PRINT December 2006

Melanie Gilligan

WHEN REVIEWING THE PAST YEAR IN LONDON, it’s tempting simply to start with the Tate Triennial, London’s recently instituted showcase of contemporary art in the United Kingdom. But to do so would provide insight less into any local trend than into a veritable condition of art-making everywhere. Triennial curator Beatrix Ruf (on loan from her post at the Kunsthalle Zürich) took appropriation as her subject, which she loosely defined in the catalogue as “the reusing or recasting of cultural materials”—hardly a uniquely British approach. That said, the technique was in ample evidence throughout the Tate galleries, whether in Jonathan Monk’s use of found, anonymous drawings from the ’20s and ’30s; Daria Martin’s film Wintergarden, 2005, based on the ancient myth of Persephone and set in a modernist pavilion; Pablo Bronstein’s performance inspired by Minimalist dance, executed with

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