mastheadback to issue list  www.variant.org.uk

Variant 30 Winter 2007

text    pdf

Front cover

Stephen Hackett

pdf

The reality of my desires
Rebecca Gordon Nesbitt
Provocative review of 'Realizing the Impossible: Art Against Authority', 'Do it Yourself: A Handbook for Changing our World', 'Rebel Alliances: The Means and Ends of Contemporary British Anarchisms', exploring the critical urgency and shortcomings of the creative dissent they express...

text    pdf

Poster Girl – Billboard Rhetoric
Jessica Foley
A cyclist's ruminations on Trócaire’s Lenten billboard campaign for 'Third World' women's projects and the discrepancy between the language and the political effect of such 'charity' advertising.

text    pdf


What dreams may come: (Palestinian) cinema/nation/history
Felicia Chan
...reviews 'Dreams of a Nation: On Palestinian Cinema', Edited by Hamid Dabashi. In the formulation of a Palestinian cinema, does "...the understanding of a Palestinian national subjectivity need only be about its struggle for freedom. Are there other ways in which that subjectivity might be constituted or addressed? To express the question in another way: to what degree do nations create cinema, and cinema create nations?"

text    pdf


Plink Plink Fizz...
Contemporary Art Dissolves the Past

Jim Coombes
"What is the effect of the promotion of the contemporary artist as mediator in relation to a range of social ‘issues’?" Reviewing 'Histrionics' by Buchanan and 'Shotgun Wedding: Scots and the Union of 1707' by MacKenna and Janssen via way of Deller's 'Battle of Orgreave', Coombes examines artists' current preoccupation with a visual anthropology.

text    pdf

 

Rebel Poets Reloaded
Tom Jennings
"...50 Cent is now virtually interchangeable with Britney Spears. But away from the chattering classes’ disciplinary agendas, cycles of renewal in US hip-hop always juggle pleasure and pain, intelligence, artistry and entertainment..."

text    pdf

http://www.tomjennings.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk


Distribution of the Sensible
Robert Porter
...reviews 'The Future of the Image' by Jacques Rancière: "Rancière detects a clear tendency toward depoliticization in contemporary theorizations of the image. ... a shift away from a critical appreciation of the necessary connection between the aesthetic and the political and a worrying trend toward ... a reactionary reverence for art, one clouded in religion and mysticism."

text    pdf


The High and Mighty
John Barker
...reassesses C. Wright Mills' 1956 analysis 'The Power Elite', where Mills describes the "...historical development in which the economic and political power of the military, the militarisation of politics and the dominance of finance capital come together in a formation which may be distinguished from more general understandings of classical oligarchy or the ruling class." As Mills says: 'To use the acquisition of wealth as a sign of ability and then to use ability as an explanation of wealth is merely to play with two words for the same fact: the existence of the very rich'.

text    pdf


Lenny Bruce

Denialism and the Armenian Genocide
Desmond Fernandes
Despite all evidence outlined here concerning the genocide 1.5 million Armenians, governments (such as the USA, UK and Israel), corporations (particularly, but not exclusively, ones related to the ‘military industrial complex’ in the US), think tanks and lobbying groups have actively chosen not to interpret these ‘events’ as genocide because of political expediency, ideological biases and/or profits that stand to be made if stances that are 'agreeable' to the denialist Turkish state are adopted...

text    pdf


Gordon Brown: From reformism to neoliberalism
John Newsinger
...plots Gordon Brown's political trajectory as the principal architect of New Labour -- the product of defeat in the class struggle which for Brown the capitalist class had won, both domestically and globally, with Brown embracing the neoliberal agenda "with all the fervour of the recently converted".

text    pdf

 

 
Thathcer and Brown
Digital Bungling: Realism in an Unreal World
Alex Law
"...As the case of call centre design shows, digital technologies are being pressed narrowly into the service of accumulation, and with it the furtherance of alienated lifestyles. Might there be other possibilities that lie unexpressed or are rendered marginal by the euphoric reception of digitisation? 'The State of the Real' addresses itself precisely to the critical relationship between digital technology, the real and visual culture."
'The State of the Real: Aesthetics in the Digital Age', Damien Sutton, Susan Brind and Ray McKenzie (eds)

text    pdf

 

How the Beast Lives
J. Dondan
"...One of the consequences of official ‘cultural diversity’ being driven by the arts bureaucracy is that it not only anthropologises every instance of participation at the level of what used to be called community arts practice, but seems also to subvert critical issues of aesthetics and genre formation and reformation that constitutes real diversity in the arts..."
'The Nature of the Beast: Cultural Diversity and the Visual Arts Sector: A study of policies, initiatives and attitudes 1976-2006'

text    pdf


back to top
previous issue
next issue