To provide a framework for the diverging agendas of our authors, to channel four voices, and to give shape to the expectations of our readers: Writing an editorial is meant to set the tone for the whole issue. Starting with the excitement of the new, passing through an intensive exchange with the writers and artists, the editorial process is initially amorphous yet eventually results in the entirety of a new issue. Writing the editorial is thus an arduous task, dealing with something not yet published, not yet formed solidly.
The thread of the yet unknown and not-yet formed from the writers point of view is taken up by Barnaby Drabble. Drabble engages the question of how to start a commissioned text about a not yet realized artwork by Swiss artists Barbezat-Villetard. The work in-the-making serves as the centerpiece for Drabble’s text, which narrates its own production – navigating through theoretical and imaginary territories with an explicit sensitivity towards the acoustic, visual and semantic dimensions of the word.
Situated between the written and the spoken, the act of protesting is central to Ferial Nadja Karrasch’s contribution “To become more porous”. Karrasch examines the Russian artist group Chto Delat (“What is to be done?”) in reference to Jacques Rancière’s concept of protest, crisis, and its political potential as a productive instance.
Thomas Helbig focuses on the performance of the professional moviegoer as an eye-minded beholder who isn’t allowed to make any use of the tactile sense. Helbig investigates the media-specificity of certain rules of conduct and discusses examples of transgressions in video and film and their attempt to cross media frameworks.
The visual sense is also the starting point for Agnes Rameder’s text: In her work By an Eye Witness the Iranian artist Azadeh Akhlaghi re-stages incisive events of Iranian history that are not publicly discussed in Iranian society and hence live on as subconscious historic traumata. Rameder claims that, by confronting the Iranian public with these repressed memories, Akhlaghi attempts to cure the historic trauma that her generation suffers from.
The correlations of politics and the power of narration are brought up, yet again, in our interview with Jonathan D. Katz. Sharing his own experiences and methodological views as a queer art historian, Katz reveals the links between the politics of the United States, research on US art and the recent history of academic art history.
In this issue’s review section, Bernd Bösel outlines how the concept of “dividuations” is introduced in Michaela Ott’s 2015 book. Ott’s term proposes an understanding of subjectivity that considers the present condition of social media – permanent communication and affectation – and is informed by Deleuzian economics, the biology of microorganisms, hybridizations in art and curating, to name but a few of the references and sources.
Empathy and affect as expressed virtually is key to Johanna Müller’s reading of Ed Atkins’ video Hisser that is currently on view at Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt. The exhibition Corpsing refers to a cinematographic term meaning to break character, simultaneously delivering a vital clue to the structure of the work that Müller links to laughter and E.H. Gombrich’s characterization of the joke.
In her review of the current installment of Marcel Broodthaers’ retrospective at K21 in Düsseldorf, Michal B. Ron follows up on the last issue’s review with a focus on the complex re-enactments of the Musée d’Art Moderne, Département des Aigles, Section XIXe siècle (bis) that was first shown in Düsseldorf in 1970. On view again in Düsseldorf the work casts a new light on reconstructed critical artistic gestures.
After Britain’s shocking decision to leave the European Union, the line is drawn; it was a close call and ‘Brexit’ will now impact generations to come. In particular, twenty-somethings born as European citizen must now withdraw from a spirit of unity and have to contend with shifting borders and uncertain transitions. Ruth Spencer Jolly’s work European Unison is a complex composition for 28 pianos, based upon the European Anthem, the fourth movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Ode to Joy. Her piece European Unison re-tells the story of the European Union and was premiered on 26th March, 2017, in Leeds. For all-over, Ruth Spencer Jolly put together a compilation of virtual collages that echo the need for the European “unisono” on visual as well as acoustic levels.
Hannah Bruckmüller | Jürgen Buchinger | Barbara Reisinger | Stefanie Reisinger