in Critic's Guides | 01 JAN 07
Featured in
Issue 104

Looking Forward

frieze asked the following critics and curators from around the world to choose what, and who, they expected to be the most significant shows and artists of 2007

in Critic's Guides | 01 JAN 07

Sara Arrhenius
Is 2007 the year of biennials? In a time of ever-expanding art maps, it depends, of course, on where you are looking from. From a European perspective there is quite a schedule of art events coming up, with the tourist boards of Moscow, Kassel, Muenster, Venice and Istanbul eagerly waiting the art crowds. Such large-scale events are ideal arenas for rethinking and redefining the relationship between the local and the international in contemporary art. These are pressing cultural-political questions that have been turned into a simplified conflict by the increasingly populist political discourse in Europe.

Luca Cerizza
More ideas, less paint.
More ideals, less pain.
Or, simply, in the words of Goethe: ‘Mehr Licht!’ (More light).

Stuart Comer
Frances Stark at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven should set the record straight. Deimantas Narkevicius, Michael Asher, Andrea Fraser and David Hammons at Muenster? Colour me there. And I definitely plan to head west for the long overdue ‘WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution 1965–1980’ at LA MOCA, not to mention the Gordon Matta-Clark and Lawrence Weiner retrospectives at the Whitney.

Bice Curiger
The question of what I’m looking forward to in the new year brings to mind two churches: San Stae in Venice, where Urs Fischer and Ugo Rondinone are planning a joint intervention as part of the Swiss contribution to the Biennale; and Zurich’s Grossmünster church where the new windows by Sigmar Polke are due for completion at the end of 2007.

Dominic Eichler
I can’t help feeling drawn to the Venetian canals by the pointed triangle: Tracey Emin, Sophie Calle and Isa Genzken. I’m also curious to see how vision will (mis)match reality at Documenta 12.

Charles Esche
Documenta 12 and the Istanbul Biennial will be key moments in 2007 – both events have a good chance of being the kind of critical exhibitions that we need. Jack Persekian’s Sharjah Biennial should be worth following, as should the ongoing development of ‘WHW’ (What, How & for Whom) in Zagreb. I hope the debates around the potential of museums to be sites of public discourse becomes louder, and that we see some great examples of art activating more than a collector’s wallet.

Alex Farquharson
I haven’t begun anticipating 2007, apart, of course, from wondering what is augured by the unprecedented alignment next summer of the curatorial universe’s most awesome celestial bodies: Documenta, Muenster and Venice.

Douglas Fogle
In the coming year I am looking forward to ‘Kara Walker: My Compliment, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love’, which opens at the Walker Art Center in February. Apart from Mike Kelley, no one gives voice to the dark recesses of the American soul quite like Walker. Strap on your seat belts and get ready for heavy doses of racism, sex, violence, historical trauma, deviance, stereotypes and taboos, all rendered with an amazingly beautiful technical precision and wicked wit. Who could ask for anything more?

Jennifer Higgie
Apart from the holy trinity of Venice, Documenta and Muenster, I want to get to ‘WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution’, which opens at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art in April, and is ‘the first comprehensive, historical exhibition’ of feminist art. Hou Hanru’s Istanbul Biennial should also be interesting, and Frances Stark’s show at the Van Abbemuseum in May, unmissable.

Raimundas Malasauskas
In 2007 I will try to look for cognitive and experiential experiments assisted by art, but instead I will be redirected to videos on YouTube and graphic novels whose characters change during the course of reading. Perhaps I will also look for art that has been designed to be obsolete, but will end up buying a ticket to yesterday’s Gnarls Barkley concert as my passport to the future. The remakes of artworks from Art School Confidential (Terry Zwigoff, 2006) are also on my list, but I guess I’ll end up watching Blake Edwards’ The Party (1968) again with friends. As ‘crowdsourcing’ develops, more artists will be able to do more projects at the same time, so the need for filters to sort stuff out will grow (good news for all intermediaries).

Shaheen Merali
In August 2007, the Haus der Kulturen der Welt will reopen its doors after some much-needed renovations, and I am looking forward to the opening exhibition, ‘New York - State of Mind’. I have attended a number of American-themed exhibitions recently, including ‘USA Today’, ‘This is America’ and ‘Uncertain States of America’. The latter had by far the most impressive title, but was also the most mundane in terms of curatorial reflection. Though waning, the USA’s iconic standing in the field of art remains essentially unchallenged. This show will attempt to explore how the New York art scene, in particular, is beset by real-estate passions, impractical attitudes and over-ambitious regional impetus. I will also be watching closely to see whether and how such tendencies might impinge on the forthcoming Mercosul and Delhi Biennials as permanent fixtures within future arts agendas. My final goal for 2007 would be to see the end of monoculturalism, which has become the sedimentation of the social and economic fabric of the art world.

Helen Molesworth
Who isn’t looking forward to the celestial convergence of Venice, Basel, Kassel and Muenster? But the most important pilgrimage will surely be to Los Angeles for ‘WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution 1965–1980’, curated by Connie Butler. The show surveys the dynamic opening of the field of art to the forces of feminism – a moment in which what was at stake in the gap between art and life had never been more crucial. An international survey of over 100 artists, the exhibition is bound to enthral and disappoint, but should not be missed.

Simon Njami
I am looking forward to is the opening of ‘Africa Remix’ in Johannesburg – not because I am the curator of the show, but because it will give an African audience the opportunity to see works that travel the world but are rarely exhibited in Africa. Most of the debates concerning what African art could and should be today also take place outside of the continent. Therefore, it is not only the show itself that excites me, but all the seminars, symposia and discussions that will occur around it. Of course, Robert Storr’s invitation to African curators to propose an exhibition for the next Venice Biennale is another event that attracts my curiosity.

Olu Oguibe
If I could wish for one thing it would be for fewer biennials and art fairs, but that’s a pipedream given that 2007 is the year when the lids come off. With the deluge of mediocre and downright crap art today, one can only sigh, like Kurtz in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness: The horror! The horror!

Daniel Palmer
Will Australia’s new perdition laws succeed in outlawing critique, now branded a terrorist act, or will a second decade of conservative rule force a political shift? In the meantime I’m looking forward to Howard Arkley at the National Gallery of Victoria and the fifth Asia Pacific Triennial at the new Queensland Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane. The MCA in Sydney will continue its mid-career survey shows with Stephen Birch, Mathew Ngui and Julie Rrap. In Melbourne, ACCA will host a new Mike Nelson commission, CCP will survey Anne Zahalka’s portraiture, Monash University Museum of Art will hold a retrospective of Brook Andrew, and Ash Keating and Azlan McLennan will stir more controversy. Artists will collaborate and donate their time and money to shows at artist-run spaces, ambitious ones will continue to move overseas, and everyone in Australia will scramble to follow Daniel von Sturmer, Callum Morton and Susan Norrie to the Venice Biennale.

Cristina Ricupero
‘Vormen van Verzet’ at the Van Abbemuseum will explore the historic relationship between art and social and political change from 1871 to the present day. I’ll also be hoping to see more space given over to quirky, odd, humorous projects with a critical edge.

Ali Subotnick
Gary Garrels’ exhibition of works made in the last decade by LA artists (‘Eden’s Edge’ at the Hammer), Jori Finkel’s exhibition of three under-recognized women artists and their early experimentations with role play (‘Identity Theft: Eleanor Antin, Lynn Hershman, and Suzy Lake, 1972–78’ at Santa Monica Museum of Art) and a long overdue retrospective exhibition of painter Mary Heilmann at the Orange County Museum of Art. Also Felix Gonzalez-Torres at the American Pavilion in Venice, Gordon Matta-Clark at the Whitney and Erik van Lieshout at Kunsthaus Zurich (originally at Boijmans).

Jochen Volz
I’m looking forward to riding a bicycle from venue to venue, from work to work, at Sculpture Projects Muenster.