Issue 331: Summer 2020

Flash Art International

July 7, 2020
July 7, 2020

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This recent times, often overlapping events that have transpired, have suddenly been cast in a new perspective as people around the world have come together, both physically and online, to protest systemic racial injustice. This summer issue of Flash Art focuses on one aspect among the kaleidoscope array of images that seem to suggest a newly evolving “war on terror” clearly evident, as is our habit of pursuing multifaceted reflections on individuality and collectivity in a wide range of contexts—including psychology, public and domestic space, the internet, and the environment.

Olafur Eliasson, quoted in Elise Hunchuck’s essay on the melting glaciers of Iceland, aptly sums up the situation: “What are our contemporary crises if not explicitly about bodies acting with and against bodies?” This insight dovetails with Complication, a 2013 oil on canvas by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, featured on the cover of this issue. As the painting suggests, relationships are complicated, for those involved in them and perhaps even more so for those who perceive them from the outside. The four Black men depicted here, standing together in an embrace, exude a sense of quite dignity that practically requires a separate discussion, given how far removed it is from the images of violence that have once again gone viral in the wake of the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.

We are constantly confronted by overproductions of transitory subjectivities; Carlos Kong confirms this when he notes how Neïl Beloufa “satirically underscores the precarious conditions [that] produce subjectivity.” The music duo Amnesia Scanner explore a similar dynamic as they pursue full-scale theatrical productions complete with jumbotron video displays, special effects, and surrealist costumed casts. In conjunction with the release of their new album, Tearless (2020), they conceived a visual essay in which their distinctive dystopian vision implodes before the whisperings of an animatronic oracle.

Also in this issue: Tomás Saraceno’s studies of spiders and their behavior by Stefanie Hessler, a touching memory of Genesis Breyer P-Orridge by Jane Ursula Harris, a conversation by Shumon Basar, Douglas Coupland and Hans Ulrich Obrist on “The Extreme Self”; an essay by Marina Fokidis and the second episode of The Curatorial Gaze a column by Pierre Bal-Blanc.

Reviews: Peter Saul, New Museum, New York; Rosie Lee Thompkins, BAMPFA, Berkley; For a Dreamer of Houses, Dallas Museum of Art, Colorado; Hito Steyerl, Thaddaeus Ropac, London; Expectations, Emalin, London; Marina Pinsky, C L E A R I N G, Brussels; Journey into a Living Being – From Social Sculpture to Platform Capitalism, Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, Berlin; Isa Melsheimer, Kunstmuseum KINDL, Berlin; Josephine Pryde, Galerie Neu, Berlin; Potential Worlds 1: Planetary Memories, Migros Museum, Zurich; Olivier Mosset, MAMCO, Geneva; Sveta Mordovskaya, Cherish, Geneva; Benjamin Hirte, Emanuel Layr, Wien; Jim Dine, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome; Alpha Crucis – Contemporary African Art, Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo; Resistance of the Sleepers, UCCA Dune, Beijing; Billy Childish, Lehmann Maupin, Seoul; Danh Vo, The National Museum of Art, Osaka

Flash Art summer 2020 is also available in Digital Edition, that grants instant access to current and future publications, in addition to archive issues. Shop now Flash Art in digital or print format, or browse Flash Art publications.