Sometimes you’re the hammer, sometimes you’re the nail

An exhibition of art and artist collaborations from ArtReview and ArtReview Asia at Modern Art Base, Shanghai, 9 November – 12 January

Sometimes you’re the hammer, sometimes you’re the nail, 2019 (installation view, Modern At Base, Shanghai) Michael Lin, Domestique (detail), 2017, wallpaper, edition of 100. Courtesy the artist and ArtReview Asia


Sometimes you’re the hammer, sometimes you’re the nail
Art and artist collaborations from ArtReview and ArtReview Asia

9 November 2019 – 12 January 2020

Modern Art Base
10 Jianguo Zhong Lu, near Chongqing Nan Lu
Huangpu, Shanghai

Sometimes you’re the hammer, sometimes you’re the nail is an exhibition drawn from the 70-year archives of ArtReview and the six-year archives of ArtReview Asia, reflecting on the status of an art magazine as a site for invention as well as critique. The exhibition centres around artist collaborations both inside and outside of the magazines’ pages, featuring artists such as Ming Wong, Heman Chong, Michael Lin, Superflex, Paul McCarthy, Thomas Hirschhorn, Elmgreen & Dragset, Rirkrit Tiravanija and Philippe Parreno, and extracts from ArtReview and ArtReview Asia’s extensive comic-strip publications.

The ground floor of MAB is configured as a domestic interior featuring Domestique (2017), a wallpaper work by Michael Lin produced for ArtReview Asia. It offers visitors an opportunity to take a seat and engage with archive copies reflecting on 70 years of ArtReview and artist collaborations in the pages of the magazine, beginning in the very first issue, in 1949, and continuing through to the present day. On the gallery’s first floor, between Heman Chong’s text installation, The Forer Effect (2008), and a performance video by Ming Wong and Alexander Geist, That Girl (2016), the diverse collaborations of both magazines unfold through their pages in the form of photography, comic strips, artist publications and interventions, commissioned covers, an extensive collaboration with Superflex and a series of tongue-in-cheek subscription advertisements. The exhibition offers the concept of an art magazine as balanced between reacting to the world around it and shaping it too.

This exihibition is curated by ArtReview and ArtReview Asia, with the support of Modern Art Base. Sponsored by Mercedes-Benz.