April / May
At the time of my writing this editorial, the radio is coincidently full of the major subjects in this issue of METROPOLIS M: art, literature and engagement. Joost Zwagerman talks about the empty Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam that inspired him to write Duel, which was selected as this year’s Book Week gift publication.
A review in the NRC newspaper tells us that Zwagerman has devoted half of his oeuvre to bringing art back to the streets. That is the place where art belongs and where it needs to relate – right at the centre, among the people, engaged to the depth of its soul. At the same time, Zwagerman claims in the interview that the dearest desire amongst the artists he knows is to be included in a museum collection, even when they know it will bring definitive invisibility to their art: only 1% of the art in the collections is ever exhibited in the museum.
To me, this seems a strange death drive, this longing for invisibility, this open-throttle course towards total oblivion, which artists hope preferably to achieve during their lifetimes. It may well explain why Zwagerman himself decided to be a writer instead, just as, as we see in this issue, so many visual artists are currently also doing, probably in an attempt to escape a premature death.
The issue offers much more: Anna Tilroe is surprised by the lack of true engagement in the international art world, read about four talented artists from a new American generation, 'uncool' painter Pere Llobera, the art scene in Lima, columns from New York, Mexico and Amsterdam; etc, etc...
- Domeniek Ruyters
Disappointment with a year of Obama prompts artist Tyler Coburn to reflect on the disappearance of irony in the political area, and society as a whole.
Returning to a Homeland That’s Not
03/06/10 Sofia Hernández Chong Cuy
After having lived in New York for a few years, curator Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy accepted a job as director of an art centre in Mexico City. A report on the differences between one metropolis and the other.
Inspired by the computer game Football Manager, in which you are the trainer of a top football club, Juha van ’t Zelfde dreams of the game Museum Manager, in which you get to run a top museum.
In a previous issue, METROPOLIS M asked artists what role they believe art plays in today’s crisis-battered world. We continue the discussion here with a contribution from Anna Tilroe, who in the form of a letter, asks whether the art world, certainly in the Netherlands, is really interested in social engagement.
Between Goya and Kippenberger: there is no shortage of painterly virtuosity with the Rijksacademie alumnus, Pere Llobera, but this does not say a thing about the confrontational character of his painting.