Photo: Myriam Ben Salah Athens is a paradoxical megalopolis that brings together, amid the concrete and the clay, some kind of European bygone sophistication, a mild Mediterranean softness, and the most anarchic third-world chaos. Resting upon a very delicate and precarious balance, it has been, for more than five years now, deep into what we perceive as the “Crisis.” That word itself is now so bandied about that it is practically empty of any substantial meaning: Treated like a JPEG image or a hashtag, it is at best a godsend for headlines and more generally a cathartic outlet for the rest of Europe, turning into a flat stereotyped concept more than a conductor of the complex local reality. From recession to austerity measures and riots, Greece is being swept by a financial tumult that drags along a continual social and humanitarian washout. Usually the art world is perceived as a sort of fallback spot, where the wind is softer and the waves are smooth. As a matter of … [Read more...] about Athens Calling: Maurizio Cattelan on Art and Survival in Crisis-Era Greece
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Photo: richardprince4/Twitter At 12:36 p.m., Wednesday, January 11, the same day as Trump laid down an almost Stalinist fist at his first press conference since the election, an artist took to Twitter to take what feels like the inkling of an effective action — against the Trump family. A teeny thing felt deeply resonant. That afternoon, well-known artist Richard Prince posted a work of his own to Twitter — one of his “Instagram” portraits, each essentially an inkjet picture of someone else’s Instagram page (many of them are of young women posing semi-clothed). Each of the canvases measures about six-by-four feet, and when they were first exhibited, in 2014 at Gagosian Gallery, they triggered waves of internet hate: Prince, who had made his name as an appropriation artist in the 1980s, was called a fake, a flimflammer, a voyeur, a dirty old man, twisted, perverted, and more. The “portrait” he posted Wednesday was of Ivanka Trump — the … [Read more...] about Richard Prince Just Showed Artists a Way to Fight Trump. And May Have Cracked Open a New Contemporary Art Code Too.
These essays and journalistic pieces, which date from 2010 to last year and cover a range of subjects from Brexit to Justin Bieber to Italian gardens and her childhood bathroom, confirm Zadie Smith as a non-fiction writer of striking generosity and perception. The generosity takes the form of a permanent, embracing invitation to the reader – even when she is writing about, for example, Arthur Schopenhauer – and the perception is impressive because it operates not only outwards but also inwards, taking in the writer herself. There is a simpler way of putting it: here is Smith, coolly appraising, connoisseurial, discerning; and here she is, too, the book nerd, the culture geek, reading, hearing and seeing, occasionally dizzied by her own place among all these works of art, and dying to talk to somebody about it. The question of voice – where you find one, where other people find theirs, whose gets listened to first and, perhaps most important, how you know when you can … [Read more...] about Feel Free by Zadie Smith review – wonderfully suggestive essays
"Following on from your old football-inspired albums question, Iron Maiden's Somewhere in Time has reference to West Ham beating Arsenal 7-3 on the album cover," begins Paul Baker. "Barring the SFA using the iconic Robin Friday at Cardiff image, the Wedding Present's George Best at Manchester United one and Mogwai's Zidane soundtrack (Real Madrid), have any other football teams been referenced on CD album covers?" A fine question, Paul, and one that has brought the most comprehensive and least digressive answer from Paul White. We don't know if our correspondent has been riffling through the album racks in Noord-Holland, but he's uncovered a gem with this. The artistic collaboration between FC Volendam and Radio Veronica resulted in this love child in 1973, the same year that "The Other Orange" became the first Eerste Divisie side to tie up a sponsorship deal – with the offshore pirate radio station Veronica. They put a large V on their shirts that season, claiming to get around … [Read more...] about Which football teams have been referenced on album covers?