Doug Aitken

  • The Best Exhibitions of 2005

    To take stock of the past year, Artforum contacted an international group of artists to find out which exhibitions were, in their eyes, the very best of 2005.


    “Edward Munch by Himself” (Royal Academy of Arts, London) This show gave me butterflies, screwed me up, and made me cry.


    John Baldessari, “A Different Kind of Order” (Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna) I rarely go to exhibitions these days. Perhaps I’m too jaded. But the Baldessari retrospective was something else. Focusing on his production from 1962–84, it was notable for its curatorial indifference to the marketplace—so


    “We look at the present through a rear-view mirror,” Marshall McLuhan wrote in The Medium Is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects (1967), arguing that radical shifts in contemporary experience often go unarticulated because people remain attached to “the flavor of the most recent past”—and so in life recognize only the persistent afterimage of a familiar but disappeared world.

    Doug Aitken’s Broken Screen, a project for Artforum, might be considered a kind of living homage to McLuhan’s popular handbook, in which the theorist paired his aphorisms with imagery appropriated from art and mass culture

  • BEST OF THE ’90s: FILM

    CINDY SHERMAN, artist:
    Thomas Vinterberg’s brilliant The Celebration (1998) is especially important because it signals the future of the medium, away from Hollywood’s excesses.

    JOHN WATERS, filmmaker: During the 1994 Cannes Film Festival I was sick in bed with the flu on the night Pulp Fiction premiered. Suddenly, from blocks away I heard the most stupendous roar of approval from the opening-night audience. I was so pissed to have missed the night Quentin Tarantino became an instant cinematic icon. But once I saw the movie I knew he deserved it. I guess you could call me a Quentin-hag.