Skip navigation

Afterall

Afterall is a research and publishing organization based in London. Since 1999 Afterall has produced a semiannual journal featuring the work of artists and the effect of their work on wider culture and political debate. In 2006 Afterall initiated a new project to present further research into the social and theoretical context of contemporary art practice. The concept of Afterall Books was simple but unprecedented: take one work of art by one artist and produce an essential critical guide to it. Together, these beautifully illustrated and well-produced books constitute a growing library of insights and analyses into the ideas, methods and intentions of contemporary artists.

The Mind is a Muscle

"It is my overall concern to reveal people as they are engaged in various kinds of activities—alone, with each other, with objects—and to weight the quality of the human body towards that of objects and away from the super-stylization of the dancer."
Yvonne Rainer, STATEMENT accompanying The Mind is a Muscle, 1968

The Way Things Go

The Way Things Go (Der Lauf der Dinge) is a thirty-minute film by Swiss artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss featuring a series of chain reactions involving ordinary objects. It is also one of the truly amazing works of art produced in the late twentieth century. Admired, even loved, by members of the public as much as it is praised by the more specialist audience of artists, critics, and curators, The Way Things Go was perhaps the most popular work shown at Documenta 8, Kassel, in 1987.

Save the Last Dance for Me

"You want beauty? I’ll give you beauty!"
—Mary Heilmann

Celebration? Realife

Marc Camille Chaimowicz was one of the first artists to merge the realms of performance and installation art. Chaimowicz distinguished himself in an era of stark minimalism by his unabashed pursuit of the beautiful, establishing himself in the 1970s with art that was playful and subtly seductive. Chaimowicz's post-Pop scatter environments owed as much to glam rock as to art practice and were informed by modern French literature (Gide, Cocteau, Proust, and Gênet) as well as by art theory. His important 1972 installation Celebration?

Untitled (couple)

In Richard Prince's 1977 work Untitled (couple), difference mixes uncannily with sameness. We can't quite tell whether the shiny couple we see is human or android; their clothing seems curiously out of date. Why do they fascinate us? What is it about their typicality that produces an impression of strangeness?

I Want to Live in the Country (And Other Romances)

Joan Jonas approaches video as a drawing tool, a mirror, and a framing device. Since 1968, she has used video and performance to explore ways of seeing, the rhythms of ritual, and the archetypal authority of objects and gestures. With her influential 1976 work, I Want to Live in the Country (And Other Romances) Jonas nimbly structures an elliptical narrative that unmistakably establishes her voice and visual lexicon.

The Man Who Flew into Space from his Apartment

The fictitious hero of this 1984 installation is a lonely dreamer who develops an impossible project: to fly alone in cosmic space. But this dream is also an individual appropriation of a collective Soviet project and the official Soviet propaganda connected to it. Having built a makeshift slingshot, the hero apparently flies through the ceiling of his shabby room and vanishes into space. The miserable room and the primitive slingshot suggest the reality behind the Soviet utopia, in which where cosmic vision and the political project of the Communist revolution are seen as indissoluble.

(nostalgia)

In his 1971 short film, (nostalgia) , American artist and writer Hollis Frampton oveturned the conventional narrative roles of words and images. In his account of an artists's transformation from photographer to filmmaker, Frampton burns photographs he had taken and selected from his past along with one found photograph. A calm voice tells a story about an image, but the story is about the following image, not the one shown.

  • Page 2 of 2
  •