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AGAIN A TIME MACHINE: STEWART HOME RETROSPECTIVE IN NEW YORK & LONDON
"In terms of resistance to easy absorption, (Prophet Royal) Robertson’s work is more than matched by White Columns’ second show: the first American exhibition devoted to Stewart Home, the British oppositional artist, latter-day Situationist, writer, editor, filmmaker, punk-rock musician, anti-art prankster and all-around contrarian who has been a thorn in the side of the British art and literary establishments for nearly 30 years. The exhibition includes a video interview concerning Mr. Home’s 1990-93 Art Strike, during which he purportedly abstained from cultural production, and copies of his fanzine Smile and his parodist pulp-fiction, including a sculpture made from stacks of his 2005 novel “Down and Out in Shoreditch and Hoxton.” A brochure written by Mr. Home explains a lot, if not everything. For that, there is his lavishly detailed Wikipedia entry, which also appears to be his handiwork. In all, few cultural producers seem to have been as busily and consistently canon-averse as Mr. Home."
"The mini-retrospective features works from the mid-'80s to the present, and highlights Home's forays into self-publishing and multimedia art, and his relatively well-known experimental novels. There's a large display of his self-published magazine SMILE (1984–1989), a publication inspired in part by General Idea's FILE. Home produced SMILE with an aggressively antiestablishment agenda—one issue features an image of Molotov cocktails and the tagline "smile back at the ruling class." According to Home, the precept of the publication was that anyone in the world could publish their own SMILE, and that all magazines could be called SMILE. Several other publications created by people around the world under the name SMILE are also on view.
"A wall drawing done in the style of a homemade screen print features a man injecting himself and wearing a T-shirt inscribed with an adapted quote from Marx: "Heroin is the opiate of the people." It's a jab against Britain's anti-drug campaigns, which Home feels glamorized drugs by creating images featuring elegantly disheveled models.
"In addition to vitrines containing rare copies of Smile and records of various actions, visitors could also watch a video of Stewart explaining the Art Strike and see the bed on which he'd reclined during the strike. In the "years without art" - 1991-1994, as I recall - Stewart had ceased all artistic production. This permitted a recalibration of his subjectivity, as well as posing a challenge to the commodification of creativity as a whole."
London Art Tripping (psychogeography of 50 years of bohemianism)
Andre Stitt (live art and shamanism)
How To Improve The World (Hayward show of Arts Council Collection)
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