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FOREST FOR THE TREES: THE ART OF GOSHKA MACUGA

Goshka Macuga with Simon Moretti, Element 7: Magic Star, 2006, floor painting, logs, artworks by Mai-Thu Perret and an unknown artist. From Goshka Macuga, Sleep of Ulro, 2006. Installation view, Greenland Street, Liverpool. From the 4th Liverpool Biennial. Foreground, left: Mai-Thu Perret, Le Fée Idéologie (The Fairy Ideology), 2004. Back-ground, right: Artist unknown, Journeyman, n.d. Photo: Andy Stagg.

ART AS RESEARCH, RESEARCH AS ART: This is a powerful new force in contemporary culture, its development partly driven by a momentous shift in art education, where scholarly methodologies and knowledge production are increasingly emphasized. London-based artist Goshka Macuga is an oft-cited standard-bearer of this approach. The majority of her projects are the result of long years of reading and research, much of which is conducted in close collaboration with other artists (whose work she often features within her installations) and with specialists from adjoining fields, and much of which is carried out in the archives of the host institutions. Her work has figured in numerous discussions of contemporary art’s not entirely unproblematic love affair with archives and archaeologies, history and historiographies, ranging from quaint or obscurantist art-historical minutiae to sweeping

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