los-angeles

Tariq Alvi, Deep, East (No. 44), 2014, digital C-print, 38 x 30". From the series “Deep, East,” 2014–.

Tariq Alvi

Michael Benevento

Tariq Alvi, Deep, East (No. 44), 2014, digital C-print, 38 x 30". From the series “Deep, East,” 2014–.

London-based artist Tariq Alvi has long used collage to imbricate politically charged photos with the crude consumer imagery of tabloids and circulars, arranging his productions into decorative patterns that exude elegiac panache. The effect reminds me of the work of Derek Jarman, who could produce both the ecstatic rush of Jubilee (1978), and the venomous, seething The Last of England (1988). While Alvi’s work nods to the often disturbing ways in which images are subsumed and exploited by the market, it doesn’t deliver clear commentary, offering instead a series of affective and confounding provocations. Alvi’s response to a recently discovered strain of HIV in 2005, “Super Pride and Super Prejudice,” an exhibition at San Francisco’s CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, featured a wheelchair (hoisted to the ceiling) covered with hundreds of tiny, squished-up gleams of cock

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the Summer 2014 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.