November 25th, 2006


This week in (what's left of) magazines

I'm trying to explain stuff in art magazines to my rabbit. For me they're things you read, but Baker just keeps trying to eat them.

I'm reading the new ArtForum and the new 032c. ArtForum has Tacita Dean, Lucy McKenzie and Alain Badiou features. There's an amazing letter from some LA curator who ran away to Caracas to foment communist revolution because "cultural institutions (such as museums and ArtForum) are part of a deeply corrupt bourgeois representational context". Baker munches at the glossy pages the letter is printed on, demolishing it more effectively than Liam Gillick's reply.

"I claim, for the image, the humility and the powers of a madeleine." That's ArtForum quoting Chris Marker and applying it to Tacita Dean. For Baker, the whole page is a madeleine. He eats it.

Some people think animals have "Buddha nature" and, like boddisatvas, can lead us to enlightenment. I flip over to the Badiou interview. This is perhaps our greatest living philosopher. "What I call the "passion for the real" which I consider to have been the dominant passion of the twentieth century, is also a passion, precisely, for form," says Badiou. Baker problematizes the magazine's spine, questioning its pages.

I turn to 032c. It's the "post-heroic" issue. They show some lovely landscapes of Iran, interview the editor of Bidoun magazine, and run a Pynchon short story called "Entropy". Richard Hamilton is in there too, looking ludicrously, cheerfully horse-faced. He's 84. He's talking about being asked in the late 70s how it felt to be a father of postmodernism. "I didn't know what postmodernism was. I felt a bit stupid to be a father of something I'd never heard of -- like a donor to a sperm bank being confronted by a dysfunctional offspring on his doorstep."

Baker keeps consuming. Magazines, for him, are just paper objects. He's a boddisatva.