Issue 54
New Formations

Spike Art Magazine

January 11, 2018
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New Formations
We are in an interregnum, an in-between state where the old world is dying and the new struggles to be born. Colonies of bacteria are decomposing the white cube, automation will replace work, and a hope persists that digital space will produce a truly different art. The avant-garde is still alive, but as a stateless multitude that rejects the rhetoric of power. Quantum computers are starting to compute. This issue asks about the shape of things to come.

Highlights include:

Tom McCarthy: Post-Work
Slouching into his sofa, where he feels his “pliant thoughts aligning with the folds and pleats of those thought up by better, lazier writers,” McCarthy asks: “When labour becomes automated, what does this mean for both work and the work, not least the work of art?”

Philippe Parreno and Asad Raza on Twin Peaks: The Return
“In the multiverse there is a world where Laura Parker aged. It’s our world, and in our world Laura can’t remember what happened in the other. We are dealing with a new form of editing that is not the manipulation of diegetic time and space. Characters have aged 25 years because indeed 25 years have really passed. It’s about editing our memory.” Read more here

Round Table: “The Death and Life of the Art Gallery,” with Vanessa Carlos, Jean-Claude Freymond-Guth, and Kevin Rubén Jacobs
“If we don’t want to look back in ten years and say, ‘Why is everything so crap and boring, why are we only showing this kind of work now?’ then we all have to play a part in supporting the things that we do want to see in ten years’ time.” –Vanessa Carlos

Joanna Fiduccia on Anicka Yi
“Many saw Yi’s exhibition as the revenge of both the lower senses and the bodies typically maligned as provoking them—those of women in particular—on the conventionally odorless spaces of power.”

Dean Kissick on Gilbert & George
Gilbert & George admire Thatcher, insult Christians, celebrate skinheads as patriots, and pee in each other’s mouths. Their work reminds us of the political power of productive withdrawal.

On the cover
Chloe Stead on Oliver Laric
“Laric’s work internalises a key criticism of post-internet art, namely that it’s impossible to separate what artists are doing from what regular internet users are doing.”

An interview with Contemporary Art Writing Daily by Alexander Scrimgeour

Natalie Kane on new digital art spaces

This issue’s Questions are answered by Adam Szymczyk, Paul Feigelfeld, Benjamin Kunkel, and Laurie Penny, who takes on “Must political language be simple to be effective?” Read her response here.

A manifesto for the public museum by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Artists’ Favourites by Eva & Franco Mattes, a postcard from Budapest by Slavs and Tatars, Daniela Stöppel on Gustave Courbet’s La dame au podoscaphe, Daniel Baumann on Documenta X (1997), Dean Kissick on the new typology of the mall, the column “The End Is Night” by Mohammad Salemy, artist’s contributions from Ilya Lipkin, Jenna Sutela, Korakrit Arunanondchai, Magnus Andersen and Maruša Sagadin and much more.

Including Tobias Madison on John Russell at Kunsthalle Zurich, Felix Bernstein on Laura Owens at Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and further critics’ takes on Isa Genzken at König Galerie in Berlin, Salvage Art Institute at BNKR in Munich, Thomas Bayrle at MAK in Vienna, an interview with Valie Export at LENTOS Kunstmuseum Linz, Camille Henrot at Palais de Tokyo in Paris, Gelitin at Fondazione Prada in Milan, Zach Blas at Gasworks in London, and more.

See the full table of contents and buy the issue here.


The next issue of Spike will be out on March 21.