Winter 2021–22 issue

Winter 2021–22 issue

Flash Art International

Cover: Ser Serpas, tracing listicle generation toppling, 2021. Found objects, mixed materials. Dimensions variable. Sculpture made for Dora Budor’s exhibition “Autoreduction” at Progetto, Lecce, 2021. Photography by Simon Veres. Courtesy of the artist; Progetto, Lecce; and Karma International, Zurich.

December 3, 2021
Winter 2021–22 issue

Deliberately without a title or apparent orientation, this issue, arriving at the turn of the year, accompanies a time of profound ecological, social, and technological transition. Despite the necessity and hope for a return to a more human dimension, to a relationship with the other and especially with the natural world, we see instead a push toward other dimensions: the imminent Metaverse and the rise of cryptocurrency suggest that resources have been diverted elsewhere. Hovering between humanity and the Metaverse, this winter issue of Flash Art is a message to be swallowed in small doses.

The sculptures of Ser Serpas, our cover story for this issue, are emblematic of such “transient moments,” as Ingrid Luquet-Gad notes. These works are the result of a process in which language literally intersects residue—materials that for society have become objects of waste, of abandonment. In some sense the world’s ecosystem is gradually losing its boundaries, entering into a new era of increasingly unstable subjectivity, as is particularly evident in Korakrit Arunanondchai’s vision of the world as Stefanie Hessler points out.

Meanwhile artists, activists, and thinkers are beginning to occupy a new dimension of the digital realm, which is why we present here a special section called Crypto Art’s New Ecology, which further probes issues raised by Flash Art’s digital column The Uncanny Valley. The section includes a panel discussion, a reflection on the prehistory of crypto, and a conversation with Simon Denny. Following a similar line of inquiry, in this issue Eleonora Milani speaks with Nick Hackworth and Pippa Hornby, whose historic London gallery now reenters the art system as Paradise Row Projects, a year-long nonprofit curatorial project with a social and environmental focus and a metaverse platform. Where will this turnaround lead? It’s too early to tell, but perhaps Thomas Demand’s “empty” worlds are a plausible projected outcome of a bulimic control over psychodata as maintained by corporate and governmental entities. As Ella Plevin notes, “What choice is there but disappear or pick a role?”

Often artists are called upon to occupy the role of demiurge of universal human feelings. This is the case with Adam Farah, in whose research Eliel Jones recognizes the ability to bring vulnerability and empathy back into spaces of engagement and sociality; or Pauline Curnier Jardin, whose work—analyzed in the final episode of her column The Age of Love — is considered by Chus Martínez to be an effort to erase the binaries that divide conscious and unconscious processes.

In addition, Andrea Bellini traces with Akeem Smith the anthropological roots of his research; Charlie Robin Jones analyzes Arc’Teryx, the first brand to embrace the rise of technical outdoor apparel within the comforts of the city; and Eli Ping, in Letter from the City, discusses his ambiguous relationship with the city and with anger.

Also in this issue: Pascale Krief reflects on issues around institutional funding and resources, especially in light of the revival of “museum bashing” in France; on the other hand, Fredi Fischli and Niels Olsen’s provocative theories accompanying REPLICANTS, a visual essay curated by Armature Globale, call for a new museology driven by young collectives.

Reviews: Jasper Johns, Mind/Mirror, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and Philadelphia Museum of Art / Greater New York, MoMA PS1, New York / Hurvin Anderson, Reverb, Thomas Dane Gallery, London / Oliver Laric, Betweenness, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam / Tacita Dean, Antigone, Kunstmuseum Basel / Martin Margiela, Lafayette Anticipations, Paris / Doug Aitken, New Era, MCA – Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney

#337 will be launched this week at Art Basel Miami Beach. The issue will be also available at Artgenéve; ARCO Madrid; and Investec Cape Town.

Get your print copy here or subscribe for digital access here.

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December 3, 2021

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