Martin Herbert

  • Print from Insult to Injury, 2003.

    Jake and Dinos Chapman

    Jake and Dinos Chapman have long enjoyed fiddling with the corpus of Francisco de Goya—no prizes, then, for guessing what dominates their first solo exhibition in Spain.

    Jake and Dinos Chapman have long enjoyed fiddling with the corpus of Francisco de Goya—no prizes, then, for guessing what dominates their first solo exhibition in Spain. Besides the brothers’ reinterpretation of the Spaniard’s nightmarish print cycle “Disasters of War,” the show includes Sex I, a life-size polychrome bronze whose subject comes straight from Goya's prints. Potentially most contentious, however, is a new series: a thoroughly defaced set of eighty original Goya etchings. A similar showing in Oxford last year was accompanied by a “protestor” dousing

  • Luke Gottelier

    Luke Gottelier used to make photographs—orchestrations of items found in his studio which, shot close-up and flooded with lens flare, instigated scale-collapsing double visions: A modest cluster of erasers would read, for instance, as a dramatically backlit ring of Neolithic standing stones. In the late ’90s, as if disdainful of these works’ effortless assimilation into the discourse of constructed photography, he began to produce paintings, casual semi-abstractions in a pastel palette. At first exhibiting them alongside his photographs, Gottelier then dropped the latter altogether. Literally

  • Stuart Croft

    An Irishman, an Australian, and an American walk into a bar. That’s the setup—not for a joke, but for Stuart Croft’s single-screen DVD projection Hit, 2003, a nourish “celluloid” narrative twisted into the shape of a Möbius strip. The bar, doused in soft magenta light and helmed by an expert mixologist, is that of London’s plush Great Eastern Hotel—and it’s dead, apart from two drinkers. Some quick-and-dirty expository dialogue confirms that this pair has a history, possibly sexual: “This is really fucking rude, you know? Given what happened—what you did,” gripes the first, adding, a few moments

  • Roger Hiorns

    You’re going to want to try it, so here’s the recipe for Roger Hiorns’s The Birth of the Architect (all works 2003): Take one BMW 8-series car engine and two small cardboard models of cathedrals—preferably Notre Dame and Cologne. Lower into a bath of copper sulfate solution and steep for three consecutive nights, turning occasionally. Remove, shake gently, and serve on a pair of steel plinths set at different heights, with the engine’s cables—now encrusted, like everything else, with sparkling blue crystals—dangling down like an umbilical cord toward the cathedrals. The result should burst

  • the Biennale d’Art Contemporain de Lyon

    The seventh installment of the Biennale de Lyon is subtitled “It Happened Tomorrow”—a reference to René Clair’s eponymous 1944 screwball comedy and perhaps a valentine to the host city, where the Lumière brothers invented cinema. But the title’s suggestion of cockeyed temporality also reflects biennale director Thierry Raspail’s antagonism toward what he decries, in a statement on the event’s website, as other biennials’ “perpetual present”: a topicality that instantly dates and is always erased by the next topical biennial. Indeed, Raspail and his team of curators—Le Consortium founders

  • Martin Herbert


    1 Oliver Payne and Nick Relph, Gentlemen (Tate Britain, London) “You ain’t even impressed no more, you’re used to it,” raps Marshall Mathers. It’s getting that way with Payne and Relph, who predictably stomped their moribund neighbors in this year’s Tate Triennial Exhibition of Contemporary British Art. So, reality check. They may have bitten much style from Mark Leckey, Harmony Korine, and Charles Baudelaire, but Gentlemen, 2003—drifting footage of decrepit London toilets, sportive pigeons, and shimmering glitter, frosted with Morse-code bleeps and a voice-over that’s the

  • Mike Marshall

    Before Mike Marshall photographed the scene depicted in Concrete Pavement (all works 2003), it’s quite possible that nobody had ever seen it. Hardly a coup, you might think, since there’s not much to see—an almost abstract expanse of pitted silver gray stone, given comprehensible scale and the faintest of festive airs by fallen leaves (from London plane, that tree beloved by European urban planners because pollution can’t kill it). But that is precisely what makes the spot ideal for this British artist, whose interest lies in anatomizing and reversing the optical hierarchies that preselect “

  • Wolfgang Tillmans, Conquistador II, 2000, color photograph.

    Wolfgang Tillmans

    How to begin nailing a photographic oeuvre whose cast of characters ranges from Kate Moss (radiant in Alexander McQueen) to a brown rat (rapine in a gutter), whose still-life subjects flip from pink roses to a porky penis unleashed beside an airline breakfast, whose locations encompass antiwar demonstrations and tropical ponds? Check the manual, of course. If one thing matters, everything matters, the more than 2,400-image book that functions as—and generously exceeds the role of—an exhibition catalogue for Wolfgang Tillmans’s 301-photograph, two-video, seven-room monographic monster at Tate

  • Tal R

    Tal R has a distinctive way of explaining his paintings. “I constantly have this hot- pot boiling and I throw all kinds of material into it,” he told an interviewer some time ago. More recently: “I do painting a bit like people make a lunch box.” Add the fact that his London solo debut—comprising thirteen bright and unruly mixed-media works, four embroidered cloth banners, and an installation of thirty-two drawings—was titled “Lords of Kolbojnik” (the latter word being kibbutz slang for the rubbish left over after a heavy meal), and it’s hard not to wonder, sometimes, whether the Israeli-born,