In this issue:
“When a person is faced with losing coping mechanisms, no matter how maladaptive or disruptive those mechanisms might be in the here and now, the reactions rise to the surface in one extravagant explosion, a grand finale of feeling. It’s called an extinction burst.” What has Saint Lucy got to do with a best seller on trauma and its effects on the brain and body, EMDR and PTSD, lingua ignota and revelations? An essay from Elvia Wilk’s new book, Death by Landscape.
“Should I begin with a description? Does that seem just? OK. You were a man. You lived. There, I’ve done it.” The addressee of Lucy Ives’s “Matthew”—an abridged version of a novella from her work in progress THE CAT AND OTHER NOVELLAS—is a deceased person: an ambiguous subject, an individual all too easily mistaken for a creation of the narrator’s mind.
Focus on: Michel Majerus
A Performance Artist Who Performed as a Painter to Deliver an Object Which Was to Perform as a Painting
The legacy of Michel Majerus (1967–2002) is multifaceted. His figure is emblematic of a voracious appetite for the new and the cool, and for stretching painting’s entrenched dos and don’ts. Cory Arcangel and Jordan Wolfson, in conversation with Bart van der Heide, debate how Majerus’s practice resisted the oversimplified categorization of painting through an omnivorous sampling that spared no extent; the internet and the white cube as production sites, and his stressing of the latter. Kerstin Stakemeier’s essay sketches Majerus as the virtuous articulator of the hysteric endpoint of a painterly Romanticism in furtherance of a Symbolist attitude in which feelings are things.
As Rituals of Transition
“It’s a very physical experience to go through the feeling of darkness, to discover how your body and eye adapt to light, sound and temperature.” Saodat Ismailova speaks with Andrea Lissoni about descending in the chillahonas, underground cells built next to tombs of local saints in central Asia, delving into the genesis of Chillahona (2022), her three-channel video presented at the 59th Venice Biennale.
What’s in a Vibe?
“Being attuned to a ‘vibe’ means partaking in a shared reality, but it’s more than that. It involves picking up on the lingering notes of that shared reality, on the je ne sais quoi that is still in the air after most other things have dissipated.” Melanie Bühler ponders subtle tensions, fragile moods, lingering feelings of ennui, and menacing forces in artworks when vibes are successfully employed.
One’s Place Within
UK-born, London-based artists Ufuoma Essi and Rhea Dillon share a common interest in researching Black British life and history’s legacies. In conversation with Alex Bennett, they delve into ideas of identity, body, race, nation, ethnicity, and coming to terms with diaspora and the reality of being nationless and post-state while living in the capital’s capital and possessing a British passport.
No Images of Myanmar after February 1, 2021
“Myanmar is the site of the longest-lasting civil war in the world, taking root with the evacuation of British colonial forces in 1948 and punctuated by successive military coups, assassinations, and a regimented death world.” Hera Chan outlines how cultural work is affected during and after political and military upbringings.
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