Christmas is coming and Rózsa Zita Farkas, curator and director of Arcadia Missa, has selected for us the best 5 art Christmas gifts!
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Digital pigment print with silkscreen
23.2 x 32.8 cm
Edition of 50, accompanied by a signed and numbered certificate
The last prints in this edition can be got from the ICA or their website. This edition was made to celebrate Steyerl’s spectacular solo exhibition at the consistently impressive London institution. Considering Steyerl represented Germany at this year’s Venice Biennale, this edition is extremely good value.
The timelessness of Steyerl’s work is due to the fact that whilst she may take from contemporary digital culture, she critiques the wider power structures at large, which certain digital cultures assist; providing poetic narratives around ideas of rebellion and exploitation.
If you wanted to make this gift more special (/posher) for someone, you could frame it with the best Framers: ABliss (North of the river), or Peckham Pictures (South of the river) – make sure you arrange this in good time though!
Necessary reading for everyone. I can’t say much more. Coming out of Goldsmiths (they graduated around 2013), this group of women have loudly asserted the need for acceptance to the idea that ‘feminist art’ is ‘contemporary art’, that conversations on feminism can and must be a part of conversations on and around art itself. This issue is boldly titled Manifesto, and includes work by Jack Halberstam and Vicki Tingle amongst many others. My firm favourite is the poet Vicki Tingle, who has been featured in many books and events such as I Love Roses When They’re Past Their Best and Re-Materialising Feminism, and is the author of the impeccable poem, i dare you to oppress me some more (a think-piece on dick-chopping).
Stuart Home’s 12” LP Proletarian Post Modernism by London based publisher Test Centre will not only make someone laugh, but also allows an entry point to experimental writing in a format that isn’t alienating. Through listening to Home read (on his head), we are reminded that a PhD isn’t required to enjoy listening to someone play with words, to bend them, and spit them out. This is postmodern writing, in the sense that narrative is somewhat deconstructed and references are appropriated from everywhere and everything – particularly visual cultures. The use of these references act to hang the remnants of narrative together, this is not oblique writing but live, sharp and fast storytelling.
Additionally, as records have become outdated this present also acts as a significant object, the cover features multiple images of Home as he was in the nineties and becomes an artefact – even more so due to it being released by a independent publisher of poetry. Again, if you wanted to make this gift really really special, you could buy it for someone without a record player: when they open the LP, pull out another gift for them – a record player to go with the vinyl!
This is really important. It is a donation for the download, whatever you can afford. Then you get the task of burning a CD and creating a cute case and tracklist. This is the gift for someone close to you, who will love your handmade case, and for someone who really loves music – Achiampong’s sounds are fantastic, sampling Ghanaian Highlife music, indicative of his ongoing art projects that use a range of media including sound, as well as non-white cube methodologies of displaying and disseminating the work. This vital method of disseminating the artwork outside of the circles and institutions that continue to preside over the artworld is why it is important that you do donate, I reckon a good measure is to ensure you donate more than what you spend on the case and case decorations and/or the rough amount you would normally spend on an album.
If you’re feeling flush this is a great way to give someone a gift that will reappear at various times throughout the year – for exclusive exhibition previews and artist dinners, yes this will make the receiver feel VIP, but more importantly it will support a great institution that has been in Peckham since the 19th century (and which is expanding to the old Peckham fire station!). Anyone who tells you South London has ‘recently become arty’ can be directed to the SLG site where they can learn that Peckham has in fact, been a home to artists and art institutions for rather a long time 😉
Rózsa Zita Farkas is a curator and founding director of Arcadia Missa. Farkas is also an associate lecturer for MA Fine Art, Chelsea College of Art and BA Fine Art Dissertations at Camberwell College of Arts.