Carrie Lambert-Beatty


    A BILLBOARD-SIZE, BLACK-AND-WHITE Marina Abramović gazes out over the entrance to her retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, echoing the valiant, faraway expression of Che Guevara in the iconic Korda photograph (and, by extension, Obama in Shepard Fairey’s posterized portrait). Looking at this visage, I want to believe. I want to believe that the photomural critically performs a collective desire for hope and heroics—our recurring dream that what the world of politics won’t give us, the art world will. I want to believe that its location at the beginning of this show, billed as

  • Police officers patrolling the streets of Tarnac, France, November 11, 2008. Photo: Thierry Zoccolan/Getty Images.


    Every year Artforum invites a spectrum of scholars, critics, and writers to reflect on the year’s outstanding titles.


    Once upon a time in Paris, there was a short-lived meeting place in the form of a journal called Tiqqun, which, in two volumes, published anonymous philosophical writings that combined resonances of Agamben, Benjamin, Foucault, Heidegger, and Schmitt. Then there was no more Tiqqun, or Tiqqun went on hiatus. Its dissolution, according to rumors, had something to do with 9/11 and disagreements over the way to proceed in its wake. Sometime after this, an anonymous video,

  • Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Untitled (Oscar Wilde’s Tombstone), 1989, color photograph on jigsaw puzzle in plastic bag, 7 1/2 x 9 1/2". © The Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation.

    Felix Gonzalez-Torres

    Coming ten years after the Cuban-American’s death at age thirty-nine, this comprehensive show frames forty-three works from his too-brief career through an “archive” of cultural references contemporaneous with his art—from gun laws to the drug AZT.

    Felix Gonzalez-Torres’s work anticipates its own reception with a precision perhaps greater than that of any art before or since. Though memory was his great subject, works such as his free, unlimited-edition posters and endless candy spills encourage viewers to participate in the installations’ ongoing creation. Nothing, then, could be more fitting for the current effort to historicize the 1990s than Gonzalez-Torres’s art of future remembering. Coming ten years after the Cuban-American’s death at age thirty-nine, this comprehensive show frames forty-three works from his

  • Two views of Robert Gober, Untitled, 1997, leather, wood, forged iron, cast plastics, bronze, silk, satin, steel, beeswax, human hair, brick, fiberglass, urethane, paint, lead, motors, and water, overall: 10' 2 1/2“ x 8' 8” x 6' 3“; aboveground: 35 1/2 x 35 1/2 x 40”. Photo: Sven Kahns.

    “Part Object Part Sculpture”

    WHAT IF THE CATCHPHRASE “the legacy of Duchamp” did not evoke Brillo boxes, factory fabrication, Conceptualism, or any variant of the word critique? What if “Duchampian” were instead to signify that which is hand-replicated, erotic, and (to use Eva Hesse’s favorite word) absurd? What if the wellspring of art since World War II were to be found not in the mass-made objects Duchamp bought and recontextualized in the teens, but in the crafty way he remade and repackaged them decades later?

    This is the scenario posited by “Part Object Part Sculpture.” In a tour de force of selection and juxtaposition,