The literature of mechanical life, debunking “the ladder of nature,” the legacy of the Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, and more. Plus: A look at Klaus Theweleit’s Male Fantasies in relation to the current election cycle: “Trump may look like a rancid creampuff in a Brioni suit, but his crass language serves the function of a ripped physique in a ripped T-shirt, projecting a Stanley Kowalskian virility.”
How does an artist make something now that compels us to look longer than our modernised attention spans are accustomed to looking? The piling up, ease of access to, and relentless mutation of cultural information occasioned by the internet has so drastically altered the way we look and process images that it’s nearing impossible to remember a time when it was any different. Two artists: Camille Henrot and Helen Marten, present two new methods of dealing with this increasingly dense accrual of objects and information.
Last December Anarch gallery of London commissioned the artist Andrew T Cross to build a sculpture designed to function as a platform for a series of artists to ‘colonise’ the space. For two weeks Warren St. in London’s Fitzrovia district was host to a frenetic schedule of day long residencies, exhibitions, performances, meals and parties. In the spirit of artist Gordon Matta Clark this temporary community assembled in a vacant lighting show room to propose new ideas about making art.
An exhibition I saw very quickly at the end of this year, reminded me of another exhibition I viewed quickly earlier in 2013. Kaye Donachie and Gary Hume have a knack for getting us to look longer. And the economy of means they achieve this with is remarkable.
Marianne and I meet over drinks, at a wooden table, well trod floorboards, wooden panelling on the walls, a low plaster ceiling, paving stones and graffiti through the window on the street below as dusk settles, lavender, royal blue, black. We’re here intending to talk about images that aren’t in front of us. Images of urban landscapes at night, underpasses, tunnels, back rooms. Innercity Pilgrim is a film by the artist Marianne Walker. She lives in London.