Aesthetica Magazine Issue 55

October / November 2013

This issue concentrates on redefinitions as a way of constructing new meaning. The artists featured expand across decades of contemporary practice, and the works included test the resilience of the artist. Inside we start with a look at Elmgreen & Dragset’s latest installation Tomorrow, which takes over the former Textile Galleries at the V&A, London. The artists have created an apartment belonging to a fictional, elderly and disillusioned architect to comment on the loneliness and alienation ever-present in today’s society.

MoMA’s New Photography 2013 exhibition surveys the works of eight key emerging photographers. 9 Artists, meanwhile, opens this autumn and strips back the concept of a group show. Rituals of Rented Island opens at the Whitney, presenting a major historical overview of performance art from 1970-1980. In photography, we look at Argentinian photographer Alejandro Chaskielberg’s Suriname Bittersweet series, currently on display at Noorderlicht Photofestival. Known for creating images that balance precariously between documentary and staged photography, Philip-Lorca diCorcia’s East of Eden series opens at David Zwirner, London. We also display a series from Chilean photographer Sergio Larrain, which explores the artist’s wanderlust through the 1950s and 1960s. Finally, we introduce the works of Eleonora Ronconi and our cover photographer Julia Fullerton-Batten.

In film, we chat with John Roberts about his new film Day of the Flowers, which is set against the backdrop of present-day Cuba, exploring family relationships and unspoken expectations. We also speak with Jeremy Lovering about his debut theatrical release, In Fear, which presents a complex study of the emotion. In music, we look at how multinational corporations are weaving their way into the industry through sponsorship deals. On stage, the Lyric presents a new kind of theatricality, Secret Theatre, which challenges the definitions of performance. Finally, Saudi Arabia’s leading artist, Abdulnasser Gharem, discusses his complex conceptual works and working as an artist in the Middle East.

Abdulnasser Gharem

A lieutenant colonel in the army, Gharem is the most significant Saudi conceptual artist of his generation.

The Act of Killing

Today the elderly former death squad leaders of Indonesia are venerated as heroes. One would assume they would be reluctant to explore their history. Not so.

Redefining the Medium

The annual survey of contemporary photography at New York’s Museum of Modern Art reveals an art form in the throes of profound transformations.

Gary Numan

The rebirth of Gary Numan over the past decade is testament to his significant influence on electronic music. Numan has returned to doing what he does best.

Night of Silence (Lal Gece)

Eons of ritual and inflexibility are played in this unsettling tale, in which youth vies with age to outmanoeuvre the demands of societal mores.

The Modern Magazine

Jeremy Leslie takes the magazine and questions how it is defined and how it has evolved over the past 10 years.

Burning House

Burning House effortlessly binds together a collection of songs a lot weirder than you could imagine from its composite parts.

Comics Art

Paul Gravett’s painstakingly researched volume offers an eloquent polemic on the art of comics, populated with a wide and diverse selection of the art it examines.


Combining the genre of romantic comedy with 1950s France and colourful cinematography, Régis Roinsard’s Populaire is a heartwarming masterpiece.

Breathe In

Breathe In is a breathtaking thriller which seeks to articulate the unheimlich undercurrent swirling beneath the false smiles of America’s nuclear family.