Erase the Traces
The viral internet is a rabbit hole where the truth goes to die. Some of us want to be seen and others don’t. In this issue we feature a selection of “contemporary archetypes,” among them the refugee, the one-percenter, and the thief. Hidden among them is the artist, who obscures as much as she or he reveals. It all stands under the aegis of Bertolt Brecht’s advice: “Erase the Traces!”
In her essay “Hiding in Plain Sight,” Barbara Casavecchia creates a manifesto for the post-Snowden world, exploring artistic precedents ranging from Julia Scher’s work in the 1990s to Constant Dullaart’s “balconism” manifesto to argue for new counterstrategies of reduced visibility, secrets, silence.
Hans-Jürgen Hafner explains why it’s become so hard to “get” Arnulf Rainer‘s overpainting without knowing about the contexts it comes out of, while Tenzing Barshee talks to curator Suzanne Cotter about the supposed opacity of Trisha Donnelly‘s work. Dean Kissick discusses the meaning of microcelebrity with Deanna Havas and Bunny Rogers, João Ribas tells us who the thief is, Ben Davis explains the deal with the 1%, while Armen Avanessian wonders whether we are actually all sleepers waiting for a signal. David Simpson offers a history of the figure of the refugee, while Nina Power thinks through what it means to be a feminist today. Meanwhile, Bob Nickas pictures Manhattan as a museum, replete with a gift shop and a Medieval Wing.
The issue also includes an interview with Memphis cofounder and painter Nathalie Du Pasquier, a heavenly birth scene narrated by Ariana Reines, a love poem on Lana Del Rey by Jon Leon, Artist’s Favourites from Nina Beier. For “Exhibition Histories,” Alexi Kukuljevic writes on Marcel Broodthaers‘s transformation from poet to artist in his first exhibition.
Also: Nick Axel on the Venice Architecture Biennial, Sabeth Buchmann on the theorist Susan Sontag’s films, a postcard from Marseille by artist Davide Stucchi, and Alison M. Gingeras on her pilgrimage to Asger Jorn’s home town to see his monumental painting Stalingrad, No Man’s Land, or the Mad Laughter of Courage.
In our column “The End Is Night,” Matias Faldbakken writes a letter to the famous Australian bushwhacker Ned Kelly, replete with armour and bunyips.
In the “Views” section, Daniela Stöppel teases out her difficulties with Theaster Gates‘s work on the occasion of his first exhibition in Austria at Kunsthaus Bregenz. Elise Lammer writes on shows in Switzerland including Pipilotti Rist at Kunsthaus Zurich and Ari Benjamin Meyers at RaebervonStenglin, Karol Sienkiewicz writes on three concurrent shows the Museum of Modern Art Warsaw, Hestia Peppe visits shows in London including Maria Eichhorn at Chisenhale, John Knight at Cabinet, and her favourite Susan Hiller piece at Tate Britain. Bob Nickas writes on Eileen Quinlan at Miguel Abreu, Barkley L. Hendricks at Jack Shainman, and his studio visit to McDermott & McGough, and more. Filipa Oliveira is intrigued by Jacopo Miliani‘s show at Kunsthalle Lissabon. In Vienna, Max Henry pays his respects to Daniel Spoerri at mumok, is amused by Nedko Solakov, and has a philosophical take on Stan Douglas at the Salzburger Kunstverein. And Damon Sfetsios writes on Peter Halley at the Schirn, interviews Carlo Marchetti about his show with Daniel Murnaghan at Neue Alte Brücke, and takes stock of the chilled-out indifference of Shahryar Nashat‘s show at at Portikus.
Plus an image portfolio with works by Villa Design Group, Carissa Rodriguez, Christina Ramberg, Kaspar Müller, and Pavel Büchler
Spike wishes you a happy summer: see you in September!