Weekend Reading List

From Robert Walser's art criticism to 'microbial dark matter': what to read this weekend


Vincent van Gogh, L'Arlésienne, 1888-89. Courtesy New Directions and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Vincent van Gogh, L'Arlésienne, 1888-89. Courtesy New Directions and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

  • In acknowledgement of the tragic killings in Berlin and the shooting of Russian ambassador Andrei Karlov in Istanbul, both reported as related, respectively, to Daesh and protest at the war in Syria, this video interview with journalist Patrick Cockburn on his study of the terrorist group and the on-going conflict.

  • ‘Celebrity is the lieutenant of exploitation’ – George Monbiot weighs up the economic, cultural and political effects of valuing fame above all else.

  • He died in deepest obscurity, of a heart attack in a snowy field, on Christmas Day 1956’ – Charlie Fox examines the writing and little known art criticism of Robert Walser.
  • How can art respond to genocide? And should those who have attempted to destroy a society, be allowed to contribute to it? On the strange paintings and social campaigns of Jack Kevorkian.
  • As investigators examine the possibility that Russian intelligence intervened in the US presidential election, The Washington Post looks at the US government’s own history of interference in foreign elections.

  • frieze.com daily review: Andrew Hultkrans on ‘Every Future Has a Price’ at Elizabeth Dee Gallery, New York.
  • ​The new science of the microbiome, ‘microbial dark matter’ and the trouble with viewing the body through the lens of bacterial ecology.
  • Why is nobody talking about the recent shooting in a Zurich Islamic centre?

Paul Clinton is a writer, editor and curator based in London, UK.

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