Printed on a striped Dior long-sleeve for the fashion label’s Spring 2018 collection is one of the great slogans of feminist critical theory, the title of an essay by Linda Nochlin from 1971: Why have there been no great women artists? The shirt has horizontal black and white stripes that bring to mind Andy Warhol in the early sixties and Jean Seberg in Godard’s 1960 A Bout de Souffle. This encounter of high fashion and high theory seems to highlight nostalgia for a time of – presumably – less capitalism and more activism. And while the value of Nochlin’s question remains, as ever, sui generis, its cross-branding is a trendy no-brainer within #metoo. Still, this collaboration seems unlikely to actually raise questions, or even eyebrows for that matter. It might, however, imbue the creator of the shirt with a touch of feminism and progressiveness.
The logic of evoking high moral standards through association with advanced culture was not yet in place by the early 20th century: In our opening article, Nausikaä El-Meckey analyzes the scandal that unfolded when Gustav Klimt’s oblique paintings of Philosophy, Medicine and Law for the University of Vienna were first presented to the public. Eventually the institution did not consider the bold and unconventional style to enhance its image of sophistication and dedication to the arts. El-Meckey spells out the arguments that reveal the basis of the ‘scandal’ as a nuanced discussion of the functions and duties of art.
The potential of artworks and exhibitions to engage in political, economic and ecological issues is as questionable as the potential of fashion items to engage with feminism. Therefore, claims to the efficacy of art need to be examined closely. In this respect, Kyveli Mavrokordopoulou analyzes the relations between nuclear energy and contemporary art in the exhibition Perpetual Uncertainty: Art in the Nuclear Anthropocene at Z33 House of Contemporary Art in Hasselt, Belgium. Meanwhile Adrian Anagnost and Manol Gueorguiev tell the story of their search for art works at documenta 14 in Athens, encountering the complex relationship of social art practices and their site-specificity. In her review of Bruce Nauman’s current retrospective at Schaulager Basel, Eva Falge examines the practice of an artist, who took his own body as a starting point to make the impact of social codes, norms and expectations visible.
The impact of gendered norms in different times, and women’s position to address these codes become a matter of debate in Meike Gleim’s imaginary encounter with Virginia Woolf. This text is part of a larger artistic project that Antonia Rahofer contextualizes in her comment on the fictitious conversation.
The agency of girls and young women in historical legislation and literature as well as contemporary art and scientific writing is at stake in Johanna Braun’s book All-American-Gothic Girl, reviewed for all-over #14 by Lisa Stuckey.
How are individual agency and authenticity represented in an environment of mass distributed images and lifestylized slogans? Nika Kupyrova’s artistic intervention questions the politics of original and copy on the interface to the digital in her artistic contribution still lifes with coffee. Within the limits and possibilities of an online magazine as all-over – which itself refers back to older forms of printed matter with a digitally indicated centerfold – Kupyrova plays with the passages between embodiment and dematerialization through watermarks as mass-reproducible signs of authenticity and coffee stains as indices of bodily presence.
With all-over #14 we present another issue to put forward critical content challenging the sloganification of art history and feminist thought. Have a good read!
Hannah Bruckmüller | Jürgen Buchinger | Barbara Reisinger | Stefanie Reisinger