#327 September - October 2019
Since 1967, Flash Art is synonym of a cutting edge perspective on contemporary art and global art landscape. Renowned for its iconic covers, currently active with International and Italian Edition, the magazine remains – after more than five decades – committed to analysing and reporting established but also experimental art practices and happenings in the art world, publishing essays by the most authoritative critics and observers together with artists statements and special projects exclusively conceived for the magazine.
A digital subscription gives you access to the current and future publications together with archive issues archive, under development.
Digital only subscriptions can be bought by clicking the Add to basket button below.
Print only subscriptions are available in Flash Art Shop priced from €65 per year for International Edition (details here) , and €39 for Italian Edition (details here) .
Shuang Li’s work Lord of the Flies — which accompanies one of two cover stories in this spring issue — was performed in Shanghai in January 2022. Twenty performers, trained remotely by the artist, were tasked with embodying the sense of failure and implosion that defined metropolitan cities during the pandemic years. The performance is about the absence of human presence, both contingent and conceptual, as well as the metamorphosis of human relationships during a historical moment when we are creeping ever closer to a state of dematerialization. The work also resonates with the currently fraught global political situation, which will likely redefine our delicate relationships both interpersonally and internationally.
This issue encompasses a dark side that emerges from time to time; thoughts of rebirth, typical in springtime, presently seem faraway for humanity. The pages of this issue are populated by mutable creatures, a term that Isabel Parkes uses to describe Colin Self in her introduction to a wide-ranging discussion of Self’s latest project, called Tip the Ivy, and the artist’s longtime interest in shadow worlds. We also meet another singular creature, a material entity that periodically visits Hayden Dunham’s subterranean studio in LA. Between a darkness chamber and a wet studio, the entity questions Dunham about her research on the development of a new plant — a hybrid from the Rex begonia family that will function as an air purifier. The dark side surfaces again in Catalina Ouyang’s art, which, as Jane Ursula Harris points out, conjures “psychosexual and generational traumas that are not meant to be resolved but rather give rise to contingencies of being outside of logic and morality.”
Work — and the illness it causes as an endemic social condition — is one such generational trauma, as the bare minimum collective points out in their manifesto. Their solution seems to reside in collective actions and loving gestures — ways of being that may seem elusive to the inward-looking subjects of Xinyi Cheng’s painterly world. “By submitting to a wider logic of sensation, they have gained access to a world that is just theirs,” writes Ingrid-Luquet Gad in her essay. Still, even the most self-possessed mind is shaped by the highly engineered infrastructure of physical space, as Olivia Erlanger incisively deliberates with Keller Easterling.
In this issue’s second cover story, Blake Oetting reflects on how Kayode Ojo’s sculptures “choreograph a series of sly subversions by harnessing the rhetoric of display.” Also in this issue: Pascale Krief writes on the work of Julien Creuzet, which is made up of a complex poetic language woven from a set of historical, philosophical, and sociological references; Charlie Robin Jones dedicates his latest edition of Profile to the British designer Craig Green, who has produced some of the most poetic fashion statements of the last few decades; and Mandy Harris Williams, in Letter from the City, writes from her place in Mt. Washington, where “each day begins as a phantom apparition and proceeds as such, as though it could be just a specter, just a mythology, just a story that was blown across the plains…”
This entire issue reflects on the shaping of human identity: through the body, with its shifting terrain of desire and affect; in nonhuman beings; in architectural spaces; and in fictitious narratives that unfold across disparate temporalities and geopolitical contexts. This season will embody the essence of digitalized intimacy amid the existential restlessness of the world around us.
Baseera Khan, “I Am an Archive” Brooklyn Museum, New York / Caroline Kent, “Chicago Works” Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago / Yu Ji, “Against Shadows” Sadie Coles HQ, London
/ “The Real Show” CAC Brétigny / “TUNE. Sound and Beyond” Haus der Kunst, Munich
/ Wolfgang Tillmans, “Sound is Liquid” mumok, Vienna / Steven Parrino, Gagosian, Basel