Spike 75 “The Museum Issue”

Spike 75 “The Museum Issue”

Spike Art Magazine

Mirko Borsche & Rita Vitorelli, Spike issue 75 cover, spring 2023.

May 10, 2023
Spike 75 “The Museum Issue”
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Dear readers and art-world peers, 

Spike issue 75 fêtes the museum in all its stuffy, messy, showy, old-timey glory. We feel the heavy load it bears after centuries above the fray—to decolonize collections and cheerlead justice, to backdrop local potclatches and global photo-ops—and adore it for looking none the worse for wear.

“The Museum Issue” is a guestbook to be leafed through at half-light, a reminder to all the petitioners of should of what such institutions already are: troves of our symbols and the histories they shift with; stubborn beauty marks amid everything’s turning smoother.

Pick up your copy and weigh if we’re singing a dusky elegy or greeting the dawn of the museum’s next chapter.

From the issue: 

Simon Wu “The Museum: A New Social Sculpture” 
For all the prophesying of the post-aesthetic museum: It’s already here. “Perhaps we have come to see it as a big, unwieldy project of relational aesthetics. When I go to a museum now, I want to know: Who sits on the board? What are their investments? Is the staff trying to unionize?”

Ben Davis “Do Artists’ Careers Need Museums?” 
“The circuit of prestige is reversed: Rather than the artist needing the museum to boost their career, the museum needs the artist’s popularity to boost their clout.”

“A Day at the Museum”
We asked eight artists—among them, Ed Atkins, Dena Yago, and Bernadette Van-Huy—which museums they call on like old friends. Where they’ve fallen in love, once worked the door, even found God looking back from paintings, or the occasional demon. 

Dana Kopel “Are Museums Only for the Rich?” 
“There’s a longstanding assumption that the art world is exceptional. But museums are sites of exploitation just like any other workplace. If we only push for change on a symbolic level, we’re only going to get symbolic change.”

Isabella Zamboni “Louise Lawler: And Other Pictures” 
“How different does a Warhol look stacked on a storehouse floor, above silk sheets in a collector’s bedroom, reproduced on a matchbox, hung behind an auction-house altar step, well-lit on a museum wall?” Louise Lawler’s works convey that how we look is as formative as what we’re meant to see.

Jeppe Ugelvig “Meschac Gaba’s Museum of Contemporary African Art” 
Amid the 90s’ wish to multi-culturalize the white cube, Meschac Gaba asked what a museum—a colonial form that invents truth by partitioning life—of contemporary African art could be.

Martin Zeilinger “Exhibition History: ‘Proof of Art,’ Francisco Carolinum Linz, 2021” 
A first-among-museums show dedicated to NFT history probe how well-established art institutions can meaningful engage with art scenes that emphasize technologies of decentralization, inclusivity, and distributed consensus.

…along with Pope.L’s Artist Favorites from Adrienne Kennedy to David Cronenberg; Antony Hudek on the end of art museums; Ann Demeester on James Ensor; and Nicola Pecoraro on the third landscape of southern Rome; plus, portraits of Tania Bruguera and Bea Schlingelhoff by Estelle Hoy and Harry Burke; a conversation between Joel Sanders and Diana Fuss on the origins of the museum bench and on designing with many bodies in mind; Patrick McGraw on Thomas Bernhard; our columnist Tea Hacic-Vlahovic on being archive. 

Reviews from Berlin, Hong Kong, Kassel, Minneapolis, New York, Vienna, and much more!

Interested in getting Spike 75—The Museum Issue at a discount? Then head over to our webshop and subscribe!

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