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How the ancient Egyptians found an afterlife in the British Museum

Thursday, July 18th, 2024 Blog,

In terms of sheer longevity, writes Egyptologist, Toby Wilkinson, the 3,000-year reign of the Pharaohs represents “the greatest political and religious system the world has ever known.” It was, however, a fiercely hierarchical affair that bestowed wealth and luxury on the king and the elites, while condemning the poor to a life of drudgery. Ramses […]

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Laura Jones is the Winner

Saturday, June 8th, 2024 Blog,

This year’s Archibald Prize announcement will remain etched in my memory for the peculiar way one of the speakers pronounced the name of the venue. Forget about “Naala Badu”, from now on I shall always think of the place as the Art Gallery of Nudist Whales. The other striking memory will be director, Michael Brand, […]

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I Know Where I’m Going

Monday, May 6th, 2024 Blog,

I Know Where I’m Going, made during the last year of World War Two, was a film between films. Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger had been working together since 1939, when the Hungarian emigré was asked to help with rewrites for Powell’s The Spy in Black. Four years and three films later, Pressburger would be […]

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Climate Artists: Franziska Furter & Julian Charriere

Tuesday, April 16th, 2024 Blog,

“My interest in the weather started twenty years ago in Edinburgh,” says Swiss artist, Franziska Furter. “It was my first overseas residency, and I was so surprised. You wake up and it’s raining. You have a shower, the sun is shining. You have breakfast, it’s snowing. Then you go out and it’s raining again. I […]

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Jacobus Capone

Thursday, February 22nd, 2024 Blog,

In 2007, at the age of 21, Jacobus Capone took a scoop of water from the Indian Ocean, walked across Australia, and emptied it in the Pacific. The journey took five-and-a-half months and killed off any relationship he ever had with his native country. “That was my last university project,” he recalls. “I was very […]

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Makoto Azuma

Friday, February 16th, 2024 Blog,

Makoto Azuma is the Indiana Jones of florists. He has fired flowers into the stratosphere and plunged them to the bottom of the ocean. One of his favourite tactics is to preserve specimens at their moment of maximum beauty, in blocks of clear resin, which is how visitors to this year’s NGV Triennial at the […]

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Elmgreen & Dragset

Friday, December 22nd, 2023 Blog,

Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset met in a Copenhagen nightclub in 1994. Elmgreen, a Dane, was writing and performing poetry, while Dragset, a Norwegian, was involved in the theatre. Somehow, they decided to combine forces and make art. (“It’s can be good not to learn how to do things in a ‘correct’ way,” says Dragset.) […]

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Jordan Wolfson: Body Sculpture

Sunday, December 10th, 2023 Blog,

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Jordan Wolfson’s Body Sculpture goes through an elaborate range of gestures in a half hour cycle, from the sexually suggestive to the suicidal. The National Gallery of Australia has invested $6.67 million in this work and waited five-and-a-half years for it to be delivered. Conscious of the magnitude of the gamble […]

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Aboriginal Art returns to NYC (Starring Steve Martin)

Saturday, October 14th, 2023 Blog,

When Andy Warhol said: “the best museum is Bloomingdale’s,” he was anticipating a day when art was seen as just another commodity, like a kettle or a toaster. Last month the famous showroom windows at Bloomingdale’s on 59thSt. Manhattan, displayed kettles, toasters and expresso machines covered in the distinctive patterns of Western Desert painting. It […]

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Sheila Hicks

Saturday, October 14th, 2023 Blog,

Not many people get asked by the Louvre to deliver a lecture on tapestries. It seems a reasonable request of an artist who has dominated the field of fibre art for decades, but it’s left Sheila Hicks feeling slightly awkward. While her own star has never been higher, the prestige and authority of the famous […]