e-flux journal issue 54 out now

e-flux journal issue 54 out now

e-flux journal

Cover image: Mladen Stilinović, Conversations with Freud
1982. Image courtesy of the artist.
April 3, 2014
e-flux journal issue 54 out now

with Keti ChukhrovBoris GroysAna Ofak,
Geert LovinkRoss WolfeWalid Raad
Stephen Squibb, and E. C. Feiss


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Spring is here, so we are naturally thinking about sex all the time. It was a busy winter with many personal calamities and meltdowns, and this only makes now a better time to think about sex. Big beautiful interspecies sex. Instrumentalized sex. Makeup sex and breakup sex. Overman sex and that business with the eunuch. Tender Marvin Gaye sex and also the weird stuff. Sex as the symbolic drainage area for desires that exceed and escape the society, but also as the visceral pelvic thrust behind those desires that glue the whole contraption together when it is actually hopelessly falling apart. Because we all know the fear of sex, and most of us have spent too much time close to a military or imperial or populist regime bent on regulating or functionalizing it. Keep it minimal, because this kind of intimacy mashes subject and object relations together in a way that makes governance confusing if not impossible.

In order to stabilize power, it is absolutely necessary to keep sex cordoned off and in its place because of how it switches and mutually erases notions of emancipation and enslavement, which is after all why sexual practices and codes can be such a terrifyingly direct line to how deeply emancipation and enslavement have been inscribed into the most minute practices of a person. Just on the level of muscle movements, you can detect an emancipated citizen lapsing into the most severe or infantile brutality, and the most repressed can freely express all the tenderness that is usually systematically foreclosed in every other part of the day or in every other part of the city. Sex is where classes switch roles just for kicks and gender can forget itself. In it, you can only be a conduit for codes of submission and domination that were written into your being at some point by history, ancestry, upbringing, star sign—and even though you can never change the fact that you will always be a macho entitled fuckhead or a generous submissive who stores all that hardship on a remote server, you can rewrite yourself through role play with another person.

Even if sex has been celebrated as a means for collectives to be formed by desire rather than by birthright, we know by now that it is too unstable to use as a base to construct any kind of lasting structure, and will rather always work as a force of entropy that exceeds attempts to capture and limit its flows within any stabilization mechanism. Sex now joins with a parliament of abstract and unruly forces that are integral to logics of class, capital, power, and property relations, but that also overflow their terms and compromise their command at every turn. It will always be the most visceral metaphor for what cannot be contained, just like the change of seasons. Which is why spring can only make us think about how there are things that you guess and things that you know, boys you can trust and girls that you don’t, about the little things you hide and the little things you show. Sometimes you think you’re gonna get it but you don’t, and that’s just the way it goes.(1)

—Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle

(1) http://youtu.be/vldh7oQD-a4

In this issue:

Keti Chukhrov—Sexuality in a Non-Libidinal Economy
The argument goes, since sexuality is the epitome of liberation, and since sexuality can never be absent from any society, sexuality is always at least latently embedded in any society as the potential for freedom—freedom from prejudices, power, control, and so forth. However, judging by statistical data, the rate of sexual intercourse under socialism may have been even higher than under capitalism.

Boris Groys—Poetics of Entropy: The Post-Suprematist Art of Mladen Stilinović
The artist rejects any attempt to give this drift toward anarchy and chaos any definite direction, to let it culminate in any new order. Socialism collapses. Capitalism triumphs. But the process of entropy goes on. Stilinović now demystifies money as he had earlier demystified party language. After all, money is also merely images, signs among other signs.

Ana Ofak—Gentleman Next Door: Antonio G. Lauer, a.k.a. Tomislav Gotovac, and the Man Undressed in Times of Socialism
On the cover, Gotovac superimposed a shot of himself holding open his trench coat—a glowing five-pointed star cut out of his forehead—over the letters T-O-M. His exposed penis dangles neatly below the Glen Miller T-shirt he is wearing. This Tom character—a cinephile punk—is joined by three other portraits inside the paper: Tom the security agency worker, Tom the pinup, and Tom the superhero. They all pay homage to the absurd adventures of a country facing its brutal fall, while still enjoying the last convulsions of socialism.

Geert Lovink—Hermes on the Hudson: Notes on Media Theory after Snowden
In 2014, we’re torn between the seductive aspect of coming together and the fear that we are consciously producing evidence that will be used against us. Let’s move away from the binary logic of online/offline, of participation/exodus, and instead design other forms of social interaction and organization together, based on sustainable exchanges, strong ties, and a sensual imagination that allows us to transcend the given cultural formats (from edu-factory formats to Facebook).

Ross Wolfe—Repetition-Compulsion: World-Historical Rhythms in Architecture
Repetition in architecture today, as in every other cultural sphere, attests to the historical impasse at which society has lingered for almost a century. Architects find themselves forced to recycle, reorder, and repeat novelties of the past in order to remain “cutting-edge” in the present. No longer does the steady march of technological progress provide a path for architecture to follow. 

Walid Raad—Index XXVI: Red
If, like me, you have experienced telepathic reception, then you know that you can never trust telepathic signals, because telepathic signals are always accompanied by something else. They are always accompanied by telepathic noise.

Stephen Squibb—Genres of Capitalism, Part II
Absent the awareness of the different levels of analysis at work in political economy, “capitalism” inevitably elevates distinct and conflicting relations within and between the modes of consumption, circulation, production, and distribution, confusing them with an overwhelming para-natural force: the creation of surplus value, or what I have called “alchemy.” The result is that, in one way or another, every “capitalism” is always already a spiritualism, a mystification that places the actual levers of collective emancipation out of reach.

E. C. Feiss—Response to Grant Kester’s “The Device Laid Bare”
Kester’s text leaves more troubling questions unaddressed: Who can “see” shifts in power? Just as you cannot “see,” or for that matter witness, the workings (and embedded hierarchies) of a right, as Brown’s work so adeptly lays out, I would argue that attempting a diachronic analysis, as Kester calls for, must start with how the project articulates its own demands.

The print edition of e-flux journal can now be found at:
Amsterdam: De Appel arts centre / Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten Andratx: CCA Andratx Antwerp: M HKA Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Århus: Kunsthal Aarhus Athens: OMMU Auckland: split/fountain Austin: Arthouse at the Jones Center Baden-Baden: Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden Banff: Walter Phillips Gallery, The Banff Centre Barcelona: Arts Santa Mònica / MACBA Basel: Kunsthalle Basel / Museum für Gegenwartskunst Basel Beijing and Guangzhou: Vitamin Creative Space Beirut: 98weeks Belgrade: Cultural Center of Belgrade Bergen: Bergen Kunsthall / Rakett Berlin: b_books / Berliner Künstlerprogramm – DAAD / do you read me? / Haus der Kulturen der Welt / Motto / Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.) / Pro qm Bern: Kunsthalle Bern / Lehrerzimmer Bialystok: Arsenal Gallery Bielefeld: Bielefelder Kunstverein Birmingham: Eastside Projects / Ikon Gallery Bologna: MAMbo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna Bregenz: Kunsthaus Bregenz Bristol: Arnolfini Brussels: WIELS Contemporary Art Centre Bucharest: National Museum of Contemporary Art Bucharest (MNAC) / Pavilion Unicredit Cairo: Contemporary Image Collective (CIC) / Townhouse Gallery Calgary: The New Gallery Cambridge: Wysing Arts Center Castello: Espai d´art contemporani de Castelló (EACC) Chicago: Graham Foundation / Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts / The Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago Cologne: Kölnischer Kunstverein Copenhagen: Overgaden Derry: CCA Derry~Londonderry Dubai: Traffic Dublin: Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane / Project Arts Centre Dusseldorf: Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen Eindhoven: Van Abbemuseum Farsta: Konsthall C Frankfurt: Städelschule / Portikus Gdansk: Łaźnia Centre For Contemporary Art Geneva: Centre de la photographie Ghent: S.M.A.K. Giza: Beirut Glasgow: CCA Centre for Contemporary Arts / Glasgow Sculpture Studios Graz: Grazer Kunstverein / Kunsthaus Graz / Künstlerhaus KM– / para_SITE Gallery Grijon: LABoral Centre for Art and Creative Industries Groningen: University of Groningen Hamburg: Kunstverein in Hamburg Helsinki: Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma Hobart: CAST Gallery / INFLIGHT Hong Kong: Asia Art Archive Iași: theartstudent at the University of Fine Arts, Iași Innsbruck: Galerie im Taxispalais Istanbul: BAS / Cda-Projects / DEPO / SALT Johannesburg: Center for Historical Reenactments Kansas City: La Cucaracha Press Klagenfurt: Kunstraum Lakeside Kristiansand: SKMU Sørlandets Kunstmuseum Leeds: Pavilion Lisbon: Maumaus, Escola de Artes Visuais / Oporto / Kunsthalle Lissabon Ljubljana: Moderna galerija Llandudno: MOSTYN London: Architectural Association—Bedford Press / Calvert 22 / Chisenhale Gallery / Gasworks / ICA / Serpentine Gallery / The Showroom / Visiting Arts Los Angeles: REDCAT Loughborough: Radar, Loughborough University Luxembourg: Casino Luxembourg Madrid: Brumaria / CA2M / PENSART Maastricht: Jan van Eyck Academie Marfa: Ballroom Marfa Melbourne: Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA) / World Food Books Mexico City: Librería Casa Bosques / Proyectos Monclova Milan: Fondazione Nicola Trussardi / HangarBicocca Milton Keynes: MK Gallery Minneapolis: Walker Art Center Moncton: Fixed Cog Hero (a bicycle courier company) Montreal: Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) Moscow: Garage Center for Contemporary Culture Munich: Haus der Kunst / Museum Villa Stuck / Walther Koenig Bookshop New Delhi: Sarai CSDS New York: e-flux / Independent Curators International (ICI) / Printed Matter, Inc Nottingham: Nottingham Contemporary Omaha: Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts Oslo: Kunstnernes hus Oxford: Modern Art Oxford Padona: Fondazione March Per L’Arte Contemporanea Paris: castillo/corrales – Section 7 Books / Centre Pompidou / Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers Philadelphia: Bodega Pori: Pori Art Museum Portland: Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA) / Publication Studio Porto: Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves Prague: DOX Centre for Contemporary Art Prishtina: Stacion – Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina Providence: AS220 Reykjavik: Reykjavik Art Museum Riga: kim? Rio de Janeiro: Capacete / A Gentil Carioca Rome: MACRO Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Roma / Opera Rebis Rotterdam: Piet Zwart Institute / Witte de With | Center for Contemporary Art Saint-Nazaire: Le Grand Cafe, centre d’art contemporain Salzburg: Salzburger Kunstverein San Antonio: Artpace São Paulo: KUNSTHALLE São Paulo / Master in Visual Arts, Faculdade Santa Marcelina Sarajevo: Sarajevo Center for Contemporary Art (SCCA) Seoul: The Books / The Book Society Sherbrooke: Foreman Art Gallery of Bishop’s University Skopje: Press to Exit Project Space Sofia: ICA-Sofia / Sofia Art Gallery St Erme Outre et Ramecourt: Performing Arts Forum St Louis: White Flag Projects Stockholm: Bonniers Konsthall / Iaspis / Index – The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation / Konstfack, University College of Art, Craft and Design Stuttgart: Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart Sydney: Artspace Tallinn: Kumu Art Museum of Estonia Tensta: Tensta konsthall The Hague: Stroom Den Haag Toronto: Art Metropole / Mercer Union / The Power Plant Torun: Centre of Contemporary Art Znaki Czasu in Torun (CoCA) Toowoomba: Raygun Contemporary Art Projects Trieste: Trieste Contemporanea Umeå: Bildmuseet, Umeå University Utrecht: BAK, basis voor actuele kunst / Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory Vaduz: Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein Valletta: Malta Contemporary Art Foundation Vancouver: Artspeak / Fillip—Motto / Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, University of British Columbia / READ Books, Charles H. Scott Gallery, Emily Carr University of Art and Design Vienna: Kunsthalle Wien / Salon für Kunstbuch—21er Haus Vigo: MARCO, Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo Vilnius: Contemporary Art Centre (CAC) Vitoria-Gasteiz: Centro Cultural Montehermoso Kulturunea Visby: BAC – Baltic Art Center Warsaw: Zachęta National Gallery of Art Wiesbaden: Nassauischer Kunstverein (NKV) Yerevan: Armenian Center For Contemporary Experimental Art (NPAK) Zagreb: Galerija Miroslav Kraljevic / Gallery Nova / DeLVe | Institute for Duration, Location and Variables Zurich: Postgraduate Program in Curating, Zürich University of the Arts / Shedhalle / White Space.

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April 3, 2014

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