Pyongyang Elegance: Notes on Communism by Amalia Ulman for Affidavit.art, February 12, 2018

Candice Lin. A Hard White Body

I guess the very existence of the artworld as we know it is hoisted and buttressed by a suspended set of values that must also collapse with the fiction of liberal democracy. And it’s complicated because without the whole circus, none of our work means a thing. The objects become totemic, faith trophies or whatever – at best, that is. At worst, it’s all just a bunch of worthless junk full of stolen tropes and cynical jokes. Most of the problems we spend our time discussing in the artworld are not real problems; they’re philosophical or theological conceits, really, and nothing will change through the value-production-industrial complex of endless panel discussions. The world as we know it may very well be ending, not in the Alt-Right, accelerationist sense but in the Wildersonian afropessimist sense; this would mean the end of the artworld too, of course. We would all have to find some other way to make a living if making a living was still something one did. And/or we would give ourselves wholly to the business of life. There are artistries in everything. But I think again of faith, somehow necessary where art is not. In Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower the main character Lauren Olamina is what I would call an artist, and this helps her survive apocalyptic conditions where others cannot. – Jesse Darling on Faith, Crisis, and Refusal via http://momus.ca/

Okwui Enwezor. Questionnaire on “The Contemporary”

Paintings that picture the female gaze looking onto “herself” becoming a man who in turn embodies the rhetorical gaze of the viewer who is, meanwhile, consuming both. Multiple women and one man; a seemingly classic power structure. How many women have been the object of painting? How many “girls” sell the work (back to the delicious Picabia)? And who is this effete, corporate-suited “Graham,” seeing himself as a girl in a skirt or panties actively posing à la théorie de la jeune-fille ? This is fantasy. This is the controlled choreography of Capitalism. This is not desire. This is Carpenter presenting farce feeding itself to us, presenting Carpenter as the artist. If the girl is the subject in the act of looking at herself for others, she has been hijacked by this Tony Blair-looking businessman in the bathroom mirror; who does not dominate necessarily, but does manage to undermine the subject of our looking. We are complicit. – The Man In The Mirror, Sarah Morris on Merlin Carpenter at Galerie Neu, Berlin, Texte Zur Kunst n°107

Stephen Prina

Let’s put it this way: I have little interest in the position of autonomous authorship that I obviously inhabit, and I have absolutely no interest in making it the subject matter of my writing or even present it as something special. So when I’ve written something that, in the process of writing, I believe I’ve never read anywhere else before, I tend to try and find a section that says the same thing before I did. Then I replace my so-called “own” with the so-called “other”. To me it is more important to place myself within a network of thinking and thought-paths rather than trail after the old-fashioned chimaera called ‘artist’ that propounds one has produced something unique and new. Which means that I prefer the quoted text to “my own” but I make a bow towards the sources by stating more than once where they do come from. The quoted idea may come up again about 40 pages later, this time without any hint towards the source, but that’s because I rely on the readers to notice “Ah, here we’ve got someone like Hubert Fichte or Jack Smith again. But they were introduced some time before.” I do not really use quotation marks. Simply because I do not believe in the enclosed autonomy of the Other. I regard that as open as anything else. That’s why I follow a form of writing that was propagated by feminists such as Hélène Cixous, who describes feminine text as openly accessible from the top and the bottom, from both sides, from the front and the back. – Direction Artiste – Appendix – A Conversation with Thomas Meinecke, David Lieske at Lovaas Munich, November 16, 2017 – December 16, 2017

I define the archive as a “para-institution.” And this relates to the fact that I conceive the archive as an artistic instrument of self-historicising (which in many cases blends with the artwork itself). The para-institution of the artist’s archive was designed for recording, presenting and diffusing ephemeral, often subversive activities, and it produced autonomous contexts. Artists’ archives often reflect on how the ideological apparatuses manipulate everyday life, moreover they inscribe the artwork in history from the artist’s standpoint. That does not only mean that they put the artwork in circulation and communicate it within a limited circle of kindred spirits. Frequently the artist’s archive has a further role, involving an attempt to control the reception of the work in the local and international setting. Such an approach takes a number of levels of comparative research into account. Work at the varying levels of textual or pictorial documents demands a re-evaluation of the relationship of original and copy and must reflect the documents’ modes of production and reproduction, and must also take into account their unique, unrepeatable arrangement in the artist’s archive. One cannot reduce the artist’s archive exclusively to purposes of communication. With the deliberate multiplication and diffusion of documents, things come to a point where archival practices break free from the instrumentalisation, reification and commodification of the artwork. – Daniel Grúň, Monument to a Heroine. Július Koller’s Archive and Processes of Self-Historicisation, September 2017

If I close my eyes at any point during the day, under any circumstance, I can clearly visualise images that have been etched into my memory. Sometimes they are important ones that bring comfort, that are capable of transporting us to a moment in our lives that makes us feel safe. I like to think of them as a sort of vital pedestal; a base to lean on for support in order to carry on walking. – Juan Canela, Walking with Images, August 2017

Silvia Federici. Undeclared War: Violence Against Women

The author must give up on aping genius. Rather show the author as ape, the author as idiot. Don’t have the hubris of being the comedian. You are the straight man in this farce; the universe is the funny man. So don’t be silly, cute, crack jokes, or play coy, but allow hilarity, a cleansing painful laughter that splits your sides and your heart. Follow your own foolishness like tracks upon the sand. – Lars Iyer, Nude in your hot tub, facing the abyss (a literary manifesto after the end of literature and manifestos), The White Review , November 2011

Thomas Nagel. What is it like to be a bat?

Seth Price. Redistribution

Louise Lawler. Prominence Given, Authority Taken

It’s interesting, for instance, how charcoal becomes trendy today in organic and well-being food, even if it’s been fucking up generations of miner’s lungs. Some use it as a natural way to ease stomach pain and bad digestion. I prefer its vomiting effects: it’s used as an emergency treatment for certain kinds of severe poisoning and OD’s. I like that it’s presented here in the shape of a large, family-size bread we could eat of all together, while expelling all the possible mad-driving toxins. The idea of letting go, of fluidity, of opening the valves, a joyful communal diarrhea prompted me to ask the baker how we could form a sort of orifice in the bread. He folded his arm and pushed his elbow far in the middle of the fresh dough. – The Future of Not Working, Aline Bouvy in conversation with Louise Osieka, June 5, 2017