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“dushko petrovich”

Sochi 2014

Everyone at the Olympics is special

In hockey, the story of the Sochi Olympics was the shame of the Russians. From the start, even after Ovechkin scored a goal barely a minute into their game against Slovenia, they looked nervous. American commentators joked about Putin’s presence in the stands. Russian commentators did not joke about it. They couldn’t understand why their team looked so ill at ease.

Episode 12: Paper Monument

The new episode the n+1 podcast brings interviews about art and art criticism for the release of Paper Monument Number Four. First, an interview with Paper Monument editor Dushko Petrovich and contributors Julian Kreimer and Martha Schwendener to discuss politics and art criticism in the contemporary art world. Then, Chris Kraus joins us for an interview to talk about her recent piece in n+1 Issue 17, “Kelly Lake Store,” art communities, and “social practice.”


ARTSCENTER TALKSOURCE isn’t just an internet art replay talk show, co-hosted by Roger White and Dushko Petrovich, two of America’s leading art commentators. It’s much, much more. ARTSCENTER TALKSOURCE transports the at-home audience into the gallery. ARTSCENTER TALKSOURCE replays the art, gets inside it, shows how it works in real time. ARTSCENTER TALKSOURCE makes the scene.

We Like Your Book

Paper Monument’s first small book, I Like Your Work: Art and Etiquette, has just gone into its third printing. We’re impressed, but then again, the book itself is pretty impressive, featuring contributions from thirty-eight artists, critics, curators, and dealers on the sometimes serious, sometimes ridiculous subject of manners in the art world.

LA is nice, says Paper Monument

Paper Monument had a party in LA on Saturday—a “big success,” editors Roger White and Dushko Petrovich told us. It was held at Chinatown shop Ooga Booga, with music by the band Dunes and DJ SFV Acid.

Interview with Steve Mumford

No military units would consider taking me on as an embedded artist at that time, so I thought I’d better just buy a ticket to Kuwait City and see if I could find a way into Iraq. After a few frustrating days I finally hooked up with two French reporters who gave me ride to Baghdad; there I found a battalion from 3rd ID with an enthusiastic commanding officer who gave me free reign with his platoons.

Bring in the Boss

You keep the boss in the back of your mind at all times, don’t you?

In an unwittingly communal effort to highlight the surging popularity of socialism, Warren and Biden and Pete and everyone except Bernie already declared they were not socialists. So how, then, can we be sure that this is a Mike 2020 hat? How does he stand out in a field crowded with centrists and center-leftists? Well, just like with a North Face down jacket—which, incidentally, would also go great with this cap—the branding is on the back. Weirdly, you would only get the message after the hat wearer had passed you by on the street. Is the hat meant to evoke l’esprit de l’escalier?

Rise of the Blur

A specter is haunting photojournalism—an actual, visible specter

Because detective shows and soap operas use this blurry-foreground move so regularly, its sudden ubiquity in the news represents a significant shift in register, or even genre, for journalism. Photojournalism has for decades restricted itself to a stark framing of visual facts, never wishing to compromise its evidentiary role in the narration for a more theatrical one. The best news photos deftly capture the drama with a shutter click, but that is also the abiding rule: it either happens in that click, or it doesn’t make it to print.

Check Out the Neymar Rolling Meme

World Cup update

Uruguay vs. Portugal brought us, mercifully, to the point where Ronaldo was also gone. Nothing against either of them, but their presence is such that even having one of them involved means the epic Messi–Ronaldo debate eats up all the air time and “analysis.” Men who know nothing pontificate. Good and evil are spoken of in utter seriousness. 7 percent of the internet is devoted to this debate, so let me take a moment to end it. They are both utterly amazing! And brace yourselves: they are equally amazing, and they are differently amazing. I don’t know why this is so hard for people to accept. There is no way, in a team sport, to bring the issue to further clarity, so I recommend everyone drops this line of debate. Please, take the fact that the universe put them out in the same round as a sign.

Small Ads

On Facebook, I take some cheap shots at Sarah Palin and the multibillion-dollar, publicly traded behemoth decides I’d like to see . . . ads promoting Mitt Romney. Missed again, you corporate motherfuckers! says the little voice inside my head. Your marketing will never catch me! Of course, it eventually will. It already kind of does. A fleeting invitation to a gout study snares me. Did I post something fatty?

False Nine vs. Real Nine

As a civilian, Balotelli is outlandish. Last year, his white Maserati was impounded twenty-seven times, accumulating £10,000 worth of parking tickets. He also accidentally set his house on fire with firecrackers, was fined a week’s wages for throwing darts at a teammate, and kept turning up unannounced in strange places, including a women’s prison in Brescia (“just fancied having a look”).

Football as Before

Before he became famous for headbutting, Zinadine Zidane was actually known for his composure. At Bordeaux, Juventus, and Real Madrid, his hallmarks as a midfielder were Spartan efficiency of movement, incisive passing, and magnetic control of the ball in tight circumstances. Unlike Pele or Maradona and Chrisiano Ronaldo, Zidane wasn’t particularly flashy.

Pumpkin MoCA

As evidenced by the tremendous amount of real estate he holds down both here and over in Beacon, no one (of his generation) understood the nature of the large-scale institutional art project as well as Sol LeWitt. What he clearly perceived, and played with impeccably, were its limits. The resulting body of work is so successful precisely because it is so institutional.

Double Album

The noun and the verb are both painting, but there isn’t as much peach and silver as suggested. In fact, the best picture is black and white. It’s called Unravel, but it’s the most composed. As with jazz, the gap between the simple title and the unnameable experience can invite reverie. But the other perils of improvisation also abound.

Future Sentimental Group

People want to have a new sense of voyeurism, they want a new level. This is something I’m really interested in. We still don’t know how this is going to grow or pop, but we know it isn’t going away. This is very important to me—I want to be in the middle of this. These other people have cracked something fundamental, and that’s what we’re looking for. We want to crack something fundamental.

Post What?

Post-critical: We made ourselves so familiar with the past, learned so much about its modes and movements, diligently collected and studied its images, that it made sense, this persistent desire to be judged as if from the omniscient future. We loved the past, and this (always-postponed) ideal critique would finally allow us to merge with it.

The Empire of Conversation

The objects didn’t literally speak, but they always started conversations—down at the pub, in the cafeteria at the Courtauld, even the one our visitor was having now, in his head. The Victorian idea of a conversation piece had been reborn as an artwork that promoted itself. This was happening all over, but it occurred with a special fervor and skill in London, which didn’t seem coincidental to our visitor.

April, May, June

An Art Chronicle

If you want to know how we ended up getting seduced by a woman in a plastic Viking hat chatting away through an already-encrusted bloody nose while holding a piece of Styrofoam cheese in an emergency room parking lot, or if you’re wondering why we fell in love as she cheese-guitared Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” on a mountaintop perch—well, that part is pretty hard to explain.

Death’s Sky Blue Bag

Marvin Gates Symposium, Part I

If the Grim Reaper were alive today, it seems he would be wearing sneakers. As the faceless city waits for cabs and hops in cars, he’s busy. He’s running around, jaw dropped—is he about to speak? Both his fists are clenched: one swings up in an even-paced trot, while the other grips a baby-blue case with fingerless gloves. What does he keep in there?

A Practical Avant-Garde

Toward a manifesto

The avant-garde isn’t what it used to be. Our sprawling culture industry busies itself mainly in locating things in the network presented by the relatively recent past. Everybody is described as the love child of so-and-so and so-and-so, so everybody gets called neo this or neo that, unless the parents are divorced—then they get called post.

Gunpowder Empire

Ed Ruscha Symposium, Part III

Like any good hitter, Ruscha swings with precision. He has a smooth stroke, which often gets called “cool,” and is often misunderstood as dependable. But Ruscha swings at a lot—palindromes, gas stations, entire empires—and so he occasionally strikes out. The abstract nouns Truth and Hope, set on faded teal and ice blue, are too bland to trouble me visually, or philosophically.

The Icon Emerging

An Art Chronicle

In 1968, the Democratic Convention broke heads, so Guston broke out. Nixon swelled with lying, Guston drew him that way. Guston said he didn’t just want his paintings to sit on the wall. The world was horrible, and the art world was being polite. So Guston invited hairy limbs to the party. What are those limbs doing? Can anyone explain their behavior?

The State of Painting

Part IV of "Greater New York' in Five Parts

Steve Mumford’s watercolors from Iraq are, paradoxically, the most topical and the most stylistically out of sync works in the show, which might explain their placement on the walls of the hallway near the staff offices. An impressive corridor of images that Winslow Homer or John Singer Sergeant could have painted shows us details from our occupation of Iraq.

Art Chronicle: Graphic Novels

A German friend asked me if graphic novels were erotic. I said, “No, they’re neurotic.” So neurotic they’re even appearing on English-department syllabi. But their graphic nature has been overlooked. Drawing is suddenly making a comeback in literature, where they know their Kafka and Classics Illustrated, but maybe not Daumier or Saul Steinberg.