There is no getting around it: 2020 was the year of COVID. It was something that all kinds of cultural activities tried to make sense of. We could quote, to show it has all apparently happened before, Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year at you. Or, like everybody else, you could read some prominent philosopher or cultural theorist try to make sense of it. Slavoj Žižek wrote no fewer than two books on the subject during the year, which made us realise that at least he was doing what he usually does during lockdown.
And we for our part at Memo Review also did what we usually do. Here are the forty-seven reviews we published during the year—a year when virtually every show we reviewed was only available online.
English, softcover, 269 pages, 25 x 17.5 cm. Published by Memo Review Inc.
From the outer demons that brought you the cult of Dionysus, the Brethren of the Free Spirit, Acéphale and the CCRU comes SPLM, Society for the Propagation of Libidinal Materialism. This book gathers a gourmet selection of the secret society’s leaked X-files on libidinal materialist paraphenomena. Its pages bear witness to NEET redeemers, doomsday communists, messianic nihilists, Disney accelerationists, catacomb explorers, Faustian ravers, acne-ridden teen Nietzscheans, psychonauts k-holing through lockdown, hijacked surveillance devices spiralling out of control and archaeologists of an enigmatic cult from the future. This book is for anyone—and no-one as Nietzsche might add—who finds themselves perversely interested in studying, tasting and propagating what libidinal matter can do, be they already fanatically devoted or perhaps merely tempted.
Contributors: Anabel Robinson, Archeological Study Group A, Audrey Schmidt, Billy Bob Coulthurst, E. P. Trahar, Geoff Hondroudakis, Gregory Marks, Hector Zeroni, Jasmine Pickup, Jasper Jordan-Lang, Julia McInerney, Katherine Botten, Luara Karlson-Carp, Nicolas Hausdorf, Sally Olds, Thomas Moran, Timothy Deane-Freeman, Ursula Cornelia de Leeuw, Vincent Le.
Edited by Vincent Le and Audrey Schmidt. Print design by Amici (Selena Repanis, Liz Luby and James Meadowcroft). Cover type design by James Vinciguerra.
Edited by Vincent Le and Audrey Schmidt. Print design by Amici (Selena Repanis, Liz Luby and James Meadowcroft). Cover type design by James Vinciguerra
2021, English. Softcover, 146 pages, 21 x 15 cm. Hand-numbered edition of 250, Published by SPLM / Melbourne.
Elizabeth Newman is best known as a visual artist whose practice encompasses a variety of media including painting, drawing, sculpture, and installation. Writing, too, is central to her art.
Edited and with an introduction by David Homewood. Designed by Robert Milne. Published by Discipline, 2019, 192 pages, 108 × 177 mm, Softcover, Edition of 400, ISBN 978-0-9945388-2-6.
After three years of writing weekly reviews of the art made in and around Melbourne, it is possible that Memo Review has found its voice. Or voices. Regular readers might have started following the writers who speak most to them. There have been repeated mentions of the artists who speak most to our reviewers. Altogether we hope we have created something of a “scene”—a sensibility shared by certain writers and artists that might point to something more general about the particular time and place in which both are working.
softcover, 241 pages, 25 x 17.5 cm. Monash Art Projects / Memo Review Inc.
These are the reviews from 2018, the second year of Memo Review. As readers engage with this second year of reviews, they might see a group of art writers coming to grips with the particular limitations and opportunities of the weekly review format and even the particularities of its online delivery. Some will track the successive mentions of the same artist or gallery space, seeing what different writers make of them. Others will follow the progress of individual writers, finding and developing their own style and argument.
2020, English, softcover, 241 pages, 25 x 17.5 cm. Monash Art Projects / Memo Review Inc.
The first hardcopy Memo publication, collecting the 52 reviews from 2017 published by Melbourne's Memo Review. Memo Review is Melbourne's only weekly art criticism, publishing reviews of "a broad variety of art exhibitions at public art museums, commercial galleries and smaller artist-run spaces in Melbourne, offering new critical perspectives from an up-and-coming younger generation of Australian art scholars, writers and artists."
208 pages, 25 x 17.5 cm, Softcover, Monash Art Projects, 2019, ISBN
Published by Discipline in collaboration with Third Text Publications, an affiliate of Third Text journal. Edited by Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll; with essays by Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll, Julie Gough, Dacia Viejo-Rose, Ellen Smith, and Christoph Balzar; photographs by Mark Adams; a foreword by Nicholas Thomas; copyediting by Paris Lettau and Ella Cattach; project management by Ella Cattach; and proofreading by Kate Lindesay. Designed by Robert Milne and set in Victor designed with Fabian Harb; cover photograph by Christoph Balzar.
The Importance of Being Anachronistic: Contemporary Aboriginal Art and Museum Reparations focuses on the role of time in contemporary art and introduces anachrony as a method for subverting the colonial archive
216 pages, 120 × 184 mm, Softcover, ISBN 978-0-9945388-1-9
Limited Edition Critic Cap by Memo Review.
Low profile six panel cap, curved peak. Adjustable fastener with metal clasp, tonal under-peak lining;
Light weight. 100% cotton. One size fits all.
Memo Review “idea” cap by Giles Fielke.