Apr 21 2012: Twenty-Nine Monochrome Photographs from a Souvenir Volume Documenting Socialist Czechoslovakia (CSSR, c.1957)

From the same 1957 publication as yesterday’s gallery of colour images, these monochrome plates show life in the then relatively new Communist state of Czechoslovakia as idealised and in the service of State propaganda, as though addressing the outside world from the Ministries of a kind of earthly paradise. Yet as with yesterday’s colour photographs’ … Continue reading

A Return to Victoriana: Maggy Milner and Tracey Emin (NVA, 2011)

Brian Walden: Obviously Britain today is a very different country from the one it was in Victorian times, when there was great poverty and great wealth, but you’ve really outlined an approval of what I would call Victorian values. Now is that right? Margaret Thatcher: Oh exactly. Very much so. Those were the values when … Continue reading

Taking The Michael (NVA, 2012)

Taking The Michael (Out/Side/Film, 2012) 78m Ian Nesbitt receives a call from Matthew Pountney, who has in turn received a call of his own – or at least, “a very direct communication” – from the universe. “It’s something to do with 2012”, he explains, referring to the Mayan Prophecy that is often interpreted as meaning … Continue reading

July 2 2011: Conflict Zones and Holiday Destinations (Around The World Series, 1965 – 1968)

The covers of the American Geographical Society’s Around the World Program booklets, published by Doubleday & Odhams in the US between 1965 and 1968, form a uniform edition of introductions to the history, natural topography and (then) current condition of every nation state on the planet, from large states like Brazil, China and Mexico to … Continue reading

Uneven Geographies: Art & Globalisation (Nottingham Contemporary, 2010)

One advantage of waiting until a few weeks into an exhibition’s run before writing a review of it is that you’ll get to hear a range of opinions about its contents before having to commit your views to print: in the case of Nottingham Contemporary’s ‘difficult third’ exhibition, looking at responses to issues around Globalisation, … Continue reading

Ghost Money, Gothic Trappings and Crusades: Huang Yong Ping & Wael Shawky at Nottingham Contemporary (2011)

Ghost Money, Gothic Trappings and Crusades (from Nottingham Visual Arts issue 4: Summer 2011) There’s a point in the latest exhibition at Nottingham Contemporary where the concerns of its two otherwise very different artists – the French-Chinese sculptor Huang Yong Ping and Alexandria-based multi-media artist Wael Shawky – seem to merge almost seamlessly. As we … Continue reading

May 2 2011: Joy Gregory on Politics, Photography and the Recovery of Obsolete Languages (Metro, 2005)

Joy Gregory on Politics, Photography and the Recovery of Obsolete Languages (Metro, 2005) Joy Gregory is a member of that increasingly unsung species, a serious and politically minded artist with an eye for the startling presence and auras of everyday things. Her forthcoming exhibition at Nottingham’s Angel Row Gallery is deeply informed by an awareness … Continue reading