Kaelen Wilson-Goldie: Beautiful, Gruesome, and True


28-01-2023 • 59 mins

Art has a long history of engaging with conflict and violence. From the antiquities, through Goya, to Guernica, our museums are filled with depictions of battles, pogroms, uprisings, and their suppression. Not all of these stories are told from the perspective of the victors.

Many contemporary creatives have continued this tradition. While the position of the official war artist seems to have gone out of fashion, conflict hasn’t. Artists are compelled to document the violence and conflict that for some is the matter of the everyday.

Kaelan Wilson-Goldie’s Beautiful, Gruesome, and True is an account of the lives and practices of three such artists Teresa Margolles, Amar Kanwar, and the collective Abounadorra. The documents which these practices produce have found their way into the mainstream contemporary art world, for better, or often worse.

Kaelan Wilson-Goldie speaks to Pierre d'Alancaisez about the implicit contracts artists enter with their communities, the art world’s exploitative interest in conflict, and the role of aesthetic expression in mediating, if not ameliorating conflict.

Kaelen Wilson-Goldie is a writer and critic who contributes regularly to Artforum, Aperture, and Afterall, among other publications. She is the author of Etel Adnan, a monographic study on the paintings of the Lebanese-American poet Etel Adnan, and a contributor to numerous books on modern and contemporary art.

Teresa Margolles


Amar Kanwar

ISBN 9781735913735


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