April 2011 in Artforum

April 2011 in Artforum

This month, John Armleder illuminates a career of self-differentiation. From minimal paintings to sculptural installations and high design, Armleder creates wryly reoriented objects—seemingly familiar yet unclassifiable. Critic and curator Fabrice Stroun interviews this Swiss artist about the singular practice he has devised—including curation, publication, and collaboration—and about how his artwork manages never to look quite like itself.

“An artwork’s success, in a way, depends on its capacity to co-opt an existing situation and to be co-opted in return.”
—John Armleder

· And: Hal Foster takes a close look at Marcel Duchamp’s elusive fragrance, Belle Haleine—said to be the only surviving assisted readymade—which recently sold from the collection of the late Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé and, en route to its home in a private collection, made an appropriately mysterious appearance at the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin for seventy-two hours.

· When millions of protesters gathered in Tahrir Square in Cairo this winter, they were linked as much by communications technologies as by the sheer environment surrounding them. Artforum asked renowned architectural historian and critic Nasser Rabbat to shed light on this extraordinary public site, its historic energies, and its spaces of possibility.

“Tahrir Square effectively became the protesters’ home, their operation room, and our window onto their revolution.”
—Nasser Rabbat

· 1000 Words: Robert Whitman talks to Liz Kotz about Passport, 2011, his latest project, which premieres this month. Transpiring at two different sites at once—Riverfront Park near Dia:Beacon and an indoor theater miles away at Montclair State University—Passport extends Whitman’s experiments with technology and theater in the realm of simultaneity.

· And: Terry Eagleton decodes François Dosse’s double biography Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari: Intersecting Lives; John MacKay examines the contemporary relevance of Dziga Vertov‘s revolutionary cinema; and André Rottmann presents the work of emerging Berlin-based artist Jan Timme.

· Plus: David Rimanelli plumbs the psychological depths of George Condo‘s paintings in his New Museum survey “Mental States”; William Kaizen becomes absorbed in the Stan VanDerBeek retrospective at the MIT List Visual Arts Center; Greil Marcus pays tribute to high-voltage visionary Captain Beefheart; Alan Licht summons Sue de Beer‘s video installation The Ghosts; Tim Griffin explores Werner Herzog‘s new 3-D venture into the Chauvet caves; Melissa Anderson reads into Clio Barnard‘s The Arbor, a bio-doc lip-synched to the sobering story of playwright Andrea Dunbar; and composer Christian von Borries conducts his own Top Ten.

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