Weekend Reading

This week I’ve been starting to work in earnest on a forthcoming exhibition concerning experimental cinema so it was timely to see  the Village Voice wrapping up with a great interview with filmmaker and critic Jonas Mekas.

Still in film, the British Film Institute has launched a the BFI Filmography which boasts of being ‘a complete history of UK feature film, explorable and shareable’.

There’s been lots of noise in recent about the Barbican’s exhibition Basquiat: Boom For Real. The two reviews that caught my attention most were from Waldemar Januszczak (‘shallow, uneducated, disingenuous’) and Michael Glover (‘fame-frothy noise and visuals’). Edward Lucie-Smith is kinder to the exhibition. Laura Cumming says it’s charming. Looking at the gift shop offerings, you can choose from a range of Basquiat triptych skateboards (open edition) for a touch under 400 quid  (wheels are extra). Surely the most bizarre exhibition gift shop merchandise ever devised!

Meanwhile (enjoying my Mondrian and De Stijl socks I bought recently from the Stedelijk) I read Nina Siegal’s account of a fake Mondrian and the fraught issues of expertise and authentication.

Staying with museums, Xavier Salomon recently followed in the footsteps of D. H. Lawrence, tracing the writer’s steps in his travel account Etruscan Places (1932). Recounting Lawrence’s perspectives on Etruscan art and civilisation Xavier recalls the following opinion on museums:

‘Museums anyhow are wrong. But if one must have museums, let them be small, and above all, let them be local. Splendid as the Etruscan museum is in Florence, how much happier one is in the museum in Tarquinia, where all the things are Tarquinian, and at least have some association with one another, and form some sort of organic whole’
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Etruscan vases

 

And in the spirit of museums being wrong, this is why I avoid things like ‘ask a curator’ day and twitter back and forth with the public.

 

 

Weekend Reading

 

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Bookshop in Gwangju, South Korea

There is plenty to read this week about the Grenfell Tower fire in London, however this piece stands out. Sanaz Movahedi’s account of her friend and fellow artist Khadija Saye.

Jonas Mekas has published a new edition of his diaries I Had Nowhere to Go in paperback with Spector Books. A short article from the Telegraph discusses the filmmaker’s photographs of the Wiesbaden and Kassel/Mattenberg Displaced Persons Camps, 1945–48 showing at Documenta.

On a recent but fleeting trip to London I saw the wonderful Alberto Giacometti exhibition at the Tate Modern. The Spectator rightly praises the challenging exhibition.

A typically long and well illustrated piece from Marcus Bunyan on László Moholy-Nagy and LACMA’s Moholy-Nagy: Future Present exhibition.

And to end, the TLS and Rachel Bowlby review a number of new texts on Virginia Woolf.