Issue 50 
The Family

Spike Art Magazine

January 13, 2017

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This issue is all about the family: as structure, model, metaphor, as place of origin and point of no return. Do we need to save the family, or to destroy it? Do lines of descent still make sense for artists, or have networks taken their place? From the queer family to the nuclear family, from the commune to neopatriarchy, it lives on in many forms—even in the family of an art magazine.

Chiara Bottici and Jamieson Webster compare the Kardashians with Freud’s Dora to declare: the family is sick. The critic Bruce Hainley talks to his old friend the performance artist Claude Wampler about making art with one’s own family, the still too little known singer Tally Brown and the persistence of racism in the United States. Dean Kissick looks back to Nan Goldin’s intimate and uncensored photographs of her circle of friends whose lives revolved around drink, drugs, obsession, joy and death. Dominikus Müller writes on the Colombian-born artist Oscar Murillo, arguing that his family “vouches for the authenticity of his background” in the media narrative of his ascendance. But what role do Murillo’s origins and his family actually play in his installations, videos, performances and paintings?

Aaron Moulton writes about the esoteric rituals of his childhood, taking us from a nativity scene in Otto Muehl’s Friedrichshof commune to an occult ritual with the artist Lazaros in Bucharest. Maximilian Geymüller asks whether reproduction in art and media can still be seen as emancipatory and finds that “enfeebled, corrupted appropriation” has left an opening for “the work created from scratch—the long-disparaged original.” And Nina Power writes about the challenges of the rallying cry “Make Kin Not Babies” in Donna Haraway’s new book Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene.

For this issue’s “Curator’s Key,” Nicolaus Schafhausen thinks back to how impressed he was upon his first encounter with Gerhard Richter’s Mirror (1981).

Alison M. Gingeras writes about the difficult relationships of artist couples. For “One Work,” Dominikus Müller writes about Henrik Olesen’s Mr Knife & Mrs Fork. In “Exhibition Histories,” Stephanie Crawford collates an oral history of Womanhouse, an exhibition that took place over a month in an abandoned mansion in downtown Los Angeles in 1972. 

For the “Questions” rubric, Felix Bernstein wonders whether it would be better “to write a coherent Maggie Nelson-style memoir or eat shit in an Xtube video,” while Sabine Derflinger gives her take on whether the family screws us up, and Michael Hardt looks at what’s wrong with the family as a social institution based on sameness and exclusivity. And Sarah Nicole Prickett writes about Paul Verhoeven’s Elle: the story of a dysfunctional family and a woman who refuses to be a victim. 

Also: Aki Sasamoto picks out a few of her favourite artists: Rutherford Chang, Ayesha Jatoi, Matt Mullican, Yvonne Meier and Pau Atela. Statements on the family are from Flora N. Galowitz, Andreas Koch, Daniel Baumann, Manuela & Iwan Wirth and Barbara Casavecchia. And G.B. Majer sends a postcard from Taiwan, writing that “foreigners are both an object of curiosity and a subset of ghosts whose presence is to be exorcised by an exaggerated, apotropaic kindness.” Plus: for the column “The End Is Night,” the Pfaff Brothers return to tell the story of their visitation by a black raven in “The Obsidian King.” 

Views 
Vienna: Július Koller at mumok, Ei Arakawa & Nikolas Gambaroff at Galerie Meyer Kainer, Benjamin Hirte in The Poetics of the Material at the Leopold Museum. Salzburg: Raymond Pettibon at the Museum der Moderne. Graz: steirischer herbst. Berlin: Stanya Kahn at Weiss Berlin, Bhupen Khakhar at the Deutsche Bank Kunsthalle, Fred Lonidier at Silberkuppe, Gülsün Karamustafa at Hamburger Bahnhof. Kassel: Tetsumi Kudo and Loretta Fahrenholz at the Fridericianum. Basel: The Figurative Pollock at the Kunstmuseum Basel. Zurich: Phyllida Barlow at Kunsthalle Zurich, Douglas Gordon at Galerie Eva Presenhuber. Pristina: Hanne Lippard at LambdaLambdaLambda. London: Luc Tuymans at the National Portrait Gallery, Samson Kambalu at the Whitechapel, Streams of Warm Impermanence at the David Roberts Art Foundation, The Infinite Mix, an offsite project of the Hayward Gallery. Oslo: The Withdrawal of the Red Army at Blaker Gamle Meieri, Sean Snyder at Schloss, Mercedes Mühleisen in Seeable/Sayable at Kunstnernes Hus. New York: Philip Guston at Hauser & Wirth and Kai Althoff at MoMA. 

Plus an image portfolio with contributions by Justine Kurland, Seth Pick, Michael Pybus, Paul Kranzler, and Ebecho Muslimova.

Join us to celebrate the launch of the new issue, January 13 at Spike Berlin.
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The next issue of Spike will be out on March 21.