Contemporary Art Magazines: A Critical Reading

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Conceived as a London chapter of New York’s well-established contemporary art magazine reading group (hosted at The Public School), we are inviting participants to regularly, closely, read a single issue of an art magazine in preparation for a critical discussion at Open School East each month. A sense of continuation will not be based on reading the same magazine each time, but rather, on asking similar questions across the board of publishing. Questions can range from the mundane (Why is this being published right now? Is the writing worthwhile? What is the editorial line like, if one seems to exist?) to the expansive (What makes for a real contribution in art publishing? What is the role of criticism in contemporary art?).

The choice of magazine will vary from the obvious, like frieze or Art Monthly, to specialist publications such as Afterall or Manifesta Journal. The goal is to generate a conversation that will discuss both the contemporary art scene and the practice of publishing and writing about art. Additionally, as participants in London and New York will be reading the same magazine at the same time, questions of different local perspectives will be drawn into the discussion via a brief Skype link up and shared note-taking.

For the first meeting of the London chapter, we will join our peers in New York in reading the September issue of Artforum. Everyone is welcome.