Issues
Issue #57
“The End of the End of History?” Issue Two
With: Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle, Arseny Zhilyaev, Jonas Staal, Hassan Khan, Miran Mohar, Sotirios Bahtsetzis, Eduardo Cachucho, Bilal Khbeiz, Suzana Milevska, Keti Chukhrov, Knut Åsdam, Edit András, and Ilya Budraitskis

Francis Fukuyama, and even his mentor Alexandre Kojève before him, warned of boredom, stasis, and homogeneity being characteristics of the “universal homogenous state” that would mark the end of history. As Fukuyama put it: in the post-historical period there will be neither art nor philosophy, just the perpetual caretaking of the museum of human history. And indeed, the phase of contemporary art has also been characterized in discussions over recent years as a reformatting of time into a perpetual present. The contemporary is the now that never ends, the art that circles itself at the tail end of history looking back on defunct ideologies, archiving and polishing them for a future that never arrives.

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13 Essays September 2014
The Places of History
Arseny Zhilyaev
The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the minds of the living. —Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte Since Baudelaire’s time, the artist has been imagined as someone rooted in the tradition of overcoming tradition. Artists have been obliged to keep abreast of fashion and spend their time in endless flânerie, thus resisting being stopped or captured in space. In the twentieth century, the public figure or activist was primarily a...
Ultranationalism and the “Deep State” There doesn’t seem to be a worse moment than the present to defend the project of stateless internationalism. The recent European elections of May 2014 showed the growing influence of ultranationalist parties on the political establishment; in terms of representation in the European Parliament, ultranationalist parties became the largest parties in France (National Front), Denmark (Danish People’s Party), and the United Kingdom (United Kingdom...
In the late nineteenth century, a monster was born. This monster did not know what it was exactly. It knew that it needed to articulate, describe, prescribe, and communicate. It knew it was supposed to play a public role in the birth of a new historical order. It knew it had a precise function in the articulation of power within the transforming social order. This monster was a speculator of knowledge, a peddler of identities, a fantasist, a cunning operator, an extrovert with a bloated ego,...
NSK and its groups never spoke the political language of the day. This, however, does not mean that we did not respond to aggressive nationalist politics. We did not want to fall victim to the phantoms of the past, being well-aware that the more that totalitarian and nationalistic symbols were pushed under the rug and prohibited, the more they assumed diabolical power. This was also one of the reasons why, in our paintings, Irwin juxtaposed the motifs and styles of modernism and contemporary...
With his statement that “Eurozone voters have been blackmailed and betrayed,” journalist and economist Philippe Legrain provided us with a concise account of the political situation in Europe a week before the May 2014 European elections. 1 Legrain’s article suggests a direct link between the mismanagement of the sovereign debt crisis on the level of political discourse, and the rise of both xenophobia and Euroscepticism across the continent. 2 On a political and economic level, certainly...
Over a Lebanese dinner in London, a Dutch friend and fellow artist recently told me about a leak in the Dutch press relating to Martin Bosma, a prominent figure in the Party for Freedom (PVV) in the Netherlands and best known as the speechwriter and ideologue of the notorious Geert Wilders. 1 The PVV is a right-wing political party that advocates for the withdrawal of the Netherlands from the EU and is attempting, together with Marine Le Pen’s National Front in France and Nigel Farage’s...
It seems that the pictures we watched on TV about the American war in Afghanistan are in great need of comment. These images needed the help of language in order to speak, and yet they also couldn’t create their own language. To understand these images, we had to go back to our most primal instincts to say: this is the corpse of a child younger than four years old; that is a destroyed house; these are villagers and farmers standing at the ruins of their clay houses. Without these comments,...
She just goes a little mad sometimes. We all go a little mad sometimes. Haven’t you? —Norman Bates in Psycho This essay is an á galma dedicated to the Macedonian government’s project “Skopje 2014,” which recently turned Skopje, the capital of the Republic, into a memorial park of “false memories.” 1 Over the last five years, a series of unskillfully casted figurative monuments have appeared throughout Skopje, installed over the night, as if brought into public space by...
1. Historically there have been two methodologies of resisting the complacency of the culture industry and bourgeois society’s reliance on the judgment of taste. One was the modernist stance: it required extreme estrangement and abstaining from alienated capitalist reality; it turned the artwork into a piece, blocking perception, pleasure, or the judgment of taste, so that such work would exist in extra-social conditions rather than be perceived by a society that can never evade the...
The world is out of joint. With the resurgence of nationalisms on an international scale, we can re-phrase Shakespeare’s comment to relate to any thought of the “world” from an internationalist perspective. There are resurgences of nationalisms across the globe and in my European context. Countries such as Russia, Ukraine, Hungary, Greece, have resurgences of extremist nationalism. Some of these movements are unapologetically neo-Nazi—such as the Jobbik party in Hungary or the Golden Dawn...
Nationalism is not just in Hungary’s backyard, it is in every corner of the house from the basement to the roof. It gets inside with the air and has completely soaked through the orifices of the building: the front door, the windows, the chimney, the front yard. For this reason, Kriszta Nagy, a Hungarian painter who exhibited her work last spring at Godot Gallery in Budapest, feels she has no other option than to paint the leader of Hungary on bedsheets and tablecloths. She explains the...
Why is there no antiwar movement in Russia? Why are so few people willing to take to the streets to publicly accuse the government of furthering the war in Eastern Ukraine? People who supported the March 15 peace march in downtown Moscow still pose these questions to each other. Their numbers are constantly shrinking, but the point is that even those people who still support the spirit of protest no longer have any confidence that protest can change anything. If the new war (or prewar)...
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