December 30, 2006

BLOG | Critical Spatial Practice

Critical Spatial Practice is a weblog. Extensive topics and links.


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THEORY | Jane Rendell

Jane Rendell describes her current research project into art, space and criticism:

"My current research, Site Specific Writing: Art, Space and Criticism, draws on conversation as a mode for writing contemporary art criticism. The research draws on intellectual debates around space and subjectivity advanced by post-structuralists feminists such as Rosi Braidotti and demonstrates the importance of this work for spatialising art criticism, particularly Howard Caygill's speculative critique, Nicholas Bourriaud's relational aesthetics, and Mieke Bal's focalisation and encounter. Discussions by literary critics, for example, Italo Calvino and Roland Barthes, concerning the different subject identities or of a writer suggest new configurations for the positions a critic can adopt in relation to an artist, a work and the site of a work. With reference to the writings of Gloria Anzaldua, Hélene Cixous, bell hooks and Susan Rubin Sulieman, this research extends into art criticism the poetic possibilities offered by texts woven out of the autobiographical and the theoretical. It is important to note that conversation is not the subject of this research, but rather modes of conversation underlie, inform and become manifest through the research in three key ways: through voice, encounter and composition."


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JOURNAL | Art-omma

Art-omma is a non profit and subscription-free online art magazine, published annualy. Current issue addresses the theme of 'inscription'.


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December 27, 2006

OPPORTUNITY | European Journalism Fellowships

Call for applications

Thanks to the European Journalism Fellowships, 76 journalists from 27 nations have had an opportunity to pursue research in Berlin between 1999 and 2005. Reputable news organizations have granted leaves of absence to their journalists. Over the years, a network of journalists has emerged in Europe. Participants have developed heightened sensitivities for other perspectives and attitudes against the background of various cultures, and have developed into “Germany experts” who are capable of reporting competently about Germany in their home countries. All in all, the European Journalism Fellowships have contributed both to raising the quality of journalism and to European integration.

Each fellow pursues a custom-made program that is organized around a specific project defined by the applicant: an individual journalistic research project whose results will later be published. The objective of studies in Berlin is to broaden professional knowledge and specialized expertise while building upon previous journalistic experience. Fellows are free to take advantage of course offerings at the Berlin Universities, and to participate in events organized by other scholarly and cultural institutions in the German capital. At the same time, journalists have an opportunity to meet colleagues from Eastern and Western Europe and the United States.

To apply for fellowships, candidates must submit the following typewritten documents in either German or English: a completed application form a curriculum vitae copies of academic diplomas, certificates etc. 2 letters of recommendation (in English or German) a selection of articles, books, or other samples of applicant's work proof of German language skills (by DAAD or Goethe-Institute); a proposal summarizing the applicant’s individual research project (3 to 5 pages) review of research proposal by expert scientist or professor.

Deadline: 15/01/07 - receipt deadline

Freie Universität Berlin
Journalisten-Kolleg der Freien Universität Berlin
3D - 14195 Berlin
tel: +49 - 30 - 8385-3315
fax: :+49 - 30 - 8385-3305


BLOG | CultureGrrl

A weblog at Arts Journal. CultureGrrl specializes in pungent, informed commentary, cutting through the hype and tripe with good writing and good humor. Cited by The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and The Boston Globe, this blog draws on my extensive artworld contacts and lengthy arts-journalism career. It brings you beyond conventional coverage, inside the minds and methods of major players in museums, markets and media.


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December 22, 2006

PUBLICATION | Artreader published

A once-off broadsheet put together by the Institute of Modern Art (IMA) and Substation Singapore, Artreader provides critical responses to the opening of the Fifth Asia-Pacific Triennial (APT5) and the launch of the new Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA).

Edited by Lee Weng Choy, co-Artistic Director of the innovative Singaporean contemporary arts centre, Artreader includes reviews, interviews, features and focus pieces. It looks back on the history of APT5, and to its future in the new gallery. Writers include Jon Bywater, Ulanda Blair, Ellie Buttrose, Lilly Hibberd, Stella Brennan, Jessica Campbell, Holly Arden and Kris Carlon.

Ten thousand copies of Artreader are now available at select venues around Australia, New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region.

For more information, a list of distribution points, or to read an online version:


ARTICLE | Wall texts in galleries

Source: The Australian
Date: 21 December 2006

Writing a caption can be an art in itself

Didactic doesn't have to mean dumbing down in art galleries, writes Rosemary Sorensen

IN the 19th century, art museums described as didactic the printed text on the gallery wall identifying a painting or sculpture. "Art was meant to enlighten the masses, improve their social behaviours," says Lynne Seear, deputy director of the Queensland Art Gallery, "so the didactic was about educating, which is probably not applicable now."

Full article online at:,20867,20958754-16947,00.html


December 10, 2006


source: e-flux

Two European Art Publishing Houses ...

Monografik Editions
Aimed at all those who love, study, teach and work in the field of "Fine Arts" and the symbolic thinking which accompanies it, with a particular focus on architecture, art and design. ME targets the world of contemporary creation, yet never refrains from touching on major figures or historical movements.

Art Press

And one art journal ...

Issue #21 of the magazine and a debate on the cultural scene in Brussels. The magazine has been away from the scene for a while after Jan Fabre, who founded it in 1998, decided to interrupt its publication last year. In April 2006, Charlotte Bonduel, Luigi di Corato, Giovanni Iovane, Frank Maes, Nicola Setari and Marleen Wynants accepted Jan Fabre’s challenge to continue the project and compose the new editorial board. If you missed the launch of issue # 20 (it came out in June and was presented in Milan at the Pavilion for Contemporary Art, in Basel at the Contemporary Art Fair, in Antwerp at the Museum of Fine Arts, in Munich at the Lenbachhaus and in Turin at the Contemporary Art Fair) you cannot miss the launch of issue # 21 at Argos in Brussels.

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December 09, 2006


LAB MAG is a fluid Portable Document Format publication, which collects the work of artists, designers and writers. It is a project of LAB, a think tank founded by Adam Pendleton, which practices research, documentation, art & design. Contributors are sent 'Notes for LAB MAG' and invited to contribute whatever they wish; They are free to engage with the notes or to ignore them. Through the network of contributors, LAB MAG begins to articulate itself. LAB MAG is a framework and a collection device.

But, the publication is more than a little unstable. It is always shifting, as works are added, filtered and reworked. By privileging its electronic format, and dividing each of the contributions into separate chapters, LAB MAG encourages an active participation by the reader, selecting which pieces constitute their copy of the magazine, which are printed and in what order. The publication then is a loose constellation of ideas, printed occasionally but never on a set schedule. Every copy is a new reading of the project.

Nine characteristics begin to describe its point of departure. LAB MAG is:
1. A Framework, Not a Content
2. A Collection and A Collector
3. Portable Document Format
4. Printed On-The-Fly
5. Organized by the reader
6. Scale-less
7. Un-Ending
8. Never Completely New, Never Completely Old
9. Always, Just-In-Time

LAB MAG will be available:
1. As a free PDF from, which can be sorted and printed by the reader, to any scale.
2. In a variety of print formats using diverse methods of reproduction and distribution.

Contributions include development notes and images from Thomas Hirschhorn; an essay on appropriative politics from Seth Price; new work by Renée Green, Jason Dodge and Johannes Wohnseifer; projects by architect-artists Pedro Reyes and N55; posters by poet Jena Osman; a Kelley Walker spread; graphics from design innovators Experimental Jetset; and a LAB inspired play on old work from Pierre Bismuth.

The publication is co-edited by Adam Pendleton and Bartholomew Ryan, and designed by David Reinfurt and Sarah Gephart of O-R-G.


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December 08, 2006

IN PROGRESS | GOMA & State Library of Qld

It would be remiss to not offer a comment about the reporting and coverage of the unveilling of the new Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane and its sibling the State Library of Queensland. Generally both structures have won the hearts and minds of all, other than some quibbles. Is this concerning? Should such structures generate aesthetic controversy? Think Bilbao. Do these institutions, as expressions of the public or civic culture, actually represent the public so well that that have caused barely a ripple of discontent?

Both are astounding buildings. They have the kind of monumentality that we have come to expect of 'great public buildings'. They are certainly sights. Like a number of people I have spoken to, I can't help but respond more warmly to the State Library for its democratic ambience, its intimate flexibility and its networked spatiality.

GOMA is certainly a majestic building to behold. However, I couldn't help but think, once inside that it had the spatial quality and feel of a shopping centre. Perhaps that's because I have been reading about Jon Jerde's retail architecture. We enter into a large atrium and are then transported up escalators, after which spaces are hived off into multiple boxes. It has the kind of circular peramabulation and faux glam experience of a shopping centre. The volume diminishes into those smaller spaces although not in an intimate-looking-at-art way. As we walk, we circle back to the massive atrium space that dissects the building like a gorge. Looking across this while riding the escalator, there is an edifice of blank white wall. It continually emphasises the grandeur of its scale - the smallness of us and the art it houses. Space seems to leak and seep away. This is quite unlike the spaces of the existing gallery, which in my viewings always seemed to recede. They gave that all important sense of framing - it is a gallery afterall and its frame matters.

Walking through, there is certainly the experience of a building and that it a worthy experience in some respects. However, it is a building that emphasises itself at every opportunity - dominating the art. For all its volume, the artwork seems crowded, sometimes hanging in what is more like a corridor or passage way than a work of starchitecture. Here is a building that says rather a lot about the state government's desire for grandiosity. This is most strongly indicated in the placement of the signage for Indigenous Australian Art gallery - right next to some toilets. In fact a particularly powerful work by Vernon Ah Kee, featuring a series of images, is hung with the toilet entrance smack bang in the middle of it. You have to wonder, when so much about curating is couched in terms of care and thoughtfulness, about the thought that went into that.

To be continued.

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BOOK | A Short Ride in a Fast Machine

Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces’ 20-year anniversary publication A Short Ride in a Fast Machine: Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces 1985 - 2005 won Best Book at the 2006 Museums Australia Multimedia and Publication Design Awards, which were held at the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, in May.

The publication, designed by Yanni Florence, contested a strong field of entrants including publications from the National Gallery of Australia, the Museum of New Zealand and the Museum of Brisbane to take out the prize. Overall, MAPDA received 315 entries from 85 institutions within the Museums and Collections sector in Australia and New Zealand. All entries were evaluated according to the organisation’s size and short-listed for their original creative ideas and innovative concepts’ merit.

Charlotte Day, Editor of A Short Ride in a Fast Machine, says: “I am thrilled that we have won this award. A Short Ride in a Fast Machine is a visual and written ‘real time’ history of contemporary art as it unfolded in and around Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, focusing on art practices from the ground up, and told by the artists, writers, curators and critics of the time. It is a dynamic history, one of organic evolution, major events, grounded in the local arts community in combination with national and international networks.”

Read more online at:

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December 01, 2006

LOCAL | APT News ...

The Asia–Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT) is to have its own free newspaper. Artworkers, the Institute of Modern Art (IMA) and the Substation Singapore will put together a publication on the people, artists and curators involved in this year’s Queensland Art Gallery event. The broadsheet will include reviews, interviews and focus pieces. To be developed over a series of workshops, it’s intended to cultivate the skills of the writers involved, as well as promoting critical discourse on the 37 Asia-Pacific artists, filmmakers and performers scheduled to exhibit at this year’s event.

Lee Weng Choy, co-Artistic Director of Singapore’s innovative contemporary arts centre, the Substation, will act as editor. Members of his writing team have recruited from all over Australia, as well as internationally. They include Holly Arden, Ulanda Blair, Stella Brennan, Ellie Buttrose, Jon Bywater, Jessica Campbell, Kris Carlon and Lily Hibbard.

Organisers are aiming for a release date of 18 December – 16 days after the three-month event opens on 2 December. Ten thousand copies will be printed, with 9,000 to be distributed through art galleries, cafes, bookshops, theatres and cinemas around Australia and Asia.

For further information and advertising rates contact Katrina Stubbs at the IMA on (07) 3252 5750 or email

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JOURNAL | Ctrl+P Journal of Contemporary Art

A zine out of the Philippines. Ctrl+P is steered by the Judy Freya Sibayan and delivered as a pdf. Where there is no arts publishing, local art magazine or funding for such activities, this is a serious journal for local writing that takes a global perspective. Releasing their third issue, which focuses on the practice of curators including Georg Shollhammer’s "documenta 12 magazines", an interview with curator Hans Ulrich Obrist among other juicy reading. Email them at mailto:ctrl_p_artjournal@yahoo.comto be put on their ‘journal mailing list’.

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