Weekend Reading List

Pussy Riot and the commodification of protest, a tale of shakshuka, and books of the mind: what to read this weekend

Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot, 2014. Courtesy: Flickr, Creative Commons; photograph: Greg Chow

Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot, 2014. Courtesy: Flickr, Creative Commons; photograph: Greg Chow

Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot, 2014. Courtesy: Flickr, Creative Commons; photograph: Greg Chow

  • Howard Amos writes in The Calvert Journal about the reception of feminist protest group Pussy Riot inside and outside of Russia – how their members have responded differently to the pressures of celebrity and notoriety, and the difficulties of Pussy Riot becoming a commercialized cultural commodity abroad. He’s damning about member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova’s new immersive theatre experience in London, Inside Pussy Riot, part of her drive to move Pussy Riot away from its Russian roots and punk origins: ‘when some ideas are taken too far from their context, they become meaningless’.
     
  • 'Of course I had forgotten about the grey hours.' In the TLS, former British Vogue editor-in-chief Alexandra Shulman writes about going freelance.
     
  • In frieze, Stefan Kobel debates recent art world outrage over ‘conflicts of interest’ – it may have cost Beatrix Ruf her job at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, but the problem, he suggests, isn’t just a matter of individual ethical conflicts – it’s structural too.
     
  • Meanwhile, Cody Delistraty takes apart Emmanuel Macron’s recent pledge while in Burkina Faso to return African artefacts currently housed in French museums to their respective nations – on the face of it, the French President’s comments represent progress, but they also hint at a dubious politics, in which art restitution is posited as a stopgap solution to France’s serious postcolonial responsibilities (two days later in Ghana, Macron called the idea of financial reparations for colonialism ‘totally ridiculous’).
     
  • Etienne Balibar in openDemocracy reflects on the crisis of European construction and more radical prospects for a ‘new foundation’. The French philosopher's warning about the existential crisis for democracy in Europe is bleak: 'It doesn’t lead to a 'revolutionary situation', or a 'coming insurrection', I am afraid, contrary to the sincere hopes of old anarchists and young activists, who dream of a radical break with parliamentary regimes. Rather, it produces a steady decomposition of citizenship.’
     
  • Over at Wasafiri, don’t miss new fiction from Rowan Hisayo Buchanan: a tale of shakshuka and marriage. (I’m also currently reading Buchanan’s debut 2016 novel Harmless Like You, belatedly recommended).
     
  • Finally, so glad to see J.M.E. Oliver’s I Love Duck, Krise Plötzliche’s latest in translation and Fernando Sdrigotti’s self-help classic The Situationist Guide to Parenting made it to 3:AM’s 'Books of the Year' list.

Most Read

60 years after the celebrated Brutalist architect fell foul of local authorities, a Berlin Unité d’Habitation apartment...

The central thrust of the exhibition positions Sicily as the fulcrum of geopolitical conflicts over migration, trade,...
The Carters’s museum takeover powers through art history’s greatest hits – with a serious message about how the canon...
The 20-metre-high Mastaba finally realizes the artist and his late wife Jeanne-Claude’s design
‘What is being exhibited at Manifesta, above all, is Palermo itself’
A tender new film about the fashion icon and troubled genius whose creative vision ‘started the 21st century’
A survey of 1,016 visual artists across the world finds that the badges of professional success don’t necessarily...
With the 12th edition of the itinerant European biennial opening in Palermo, what do local artists, curators and...
In the age of Brexit, why Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s pledge to return the ‘stolen’ Parthenon marbles has never been...
The museum director, who resigned last year, acted with ‘integrity’, an independent report finds
With the government’s push for the controversial English baccalaureate, why the arts should be an integral part of the...
From Bruce Nauman at the Schaulager to the story of a 1970s artist community in Carona at Weiss Falk, all the shows to...
Sotheby’s and Christie’s say they are dropping the practice of using female-only staff to pose for promotional...
The curators seem set to ask, ‘how civilized is the world’s current state of affairs?’

On View

Latest Magazines

frieze magazine

April 2018

frieze magazine

May 2018

frieze magazine

June - August 2018