The Loop

Public art feeding into fake history, new critical voices on film emerging from MIFF and words that sound like the future: three vital art reads, recommended by RealTime staff.


Over at Artnet, critic Ben Davis examines the use of public sculpture and contested monuments in propping up what he’s calling a mythology of fake history with cynical ends in the United States, illuminated by the racist attacks in Charlottesville last week:

“The president has very effectively appropriated the term ‘fake news’ for his own ends. I hope, then, that I am not walking into a trap when I say that the important thing to stress about the contested monument to Robert E Lee is that it represents ‘fake history.’ Moreover, its particular brand of fake history is engineered to do exactly what it is doing now.”


Melbourne International Film Festival has wrapped again, leaving the lasting imprint of a handful of sharp, young writers who formed this year’s Critics’ Campus, shepherded by RealTime contributor Luke Goodsell. The MIFF blog makes for thoughtful reading in a media ecology with less space than ever for criticism; here’s Kai Perrignon on Claire Denis’ perverse romance Let The Sunshine In:

“There’s a tonne of sex implicit in Claire Denis’ new film Let the Sunshine In, but we only ever see it once, in the very first scene… [B]itter dissatisfaction — hilarious and real and uncomfortable — is the mode of choice for Denis’ latest, a breezy elliptical exercise from the usually sombre director. Let the Sunshine In is a rom-com without the sentimentality. A series of seductions and heartbreaks, the film follows Binoche’s indecisive and frustrated divorcee Isabelle as she pings from suitor to suitor… Agnes Godard’s lonely camerawork turns the film’s multitude of conversations into a series of melancholic singles, which isolate Isabelle and highlight the deep sadness of her travails. When this pain is felt, it burns.”


A new digital publication accompanies the Gail Priest-curated group show Sounding The Future — an exhibition at UTS Gallery that audibly imagines the future. Amid almost 100 pages of critical writing are audio streams, extensions of the artworks, interviews with the artists and speculations on what tomorrow might bring:

“An hour out of Seoul, we are standing in the middle of a six-lane highway — not a car in sight. Evenly spaced in the near distance are at least a dozen glitteringly new high-rise developments and to the right an edifice that looks like a spaceship — locked-up and uninhabited. This is Songdo Future City, part of the massive redevelopment of the Incheon Free Economic Zone of South Korea, including the islands of Yeongjong and Cheongna. But it’s a ghost town.”

Top image credit: Gail Priest, Sounding the Future installation view, 2015, photo Samuel James


23 August 2017