What has the Camden Art Centre director Martin Clark been reading during lockdown?

Martin Clark © Mark Blower 2018

The OG #14: Shapes (2020) by Amy Sillman

“First up, a heads up! Amy Sillman has produced a new fanzine in her long running and always excellent The OG series. The OG #14: Shapes expands on the inspired and much-lauded display, The Shape of Shape, that she curated for the Museum of Modern Arts reopening last autumn. Featuring a new text by Amy on shape and form, as well as a brilliant annotated walk-through of the exhibition and artworks, its available as a free download from MoMAs website to read on screen or print out and keep.”

The Philosophers Plant: An Intellectual Herbarium (2014) by Michael Marder

“Theres been a distinctly vegetal turn by a number of artists, writers and institutions recently. At Camden Art Centre we were just about to open a group show, The Botanical Mind: Art, Mysticism and The Cosmic Tree, when the lockdown struck (we now plan to open the show later in the year). With everything pushed back a few months and more time at home, Ive had the luxury of being able to delve even deeper into what feels like a very timely subject. Michael Marder is an inspiration in this area, Id already read Plant-Thinking: A Philosophy of Vegetal Life and Through Vegetal Being with [the French philosopher] Luce Irigaray, but hadnt got to his brilliant The Philosophers Plant: An Intellectual Herbarium. Its a wonderful book, bringing together philosophical thinkers and ideas from Plato, through Hegel, to Derrida and Irigaray, each reconsidered from the perspective of that most denigrated and overlooked form of life, plants.”

Life on The Edge: The Coming Age of Quantum Biology (2014) by Jim Al-Khalili and Johnjoe McFadden

“For another take on vegetal thinking, Life on The Edge: The Coming Age of Quantum Biology is a fascinating overview of this emerging and still contested area of research. For years biological bodies and structures were considered too hot, wet and messy to be able to support quantum processes, but recent work has shown this is not the case and scientists now know that quantum mechanics sit at the heart of everything from the enzyme-driven metamorphosis of tadpoles-into-frogs, to that most fundamental chemical reaction for all life on Earth, photosynthesis.”

Forrest Bess (1911-77) Here is a Sign (1989) by Meyer Shapiro et al.

“The last exhibition I saw before lockdown was Forrest Bess at the Fridericianum in Kassel. It has just re-opened and, whilst it doesnt have a catalogue, Ive been reading everything I can get my hands on around Bess and his extraordinary, visionary life and work. [The documentary] Forrest Bess: Key to the Riddle, is a gRead More – Source