An ABC of Aesthetic Journalism

An archive of material relating to art & journalism


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How does history relate to art and journalism?


Herodotus - 'the first historian'

What is the difference between history and historiography, how do they inform each other?

Arthur Danto acknowledges the inherent paradox of the Ideal Chronicler in terms of historiography:

‘The gap between actual historical agents and later historians is therefore inevitable. He suggests that even if there were an Ideal Chronicler who had perfect knowledge of all events, combined with the means to set them down in writing as they happened, the Chronicler could not be able to record these occurrences in the meaningful way we demand of history. The significance of an event only appears afterwards, given to it by the events that follow. Danto recognises that no historian at the start of the Thirty Years War would have been able to write, ‘The Thirty Years War began in 1618’. ‘Story Telling’, Melissa Gronlund, Freize, Issue 106, April 2007.

Many artists work with either particular histories or the idea of history itself as a subject. The artist can revisit, re-examine and represent anew a particular ‘history’ and (in reference to documents) perhaps reveal the systems by which histories are produced.

Mathew Buckingham examines American history in particular relation to colonialism and the re-appropriation of land, language and people.


Mathew Buckinhgam, New Amsterdam 2003


Matthew Buckingham, Muhheakantuck–Everything Has a Name

Lia Perjovschi reconstructs or maps history as an artist in the context of a communist and post-communist regime.


Lia Perjovschi, Identity series 1999 – 2006


Lia perjovschi

Yinka Shonibare’s work reveals a history of exchange and pluralism in relation to colonial histories and addresses assumptions about specific cultural signifiers, such as the seemingly ‘African’ fabric used in many of his installations.


Yinka Shonibare, Diary of a Victorian Dandy, 1998. 1 of 5 C-prints, 183 x 228.6 cm.


Yinka Shomibare, La Méduse, 2008 C-print mounted on aluminum

Sharon Hayes

A contribution by the Platform for (un)Solicited Research and Advice:

Sharon Hayes’ works deal with a wide range of power relations, specifically racial and feminist inequalities within the United States. In her performances she organizes subversive actions and demonstrations in public spaces around business areas, banks, and sites of political importance. Her works address issues almost as directly as political activists would. One of her last works deals with democracy in the USA, and the ‘queer’ minorities that get put to the background. Her ‘two large-scale, public performances will include speakers drawn from the gay, lesbian, and transgendered community in each city who will become the medium of her work by reciting the text written by Hayes. The 10- to 20-minute texts will be read 3 times over the course of 2 hours’.

In her video works, she uses herself as a spokesman, an intermediary, or a pipeline through which historical and political information is passed. The original input is slightly distorted as she (re)speaks it, alienating the information from the source.

performance in NCY ‘In the near future’ in progress

‘Revolutionary love: I’m your worst fear’ 2008

videostill ‘the Interpreter project’ 2001

Housing & Homelessness

A contribution by the Platform for (un)Solicited Research and Advice:

‘If You Lived Here: the city in art, theory & social activism’

– a collaborative project by Martha Rosler, brought together a great many people from many different disciplines and backgrounds, presenting a wealth of (largely) documentary information in widely diverse forms and formats to produce a landmark work on the issues of housing and homelessness, in NYC in the late eighties.

book cover: If you lived here

Publication: If You Lived Here, Rosler et al


A contribution by the Platform for (un)Solicited Research and Advice:

Posted by Jimini Hignett
The Hogerhand People’s Front is a civil defense militia set up to defend the Netherlands in the event of an invasion by the US army following the so-called ‘Hague Invasion Act’ which president Bush signed on August 2nd 2002. A group of concerned Dutch citizens operating entirely within the law and armed soley with the willpower embodied in their simple motto, trans corpus mortuum: ‘over my dead body’! this peoples militia of unarmed guards patrol Dutch beaches around the clock, forming a human shield against the absurd invasion plans of our ally on the other side of the Atlantic.

Hogerhand Civil Defense at Castricum

Hogerhand People's Militia at Scheveningen

Written by Fay Nicolson

01/11/2009 at 7:15 pm

Posted in H

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