Vilka var årets mest intressanta utställningar, händelser och publikationer 2015? I Kunstkritikks julkalender sammanfattar Kunstkritikks egna skribenter och inbjudna gäster konståret 2015. Nummer två är Lisa Tan som är konstnär och doktorand vid Akademin Valand i Göteborg. Hennes avhandling består av filmerna Sunsets, Notes From Underground och Waves, samt en artist’s book: Lisa Tan: Sunsets Notes From Underground, Waves (Archive Books, 2015).
On Kawara, On Kawara – Silence, Guggenheim, New York.
I wish the Guggenheim would’ve kept this show up as a permanent installation, or at least for a full year. In this setting, On Kawara’s individual existential transience connected to a cycle of beginnings and endings so heavy with incomprehensibility. The museum, its record of human activity – none of it will matter when the East and Hudson rivers meet up in Frank Lloyd Wright’s rotunda to ascend the spiral together.
Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Maintenance Art Works 1969–1980, Konsthall C in collaboration with Marabouparken, Hökarängen and Sundyberg.
What a hoot it was to see letters to Mierle Laderman Ukeles from New York’s Department of Sanitation, presented in a communal laundry room in Hökarängen!
Jonas Dahlberg, Diorama, Galerie Nordenhake, Stockholm.
Disclaimer: I live with this person. Yet, despite having an insider’s POV, the works still affected me in unexpected ways. I thought about how the music box in Music Box has no enchanting tune to play – no Für Elise. Instead, it emits the sound of the tines and gears themselves. It’s another kind of music, the soundtrack for an excavation so deep that it emerges on the other side of subjectivity, closer to material immanence.
Mara Lee, reading at Goldin+Senneby’s book release for Headless by KD, Stockholm.
I was unprepared for the extent of the force, clarity and artful vividness of Mara Lee’s critique of the novel. Her invocation of race and affective labor in relation to the structures that facilitate and perpetuate social injustice seemed to shake the austerity of the host’s elegant Östermalm home at its foundation. It’s to the credit of Goldin+Senneby that they chose to solicit such engagement of their work. But indeed, the framework they’ve crafted can bear such brilliant, riveting critique.
Lynne Tillman and Angie Keefer, We (Not) I, organized by Melissa Gordon and Marina Vishmidt, Artists Space, New York.
After the remarkable Tillman closed out her reading, I looked at my date as we mouthed in unison: «tough act to follow…». It was totally misplaced sympathy; Keefer didn’t flinch in her riff on Nicéphore Niépce.
Kaja Silverman, «An Ingenious Way of Manipulating the Sun», Photography and Philosophy. Nonsite.org conference in collaboration with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
During the talk, Silverman deviated from the written page and offered a tidbit about Hippolyte Bayard, the inventor of the direct positive photographic process (as well as the first staged photograph). I wish I remembered the exact details, but it had to do with the act of laying claim to peaches – yes, peaches – using their skins as a surface for photograms in placing cut-out initials (or was it an insignia?) on hanging, ripening fruit, and thereby authoring each with sunlight.
I left the aforementioned talk and drove straight to the bookstore to get a copy of Silverman’s reconceptualisation of photography.
Maggie Nelson, Bluets, Wave Books, 2006.
This was the year of Nelson’s The Argonauts. But my initiation into her jealousy-inducing work started this year when a friend tipped me on Bluets. 240 propositions, such as one that includes the highly quotable line: «Loneliness is solitude with a problem.»
Natascha Sadr Haghighian, «Disco Parallax», e-flux journal #61, 2015.
The text starts and ends with the timed sequence of a traffic light. Between these two intersections, I was taken on a drive across both vertical and horizontal borders, through layers of state control, visual phenomenon, political and technological architecture – all fueled by Sadr Haghighian’s richly embodied research.