December 22, 2008 - Art Lies - Issue No. 60, Winter 2008
December 22, 2008

Issue No. 60, Winter 2008

Cover Image: Anthony Goicolea
Ash Wednesday, 2001
Color photograph
40 by 80 inches
Collection of Stéphane Janssen
Image courtesy Postmasters Gallery, New York

Theatre As Metaphor
Issue No. 60, Winter 2008

Theatre As Metaphor: Setting the Scene

This issue of Art Lies is situated between theatre and theatricality or, in more direct terms, between the theatre and its metaphors. The trigger for this inquiry is a continued disdain for—and obsession with—theatrical tropes that preoccupy certain strains of contemporary artistic practice, as traced by a series of exhibitions over the past year. Out of these exhibitions grew the pressing need to readdress the legacies and the pervasiveness of metaphors related to the stage that continue to permeate the discourses of painting, sculpture, performance, installation, photography, film and video. What this issue is not is an inquiry into a specific form or tradition. Nor is it a guidebook to all of the likely—and unlikely—places from which theatre, theatricality and its antecedents might be thought to emerge. Instead, it is meant to interrogate the primacy of theatre as metaphor. And, much like W. J. T. Mitchell, who identified the vital signs of a “pictorial turn” in contemporary culture in the mid 1990s, one might ask what the characteristics of a “theatrical turn” would be, if there were ever such a turn. Rather than accept the image that the theatre offers of itself—both in vision and language—a notion of a theatrical turn would surely have to contend with the possibility that it is through this very mode that all cultural and social exchanges are mediated.

- Anjali Gupta, Editor & Aram Moshayedi, Guest Editorial Contributor

Feature Contributors:
Walead Beshty
Liam Gillick
Michael Ned Holte*
Shannon Jackson
Vishal Jugdeo
William Leavitt
Judy Radul
David Román
Alexandro Segade
Susan Silton
Damon Willick
*Exclusive online curatorial project

Reviews Include:
Austin—Eric Zimmerman on Susan Collis
Houston—Kurt Mueller on Damaged Romanticism
Houston—Noah Simblist on Walid Raad
Fort Worth—Noah Simblist on Teresa Hubbard & Alexander Birchler
Dallas—Michael Odom on Richie Budd
New York—John Ewing on Perverted by Theater
New York—Evan J. Garza on Jim Pirtle

Cover Image: Anthony Goicolea, Ash Wednesday, 2001; color photograph;
40 by 80 inches; collection of Stéphane Janssen; image courtesy Postmasters Gallery, New York

Upcoming Art Lies Events:
College Art Association 2009

February 25-28, Los Angeles

Cocktail party honoring Aram Moshayedi, Guest Editorial Contributor
Details TBA

The Armory Show
March 5-8, New York City

Upcoming Issues:
Issue No. 61
—Guest Editorial Contributor Stuart Horodner, Artistic Director,
Atlanta Contemporary Art Center

Issue No. 62—Guest Editorial Contributor Barbara Perea, Independent Curator, Mexico City

Art Lies is available in the United States at independent bookstores, museums and select Barnes & Noble locations and internationally via the Web.

Art Lies, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization established in 1993, publishes a contemporary art quarterly that provides a forum for the critical exploration and examination of current art production, practice and theory. Art Lies is funded in part by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Houston Endowment, The Brown Foundation, The Tocker Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, the Texas Commission on the Arts, the Houston Arts Alliance and our members.

Subscribe now at

Art Lies | POB 1408, Houston, TX 77251-1408 | 832.366.1388 |

Art Lies
Share - Issue No. 60, Winter 2008
  • Share
Click to subscribe to e-flux and be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements
Subscribe to e-flux
Be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements.
Subscribe to architecture
Explore the most recent content from e-flux architecture and urbanism
Subscribe to e-flux programs
Keep up-to-date on all upcoming talks, screenings, and exhibitions at e-flux in New York