From the Issue
Installation footage of Rineke Dijkstra: Rehearsals
Preview of Rosalind Fox Solomon’s 3-channel installation Got to Go at Bruce Silverstein Gallery
Artists’ Books by Philip Zimmermann
Narrative Artists’ Books and the Human Condition: The Work of Philip Zimmermann (From Vol. 44, no. 1&2)
Most artists attempt to balance the personal and societal, but the artist’s books of Philip Zimmermann, who spoke at Visual Studies Workshop’s 2016 Photo-Bookworks Symposium, achieve this balance with uncommon ease. For Zimmermann, considering the personal and social is not just a communication strategy—it is an end in itself. Zimmermann makes work about the relationship between self and society. Through personal experiences, historical incidents, and contemporary issues, he examines how knowledge and belief shape the way humans share the world with one another.
Zimmermann uses the narrative artist’s book especially effectively to expound the long history of the self and society. Five recent works—Celsius 233 (2015), Cruising Altitude (2011), Incident in Deseret (2014), Paradise Lost: An Allegory (2013), and Reaper (2015)—all integrate photographic images with a running text. Celsius 233 and Paradise Lost: An Allegory also include drawn imagery, each to different effect. Zimmermann often combines original (personal) content with appropriated (more universal) text and image, augmenting or reconfiguring the borrowed media to construct new meaning. He manipulates the imagery to create a cohesive visual vocabulary from disparate sources. Drawing on expertise in photomechanical color separations, his signature exaggerated halftone dots, color screens, and other devices clue the reader in to a media-critical mindset. One must consider how the aesthetics of commerce and warfare, propaganda and exoticism, and objectivity and sentimentality ultimately contribute to the repeated shortcomings of humanity that Zimmermann addresses…
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Anxious to Secure (2016) by Sophie Hoyle
Transmediale: Festival for Art & Digital Culture (From Issue Vol. 43, no. 6)
February 3–7, 2016
…Brooding, portentous, and imbued with a claustrophobic feeling of enclosure, Sophie Hoyle’s memorable video essay Anxious to Secure (2016) added a foreboding tenor to the “Inner Security” panel, a discussion of security politics within the digital age. Moderated by Theresa Züger, the panel began with Martin Hartmann’s discussion of different typologies of trust within political philosophy and the pressure that classical notions of trust are put under in the age of ubiquitous surveillance. It concluded with Hoyle’s video essay comprised of a stream of hard-hitting, even damning, pronouncements about the prevalence of anxiety disorders and psychiatry as a tool of biopolitical control, woven into a larger context of the complicity of the American Psychiatric Association in the War on Terror’s use of torture, and a citing of Giorgio Agamben’s theory of the “state of exception” to justify extrajudicial killings in the United States. Ridden with a bleak, indefatigable suspicion of the nefarious motives of various institutions (government, psychiatry, military) and with periodic intertitles such as “Inner Security: Anxiety from the Interpersonal to the Geopolitical,” “Interpersonal Security and Technology,” and “Geopolitical Security and the Discourse of Crisis,” Hoyle’s video gave a stunning indictment of the contradiction of the US intervening in Iraq and Afghanistan to putatively uphold international law on human rights violations, while simultaneously using interrogation methods defined as torture under international law. Reading almost like a manifesto with dense nuggets of texts, the video statements by themselves might have come across as plodding or monolithic were it not for the beguiling seventeen-minute accompanying audio collage consisting of a pulsating, grinding doppler-like wave sound, a helicopter sound, a metallic clanging, and an anxious, gasping breathing…. Continue Reading>
Diana Thater: The Sympathetic Imagination (LACMA Walkthrough)
Diana Thater: The Sympathetic Imagination (From Vol. 43, no. 5)
Diana Thater’s exhibition The Sympathetic Imagination at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is an installation of installations. In this first museum survey spanning twenty-five years of Thater’s work, rather than recreate her chronological development, the exhibition flows both within the museum and across the world, moving from Monet’s gardens at Giverny, France, to Chernobyl, Ukraine, to Jaipur, India, as viewers traverse the LACMA campus. Carefully orchestrated, the installation flows through the museum’s architecture, moving in and out of specifically designed spaces illuminated by projections and colored lights. The placement of projectors, monitors, and cables—treated as necessary givens and formal props—is conspicuous. Video display, as projection or on monitors, is the platform through which Thater shares her worldview…
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exogenisis (2015), by Angelina Voskopoulou
On the creative process as transitional phenomenon: But if to adapt is to create, to go beyond what has been, it could be after all that Novel is simply a story beyond stories as we already know them.
Panagiota “Betty” Nigianni is a Teaching Felllow at the Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton. Current and past academic publications have concentrated on theories of aesthetics and ethics, drawing upon phenomenology, psychoanalysis, and contemporary affect and queer theory. Allowing for the non-lingual formalization of themes of subjectivity, authorship and agency, Betty’s creative work has complemented her academic research, and has been exhibited in the United Kingdom and internationally.