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Living Content is a curatorial platform that aggregates reviews on contemporary art exhibitions, that features interviews with artists, and collaborative limited editions. Based in New York, Living Content operates internationally through an expanding network of writers, artists and collaborators. Occasionally, LC organizes discursive events and exhibitions.
LC is a platform that centralizes information on contemporary art in the service of community and discourse.

REVIEWS

LC features selected exhibitions and maps the surrounding critical discourse by aggregating reviews, documentation and original content. Readers are also able to vote and submit their own reviews.

INTERVIEWS

Living Content features in-depth, well-researched interviews with artists in order to map out and highlight the concerns and interests that define our contemporary moment.

LIMITED EDITIONS

Sometimes, the interviews expand into collaborative limited editions created with artists.


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May You Live In Interesting Times @ Giardini and Arsenale

11.06.2019

La Biennale di Venezia 58th | International Art : 11.06.2019 - 24.06.2019

Introduction by Ralph Rugoff
Curator of the 58th International Art Exhibition

May You Live in Interesting Times will no doubt include artworks that reflect upon precarious aspects of existence today, including different threats to key traditions, institutions and relationships of the “post-war order.” But let us acknowledge at the outset that art does not exercise its forces in the domain of politics. Art cannot stem the rise of nationalist movements and authoritarian governments in different parts of the world, for instance, nor can it alleviate the tragic fate of displaced peoples across the globe (whose numbers now represent almost one percent of the world’s entire population).

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ARTREVIEW

First impressions of the main exhibition at the Venice Biennale

Ben Eastham

22 / 06 / 2019

„To introduce so many different ideas and follow so few up will frustrate those who prefer an exhibition to develop a treatise rather than celebrate cacophony, and the jarring shifts of register and uncomfortable juxtapositions are too often disadvantageous to individual works (the paintings of Henry Taylor in the Arsenale, for instance, are unfairly diminished by the exhibition design and their proximity to notably inferior works in the same medium)“ READ MORE

HYPERALLERGIC

Four Spots in the Venice Biennale to Stop You in Your Tracks

Gregory Volk

25 / 05 / 2019

„It has long become routine to decry the Biennale’s system of national pavilions, dating to 1895, as an outdated relic from a bygone era. One beneficial aspect, however, of this system is how it puts countries that typically receive scant art world attention on something of a par with countries that most certainly do. Which brings me to Iceland (population about 338,000), Lithuania (population about 2.8 million), and Mongolia (population about 3 million), whose adventurous art scenes, for whatever reasons, often don’t register all that much internationally.“ READ MORE

Contemporary&

An Attempt to Recontextualize the World

Will Furtado

25 / 05 / 2019

„What’s exciting about many of the works in this part of Ralph Rugoff’s exhibition is that they are highly aestheticized but refuse to be conventionally beautiful. Yet the complexities made visible stay on the surface and tend to veer towards the personal rather than the structural.“ READ MORE

OCULA

58th Venice Biennale: May You Live In Interesting Times

Mohammad Salemy

24 / 05 / 2019

„By showing artists who have different concerns without framing them within a set curatorial direction, Rugoff seems to be advocating for art in general by allowing for broader conversations to occur among practices. In other words, if the works in the exhibition raise social issues, it is not because of the curator's focus but as a consequence of artists and the themes they tackle.“ READ MORE

THE NEW YORK TIMES

The Venice Biennale Plays It Safe, and Gets Lost in Fog

Jason Farago

20 / 05 / 2019

„If Venice’s last two editions made strident claims on the path forward for art (for better in 2015, for worse in 2017), the 2019 Biennale comes across as the artistic equivalent of “Top of the Pops”: a passive rundown of received tastes, dominated by the United States and Britain.“ READ MORE

The Vexing Present and the Venice Biennale

Negar Azimi

20 / 05 / 2019

„Rugoff’s aspiration to be vaguely relevant to these interesting times might be seen as a riskily modest enterprise, given a biennale context imbricated in histories of narrow nationalism, fascism, soft power and empire.“ READ MORE

The Guardian view on the Venice Biennale’s migrant boat: pushing the limits of art

Editorial Editorial

17 / 05 / 2019

„Barca Nostra is certainly provocative. What is less clear is whether it is stimulating much that is productive for those who have lost their lives on the Mediterranean – and for those who will attempt to follow them over the treacherous seas.“ READ MORE

ARTAGENDA

The 58th Venice Biennale, “May You Live in Interesting Times”

Gilda Williams

13 / 05 / 2019

„Rugoff gathers a convincing selection of artworks representing questions around race, climate catastrophe, artificial intelligence, armed conflict, borders, and poverty, although some insiders complained that too many artworks had already been seen elsewhere. I’m willing to forgive the overhang for the sake of so much terrific art, but some confusing overcrowding is inevitable“ READ MORE

ARTAGENDA

The 58th Venice Biennale, “May You Live in Interesting Times”

Adam Kleinman

13 / 05 / 2019

„By way of accident, Rugoff’s garish use of raw plywood museum walls throughout the Arsenale transforms the proverbial white cube into an even more banal and troubling reference: the construction boarding that anticipates gentrification and homogenization. Let us hope this material is later recycled, but then again, it will most probably serve the depressing function of shoring up Venetian facades that are rotting inside out due the increasing floods that drench the city in salt water.“ READ MORE

I have seen the tragedy of Mediterranean migrants. This ‘art’ makes me feel uneasy

Lorenzo Tondo

12 / 05 / 2019

„Büchel’s decision risks creating yet another celebration of the nostalgia of tragedy without a corresponding act of conviction in the present; it is simply too distant from those towards whom its message should be directed.“ READ MORE

Mawkish monuments and the beach from hell: our verdict on the Venice Biennale

Adrian Searle

12 / 05 / 2019

„Compared to the dismal biennale main exhibition two years ago, Rugoff’s show has intermittent bursts of urgency and the occasional surprise. Arthur Jafa’s film The White Album looks at black experience and culture through white eyes – implicitly racist denials of racism, redneck refusals, footage of a mass murderer going about his business, a ticker tape of violent news reports, a digitised Iggy Pop, terror, mayhem, fortitude.“ READ MORE

THE GUARDIAN

Venice Biennale 2019 review – preaching to the converted

Laura Cumming

12 / 05 / 2019

„If there was a prize for the worst pavilion – and the competition is not small – it would surely go to Austria’s garden of scarlet vagina-blossoms with shiny steel stamens. This is just crass. Far more disturbing – just as he likes it – is Christoph Büchel’s “intervention” in the Arsenale“ READ MORE

ARTNEWS

In Ralph Rugoff’s Venice Biennale, the World’s Artists Take Planetary Doom as a Given, But Search for Joy Nonetheless

Ben Davis

10 / 05 / 2019

„The interesting thing (sorry) about “May You Live in Interesting Times” is that a rather clear theme, or at least a clear mood, does seem to emerge from its constellation of art, as if unbidden, like a pattern emerging from the tea leaves.“ READ MORE

Climate to fake news: Venice Biennale takes on era's big challenges

Charlotte Higgins

10 / 05 / 2019

„Rugoff visited 25 countries and saw the work of about 2,000 artists, he said, to select pieces for the exhibition. It is the first such show to exhibit, according to the Venice Biennale’s president, Paolo Baratta, more female than male artists.“ READ MORE

58th Venice Biennale Review: Brilliance and Bluster

Jennifer Higgie

09 / 05 / 2019

„Rugoff has declared that he was influenced by Umberto Eco’s book The Open Work (1962), which, he says, ‘drew attention to art’s capacity to inspire novel ways of seeing and behaving, which he linked to its relentless testing and questioning of cultural standards and norms’. Overall, in fact, the influence of new technologies impacts, in various ways, all the works shown here.“ READ MORE

ARTFORUM

Persons of Interest

Kate Sutton

09 / 05 / 2019

„Throughout the main show, there’s a refreshing diversity, free of any particular critical lens. There is a preponderance of images of people of color (or, in the case of Arthur Jafa’s spellbinding The White Album, pink people), including in some of the show’s best works. (I had a hard time tearing myself away from video works by Khalil Joseph and Stan Douglas.) But the lack of a strong political throughline can also be troubling.“ READ MORE

ASIA ART PACIFIC

58th Venice Biennale, Part 1: May yYou live in Interesting Times

HG Masters

08 / 05 / 2019

„Another problem is the Biennale’s structure. There’s what curator Ralph Rugoff calls “Proposition A” in the Arsenale and “Proposition B” in the Central Pavilion of the Giardini, which just felt like the A-side and B-side of a record. The hits (wannabe and Instagrammable) are in the Arsenale, while the Giardini portion showcased other (and often lesser) sides of the practices by many of the 79 artists and groups. Why put all the blockbusters together and then all the second-tier art together?“ READ MORE

FRIEZE

58th Venice Biennale: Giardini Part 1

HARRY THORNE

08 / 05 / 2019

„Curator Ralph Rugoff’s epithet of choice for the title of his Biennale – ‘interesting’ – is maddening in its refusal to commit: to colour something ‘interesting’ is to balk at the prospect of passing judgement and, instead, stack the space with meaningless signification. (‘This quality of being interesting,’ observed Susan Sontag in On Photography, 1977, ‘is an empty one.’) But the term is just as frustrating in its potential to encompass the world.“ READ MORE

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