Issue 345: FAILURES OF INFLUENCE winter 2023–24

Issue 345: FAILURES OF INFLUENCE winter 2023–24

Flash Art International

Courtesy of Flash Art.*

December 6, 2023
Issue 345: FAILURES OF INFLUENCE winter 2023–24
December 6, 2023

Images of incessant and graphic violence are taking over our lives. The violence is real, as well as our impotence to intervene. The title of this winter issue, Failures of Influence, comes from Uzomaka Maduka’s Critic Dispatch, in which the American author considers the failures of influence in friendship and art. What still influences us today? Can images incite us to action? Are we empathy deficient? Are we living in a time of post-empathy?

We used to feel compassion for those lost in battle. We once found significance in thumbnail-sized images of wars, or even drawings depicting political assassinations or weapons of mass destruction. Now, we are so saturated with tragic, brutal imagery that we are almost numb to it. We are falling out of love with reality. We live in mentally dysfunctional times, when opinions are shaped via social media rather than first-hand experience or objective reasoning. Everyone has something to say about everything and anything.

The artists selected for this issue addresses these failures of influence, particularly our evolving—and devolving—relationship with the image in these troubled political times.

The first Cover Story is dedicated to Heji Shin, who was photographed wearing Givenchy by Richard Kern in his home studio. Shin’s work and world is brilliantly explicated by Dean Kissick, who—writing about the X-ray series—points out how the artist often tries to take us deeper inside her subjects: “Imagination, creativity, expression, freedom, strengths, individual agency, and subconscious streams of desire and association are to be found in the mind.”

Eric N. Mack’s tête à tête with fashion designer Kiko Kostadinov is the second Cover Story of the issue, a striking portrait of both artists. For the occasion, they have been photographed—both wearing Kiko Kostadinov—by Ari Marcopoulos in Mack’s studio during preparations for his solo show at Paula Cooper Gallery, in New York. Here they talk about where they draw inspiration and what they want to give back to their audience.

Hannah Black is the third Cover Story. Black was photographed by Lee Wei Swee at OCT0—a nonprofit production office based in Marseilles—wearing Ferragamo. In conversation with Estelle Hoy, the artist reflects on work, life, maternity, and responding to systemic injustice. According to Hoy, Black “plays cultural agitator by going beyond the cataclysmic rowdiness of looting and smashing windows.”

The fourth and final cover was produced in posthumous collaboration with one of our era’s most influential American artists, Mike Kelley, to whom we dedicate this issue’s installment of TIME MACHINE. Here we present two conversations from the Flash Art archive, one between Kelley and American filmmaker John Waters, and another with photographer Larry Clark, who has also penned a new introduction reflecting on his relationship with Kelley and on “art as a form of self-therapy.”

Erik Morse’s essay on Dutch photographer Rineke Dijkstra spans her entire career, from the iconic “Beach Portraits” (1992–98) to her three-channel video installation Night Watching (2019), now on view in Dijkstra’s solo show “Night Watching and Pictures from the Archive” at Marian Goodman Gallery, New York. Opening her story is a portrait by Taryn Simon. In conversation with Ben Broome, Elle Pérez considers the challenges of depicting the ephemeral condition of living through photographic means. Sarah Chekfa delves into Farah Al Qasimi’s work and aesthetic tendency to include, generating an aura that the artist describes as “so-muchness.”

The latest installment of Letter from the City is penned by Moroccan-French artist Bouchra Khalili—an impactful missive rising from the cracks and tears of Moroccan earthquakes. In The Curist, Gracie Hadland interviews Scott Cameron Weaver about his Los Angeles gallery O-Town House, a space characterized by its grit, purpose, and grassroots ascendancy. Alex Bennett’s research on emerging talents continues in the latest edition of Unpack / Reveal / Unleash, this time focusing on Toronto-based artist Lotus L. Kang, who is tracing genealogies of hormonal bodies and shifting subjectivities.

In this issue, we introduce a new column dedicated to the cities we travel to in order to seek new perspectives, influences, and art-world anomalies. The first installment of Focus On is dedicated to Tokyo and the third edition of its Art Week; and Kanazawa, where we met Yuko Hasegawa, Director of the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art.

Rirkrit Tiravanija A LOT OF PEOPLE MoMA PS1, New York, by Chiara Mannarino / Kayode Ojo EDEN 52 Walker, New York, by Whitney Mallett / Nonmemory Hauser & Wirth, Los Angeles, by Sam Davis / Eleanor Antin and My Barbarian MCASD—Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, by Sampson Ohringer / Mary Ellen Mark Encounters C/O Berlin by Mitch Speed / Gray Wielebinski The Red Sun is High, the Blue Low ICA, London, by Frank Wasser / Nan Goldin “This Will Not End Well” Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, by Dagmar Bosma

The issue will be available at Art Basel Miami; ArteFiera, Bologna; and Zona Maco, Mexico City.

*Image above: Covers: Heji Shin wearing Givenchy in Richard Kern’s home studio, New York, November 2023. Courtesy of the artist and Flash Art. Photo: Richard Kern. / Eric N. Mack and Kiko Kostadinov wearing Kiko Kostadinov in Mack’s studio, New York, October 2023. Courtesy of the artists and Flash Art. Photo: Ari Marcopoulos. / Hannah Black wearing Ferragamo at OCT0, Marseilles, October 2023. Courtesy of the artist and Flash Art. Photo: Lee Wei Swee. / Mike Kelley, Shy Satanist Backdrop Study (detail), 2005. Ink and acrylic on paper, 71.5 × 94 cm. Courtesy of Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts. © Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts. All Rights Reserved/VAGA at ARS, New York.

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December 6, 2023

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