The Swiss artist Vivian Suter moved to Guatemala in 1982, setting up her studio on a secluded coffee plantation on the volcanic shores of Lake Atitlan. Ahead of institutional exhibitions in London and Liverpool Oliver Basciano visits the artist to discuss how she’s learned to work with the forces of nature and to cede control. Working with simulacra of nature, meanwhile, the Colombian artist Alberto Baraya creates a project for the pages of ArtReview featuring artificial-flower specimens from his collection; focusing on poppy flowers, this handpicked selection traces a history of global drugs trade. Altered states – or rather ‘enhanced feeling and sensuality’ – is what Chilean artist and former political activist Cecilia Vicuña has been working towards in her participatory performances. Poet Lucy Mercer finds herself wrapped up in the utopian promise of a connected society, as Vicuña heads to Miami. From utopias to wonderlands: the photographs of Tim Walker mix otherworldly theatrical staging with moments of very human, natural expressions in his subject, to create a body of work that has spread beyond the pages of the fashion press to museums walls and photobooks. Fi Chuchman met with the artist in his East London studio ahead of his retrospective at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum.
Also in this issue
In our columns, art-historian Ben Street considers a sixteenth-century archaeological dig for what it reveals about the riches and horrors that lie beneath the ground; Parisian academics Elisabeth Lebovici and Patricia Falguières bemoan the cheapening of art criticism in France and what this means for the international recognition of the country’s contemporary art production; on a visit to Norway’s Screen City Biennial, novelist Juliet Jacques ponders the ethical implications of ‘art-washing’ on a national scale. It’s not often that interviewer and interviewee first met squatting in a gallery, but reunited nine years later, writer Ross Simonini and artist Dawn Kasper speak about sound, art and healing. And Yorkshire-based artist Saad Qureshi shares his breakfast…
Exhibition reviews including The New MoMA, New York, Emissaries for Things Abandoned by Gods at Estancia FEMSA / Casa Luis Barragán in Mexico City, The Coming World: Ecology as the New Politics 2030–2100 at Garage MCA, Moscow; solos by Torbjørn Rødland at Kiasma, Helsinki, Marcel Broodthaers at M KHA, Antwerp, Lucy McKenzie at Cabinet, London, and Lari Pittman at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; plus mega-exhibitions Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art, Art Encounters Biennial 2019 in Timisoara, 21st Contemporary Art Biennial SESC_Videobrasil in São Paulo
Martin Herbert’s guide to must-see exhibitions this month; books including Ben Lerner’s latest novel The Topeka School, Dave Beech’s Art and Postcapitalism: Aesthetic Labour, Automation and Value Production, a Christmas-themed guide to the latest book releases; and much, much more