November / December 2019 – Issue 207
“The more the activist agitates within [familiar cultural defaults], the more the noose tightens.” – Keller Easterling
The November / December issue of frieze focuses on infrastructural shifts in the arts, the environment and in activism. What is the artistic landscape like outside established global capitals? How are artists representing our now-hotter, wetter world? How can museums recover after scandals, and what should activism achieve? Featuring Pope.L, Keller Easterling, Rem Koolhaas, Chris Kraus, Marlene McCarty, Saskia Sassen, Thirteen Black Cats (Vic Brooks, Lucy Raven and Evan Calder Williams) and more.
The View from Above
“13BC are interested in land exploitation, the legacies of past conflicts and the creative deconstruction of cinematic conventions.” Kaelen Wilson-Goldie profiles 13BC, a film collective engaged in changing how we see and map landscape. A still from their 2019 film, Straight Flush, set in the barracks of a decommissioned military facility in Utah, features on the cover of the issue.
“I began to realize that, through an accumulation of discrete individual changes, the countryside was transforming more drastically than the city.” Architect Rem Koolhaas and AMO visualize the emergence of a “new sublime” in the world’s rural zones—a change “perhaps more exciting than anything we have seen since the birth of modernism in the early 20th century.”
Chris Kraus convenes a roundtable on art-making on the Mexico-US border; urbanist Keller Easterling on activism in an age of polarization and information warfare; sociologist Saskia Sassen on cultural “invisibility” in an age of global displacement; Jessica Lynne on Pope.L, an artist whose often-provocative work—spanning public performance, teaching and traditional media—has never been more urgent; Jennifer Kabat visits Silo City in Buffalo, New York, where artist Marlene McCarty is planting a garden that draws on the area’s history at the crux of capitalism and modernism; and Max Andrews pens a case study on how right-wing politics can impact museums, looking to Spain’s trailblazing Institut Valencia d’Art Modern (IVAM).
Columns and Reviews:
Mike Pepi investigates the nefarious potential of privatized digital surveillance, focusing on the company Palantir, and its ties to the US’s Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE); Timotheus Vermeulen reveals links between true-crime TV and Brexit; Susanne von Falkenhausen recalls cultural frontiers on either side of the Iron Curtain 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall; Jonathan P. Watts finds contemporary relevance in Jeremy Millar’s 1994 ICA exhibition The Institute of Cultural Anxiety; Skye Arundhati Thomas pens a call to action for the art world surrounding the Kashmir crisis; and Nicholas Mirzoeff asks—what can mass migration teach us about museums?
Plus, 22 reviews from around the world, including Vincent Fecteau at CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, and Wael Shawky at Lisson Gallery, New York.
Answering our questionnaire is legendary sci-fi author William Gibson, whose novel, Agency, is forthcoming with Berkley Books.