Smith’s film practice; Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz, who also translated the text, provides contextual analysis to this text.

Tom McDonough examines the legacy of Guy Debord and the Situationist International in the political gestures of the Tiqqun collective and in the iconoclasm of the artists’ group Claire Fontaine. On the other side of the Atlantic, Rebecca Zorach assesses the work of the Chicago-based group AfriCOBRA, which drew from the language and arguments of Black Power in the 1970s. Distinct from the values suggested by ‘community art’, the roles, bonds and identities implied by their assertive use of ‘family’ bear witness to AfriCOBRA’s strategy in both reaching and constructing black US audiences.

Such collective endeavours contrast with the propositions put forward by two additional artists featured in this issue: Jean-Luc Moulène and Emily Wardill. Caroline Hancock discusses Jean-Luc Moulène as a ‘plasticien’, indicating his conscious strategy towards objects and materials, and his defence of the act of making itself. Sophie Berrebi, on the other hand, writes about Moulène’s photographic practice as the artist’s training ground, wherein the photographic image analyses conventions of seeing and networks of exchange.

Emily Wardill‘s films, as discussed by Melissa Gronlund, use the codes of melodrama and psychoanalysis to critique the reduction of the body to object. Dieter Roelstraete further elucidates the artist’s treatment of objecthood, touching upon Wardill’s allegorical use of the fragment and distancing practices.

Finally, Peio Aguirre presents the notion of ‘semiotic ghost’ as a means to understand contemporary art’s ongoing fascination with modernism and Ovidiu Tichindeleanu discusses Lia Perjovschi‘s use of archival objects in the exhibition space, placing artwork into an economy of care.

Afterall Online publishes new content exclusive to our website. Recent posts include Geeta Kapur in conversation (Part 1 and Part 2), on recent curatorial practice in India, a book review of Ai Weiwei‘s blog publication, and an interview with Croatian theatre collective BADCo.

Afterall Books are also proud to present the second book in the Exhibition Histories Series, available now at good bookstores: Making Art Global (Part 1) discusses the third Havana Biennial in 1989. Forthcoming in the One Work series: Michael Archer considers Jeff Koons: One Ball Total Equilibrium Tank, one of the defining works of the 1980s. Archer sets Koons’s work in an art-historical framework, describing its initial exhibition in New York and related issues of media, commercialism and class. In our second new title, Andrew Wilson discusses Richard Hamilton: Swingeing London 67 (f) as history painting, in the context of the struggle against an attempt by the British state to repress expressions of personal liberation.

Afterall journal is published by Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London, in editorial partnership with M HKA, Antwerp and UNIA arteypensamiento, Seville, and in association with the University of Chicago Press.