[Marxism] New issue of Variant
lnp3 at panix.com
Thu May 3 11:32:54 MDT 2012
Variant, issue 43, Spring 2012
...the free, independent, arts magazine. In-depth coverage
in the context of broader social, political & cultural issues.
Front Cover : Illustration from ‘The Housing Monster’, available
The Filth, and the Fury
A look to radical 1970s collective activities in the form of the
Photography Workshop and community arts networks and what they
might tell us about achieving a class-based history as part of
oppositional engagement today.
Comic & Zine Reviews
December's delayed round-up includes a look at a look at zines:
Teal Triggs' 'Fanzines', Toby Mott’s ‘100 Fanzines/10 Years Of
British Punk: 1976–1985’, Gestalten's ‘Behind the Zines:
Self-Publishing Culture’; and a look at book and food maps: 'The
London Bookshop Map: 87 Independent Bookshops', 'Booksellers In
Shoreditch & Hackney', 'You Are Hungry – An Edible Map of South
Hackney & Environs', 'The Edinburgh Charity Shop And Reuse Map'.
Towards a New Documentalism
- reviews 'The Civil Contract of Photography', by Ariella Azoulay
and 'The Disciplinary Frame: Photographic Truths and the Capture
of Meaning', by John Tagg:
"Documentary is everywhere today, since it is structurally linked
to democratic discourse and to the ideological conditions of the
liberal public sphere in which we live, as Tagg himself has worked
to illuminate. That said, we also need to recognise that
documentary practices will continue to exist as long as liberal
democracy does. What do we do with that? We can look for a
possible and productive answer to that question in Ariella
Azoulay’s 'The Civil Contract of Photography'."
If.... On Martial Values and Britishness
Emma Louise Briant
Consecutive Westminster governments have emphasised vigilance to
threats', creating scapegoats to distract from domestic and
foreign policy and drum up support. Amidst a state-of-emergency
London Olympics bristling with securitisation and 'exceptional'
democratic foreclosure, the inequity of royal pageant under public
austerity draped in imperial re-imaginings, and public school
assertions of class power presented as a return to old-fashioned
discipline for civil society, Briant assesses this populist
construction of 'British' militarism and 'martial values'.
"Organise your mourning"
Setting out to assess Springtime, The Occupation Cookbook, Users
Guide to Demanding the Impossible - publications produced as
responses to a series of struggles since 2008, making use of
assemblages of materials to try and simultaneously document,
promote and develop new forms of resistance - Coles contrasts
these with more recent texts belonging to an emerging, evolving
critique, self-consciously outlining the underlying situation and
political topography on which a coming intervention might act, of
use to understanding the blasted landscape left by the receding
froth of the earlier wave of publications.
Ethics and the political efficacy of citation in the work of
Drawing on Derrida and looking to Judith Butler’s incarnation of
'iterability' in order to establish a new framework for
understanding the consequences of Santiago Sierra’s work, Feiss
seeks to reconsider the question of citation and political
potency: is it possible to use the language of power in critique?
How does one assess the political potential of a cultural strategy
of resistance that utilises the hegemonic structures it seeks to
The Poverty of Imagination
Accepting that current predicaments set-in during Thatcher’s
yesteryears, not yesterday’s recession, this essay subjectively
surveys two decades of austere growth in British poverty porn.
Dissecting grim-up-north platitudes, perilous-down-south
perambulations and sundry slumming-it social-realist serenades, an
attempt is made to see if the national film oeuvre ought to have
opened any eyes.
“Our country’s calling card”
Culture as the Brand in Recessionary Ireland
Mainstream media discussions of economic crisis display a
moralising sensibility. Narratives of blame either so
universalising they fail to interrogate issues of power, social
reproduction, inequality and exclusion in the Irish context; or so
narrowly targeted on charismatic miscreants they avoid analysis of
the structural roots of this latest crisis in capitalism. In
‘Brand Ireland’ discourses, the uncertain status of Ireland’s
reputation and the urgency of ‘brand’ consolidation manifest a
consensus that culture be ‘functionalised’ in the interests of
Art, Psycho-Geography, and ‘The Irish Mind’ debate
- examines the visual arts in Ireland at this post-bust juncture:
An emerging ‘political turn’, visible across recent festival
formats, is an institutional framing of an ‘emergence’ from
crisis, supported by discourse on political exhibition making -
notably, in cultivating a new fidelity to the ‘local’,
contemporary Irish art is re-inhabiting familiar terrain; that of
‘land’, ‘place’ and the “native sensibilities of the local
genius”. Laws concludes examining a revival of the ‘Irish mind
debate’, querying whether there is a specifically Irish
intellectual tradition counter to a ‘hegemonic rationalism’ of
'Anglo-Saxon/Ango-American logic’ which might enable “a
reinvestment in the notion of what it means to be a republic”.
The Housing Monster
prole.info's 'The Housing Monster' sets out to de-fetishise
housing as a commodity form by means of an illustrated book. That
we have waited so long for such a clear and compelling
introduction to this subject says much about the aporias of the
productivist Left which has traditionally relegated reproductive
issues, including housing, behind workplace issues. The book’s
arrival provides an opportunity to discuss housing in a way that
does not merely replicate the dull compulsions of social
democracy, which assumes that distribution always follows behind
production, and thereby implicitly accepts the capitalist relation
in the wage-labour form. The book is notable for its attention to
the individual forms of stress and estrangement that the vast
majority of us experience on the capital-deficit side of property
relations. This book is an attempt to lift the cap from over our
eyes again – the monsters must be slain!
Back Cover : Occupy Poster by kennardphillipps, distributed with
The Occupied Times
[Occupy Everything, new work by kennardphillipps, is at Hales
Gallery, London, 19 April-26 May 2012]
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