weekend links: fake art, queer collage, post-truth literature


Ingo Swann, S & M School (c. 1991-94). Image courtesy the Leslie-Lohman Museum/Hyperallergic.

A recent study shows that art experts are unable to tell the different between famous photographic works and run-of-the-mill photography, a conclusion that is not all that surprising. Divorced from historical context, does “art” have intrinsic aesthetic qualities that make it “better” than other, similar work? Are we all just faking our expertise, memorizing names and chasing after the Next Big Thing? You decide! [artnet]

As we contemplate our new post-truth era, we should look to Javiar Marias’s new novel Thus Bad Begins. Set in post-fascist Spain, the work challenges us to consider how a common falseness can re-mold reputations and identities for a better society. [Electric Literature]

Is collage a “quintessentially queer art”? Zachary Small makes a compelling argument, with help from a new exhibit at the Leslie-Lohman Museum in New York (the show debuted earlier this year in Los Angeles). Works by Ingo Swann, Olaf Odegaard, Suzanne Wright and others demonstrate the dreamlike possibilities of same-sex fantasy achieved through the technique. (Also see the work of Jess, who surprisingly seems to have missed the cut). [Hyperallergic]

Ukrainian writer Serhiy Zhadan’s novel Voroshilovgrad was released this year by Dallas’ Deep Vellum Publishing. Zhadan paints the endless corruption and the fight-club set of rules in a former mining town where there’s “a bit of soccer, a lot of sex, still more violence”—this isn’t just your average disco. As fans and friends of the Deep Vellum crew, we’re happy to see them continue to receive the recognition they deserve. [The New Yorker]

We’ve moved away from the prudish ’50s, becoming largely desensitized to naked bodies in film and advertising, yet nude paintings still disturb many of us. Here’s a look at why. [BBC]

The Austin American-Statesman announced this week that it would be cutting Jeanne Claire van Ryzin from staff as of December 31, the paper’s only dedicated full-time arts writer. We commend van Ryzin and mourn with the rest of the Austin arts community this tremendous loss. [Austin Chronicle]

—Katie Lauren Bruton and Sean Redmond

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