Aesthetica Magazine Issue 46

April / May 2012

This issue is about critical thinking and wider narratives. We start with the exhibition Bauhaus: Art as Life, a comprehensive survey of one of the most influential schools of thought from the 20th century. We re-examine the illustrious career of, and phenomenon that was, the YBAs through Jeremy Cooper’s new book Growing Up: The Young British Artists at 50. Then we survey the World Photography Awards, which opens at Somerset House, London in April. Cuban-born artistic duo Los Carpinteros open at Kunstmuseum Thun with their show Silence Your Eyes, which juxtaposes the public, political and private spheres.

In images we explore Mexico from 1920 until the present day with Photography in Mexico, which is on now at SFMOMA. Photographer Roger Ballen’s first major UK retrospective opens at Manchester Art Gallery and explores three decades of the artist’s career. David Creedon’s latest work Behind Open Doors is an intimate portrait of family life in Cuba, and finally we introduce Jeff Hahn’s unique blend of fashion and portraiture.

In film, we chat with Karl Markovics, whose critically acclaimed and emotionally intense film Atmen opens in cinemas nationwide. There is also a Q&A with Will Sharpe and Tom Kingsley whose low-budget film, Black Pond, has created a stir in independent filmmaking. In music, we speak with Frank Turner and examine how national identity can influence popular music. We also chat with School of Seven Bells about their latest album and losing a member of the band. In performance, David Shrigley has now moved into opera with his latest offering Pass the Spoon. Finally, Gerald McMaster, co-curator of the Biennale of Sydney, tells us about this year’s programme. Sit back, relax and enjoy the issue.


Artists are more known, recognisable and part of the fabric of daily life than ever before. Art is no longer niche; it’s here, right in front of our faces.

100 Ideas That Changed Film

The history of film is broad, diverse and complicated, so any text that manages to distil 120 years of the moving image into a stimulating read deserves celebrating.

Korean Contemporary Art

Published to highlight the dynamism and complexity of the contemporary art scene in Korea, this text offers an introduction to the work of 30 of the country’s most talented artists and their works.

FUSE 1-20

FUSE 1-20 is a fantastic demonstration not just of the execution, but also of the anatomy of type. The main text comprises editions 1-18, two new issues, 10 A2 posters and 24 downloadable fonts.

Fashion & Sustainability

Informative and thought-provoking, this book encourages readers to become more aware of the impact the garment industry has on wider sustainability.

Maps & Atlases

If you like Kings of Leon, the chances are you’ll love this second album from Chicago quartet Maps & Atlases.

She Makes War

Conflict is the theme here, and Kidd handles it well, turning what could have been a trying experience into one that will haunt and dazzle you in equal measure.

Johnny Parry Chamber Orchestra

Johnny Parry is the founder of Lost Toys Records and has played with a number of acclaimed musicians including Beth Orton and Talvin Singh, as well as Turner Prize winning artist Martin Creed.


Best described as a “musical mélange”, Free Time! displays a range of world music influences from the tribal in Death Is Not A Lover to the exotic in Cyborg Machine.

The Ghosts

We have a confession to make: we’ve fallen in love with Alex Starling’s voice. Starling flies as high as his namesake.

Clock Opera

Clock Opera’s debut album is a euphoric mix of upbeat rhythms and occasional near psychedelic moments.

Special Forces

Set in Afghanistan, a French journalist has been kidnapped by the Taliban, so the French Special Forces set off to rescue her.

The Living Wake

After discovering that he has only one day to live, self-proclaimed genius, K. Roth Binew, drags his fellow manservant around on a rickshaw as he attempts to uncover the meaning of life in the face of death. It sounds ridiculous, and it is.

The Awakening

Set in post-war England, The Awakening begins with just the right level of suspense and drama. Florence Cathcart aims to debunk spiritualism and the supernatural.

Las Acacias

Las Acacias invites the viewer to join lorry driver Rubén as he drives single mother Jacinta and her baby from Paraguay to Buenos Aires.

Il Boom

Those familiar with Vittorio De Sica’s work through Italian neorealism are in for a surprise with surreal comedy Il Boom, re-released to mark its 50th anniversary.

Dreams of a Life

Dreams of a Life is the heartbreaking story of Joyce Vincent, whose decomposed remains were found in her London bedsit by the local council.

Capturing Moments

Jeff Hahn cites the work of Wing Shya, Paolo Roversi and Guy Bourdin as sources of inspiration, but when it comes to shooting, Hahn likes to tune out all distractions and focus on the moment.

What Happens When the YBAs Grow up?

A new book surveys the 25 year success and phenomenon that was, and in many ways still is, the Young British Artists.

Imaginary Realism

In Roger Ballen’s first solo show at a public gallery in the UK, Manchester Art Gallery presents his darkly playful and psychologically intense photography.