[Marxism] New issue of Variant

Louis Proyect 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.


Complete issue:

text    http://www.variant.org.uk/43texts/Variant43.html
pdf     http://www.variant.org.uk/pdfs/issue43/Variant43.pdf

Front Cover : Illustration from ‘The Housing Monster’, available 
at: www.prole.info

pdf     http://www.variant.org.uk/pdfs/issue43/Variant43cover.pdf

The Filth, and the Fury
Kat Gollock

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.

text    http://www.variant.org.uk/43texts/KatGollock43.html
pdf     http://www.variant.org.uk/pdfs/issue43/KatGollock43.pdf

Comic & Zine Reviews
Mark Pawson

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'.

text    http://www.variant.org.uk/43texts/MarkPawson43.html
pdf     http://www.variant.org.uk/pdfs/issue43/MarkPawson43.pdf

Towards a New Documentalism
Jorge Ribalta

- 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'."

text    http://www.variant.org.uk/43texts/JorgeRibalta43.html
pdf     http://www.variant.org.uk/pdfs/issue43/JorgeRibalta43.pdf

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'.

text    http://www.variant.org.uk/43texts/EmmaLouiseBriant43.html
pdf     http://www.variant.org.uk/pdfs/issue43/EmmaLouiseBriant43.pdf

"Organise your mourning"
Tom Coles

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.

text    http://www.variant.org.uk/43texts/TomColes43.html
pdf     http://www.variant.org.uk/pdfs/issue43/TomColes43.pdf

Ethics and the political efficacy of citation in the work of 
Santiago Sierra
Ellen Feiss

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 

text    http://www.variant.org.uk/43texts/EllenFeiss43.html
pdf     http://www.variant.org.uk/pdfs/issue43/EllenFeiss43.pdf

The Poverty of Imagination
Tom Jennings

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.

text    http://www.variant.org.uk/43texts/TomJennings43.html
pdf     http://www.variant.org.uk/pdfs/issue43/TomJennings43.pdf

“Our country’s calling card”
Culture as the Brand in Recessionary Ireland
Rosemary Meade

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 
economic revival...

text    http://www.variant.org.uk/43texts/RosemaryMeade43.html
pdf     http://www.variant.org.uk/pdfs/issue43/RosemaryMead43.pdf

Generation Bailout
Art, Psycho-Geography, and ‘The Irish Mind’ debate
Joanne Laws

- 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”.

text    http://www.variant.org.uk/43texts/JoanneLaws43.html
pdf     http://www.variant.org.uk/pdfs/issue43/JoanneLaws43.pdf

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!

text    http://www.variant.org.uk/43texts/Friendofzanetti43.html
pdf     http://www.variant.org.uk/pdfs/issue43/Friendofzanetti43.pdf

Back Cover : Occupy Poster by kennardphillipps, distributed with 
The Occupied Times

pdf     http://www.variant.org.uk/pdfs/issue43/kennardphillips.pdf

[Occupy Everything, new work by kennardphillipps, is at Hales 
Gallery, London, 19 April-26 May 2012]


- Donate financial support towards the continuance of Variant.

* A fully accessible archive of back issues is freely
available at the Variant web site: http://www.variant.org.uk

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