Sung Tieu at Soho House Berlin

On Tuesday, 30 April at Soho House Berlin, Sung Tieu will unpack a practice that mixes research and autobiography to address evolving structures of control, with an emphasis on site specificity as a medium.

“Unbound: Performance as Rupture” at JSF Berlin

A sixty-year survey tracks recorded performance’s shift from antagonism to top-down media to ubiquity in the experience economy.

WangShui at Haus der Kunst

Inspired by Octavia Butler’s sci-fi, a Munich exhibition centered on live simulation and painting’s latent space suggests how post-human interbreeds might perceive.

“Cute” at Somerset House

Layering hyperpop, globalized kawaii, and charismatic megafauna over loads of Hello Kitty, an exhibition in London cashes in on our tyrannical feelings towards cuteness.

€ 2.500,–
€ 800,–
Released on occasion on Spike’s Issue #75 - »The Museum Issue«.
€ 40,–
An image for the showcase module titled, "SPIKE ISSUE #79 – OUT NOW!"

Eco ruin and refugeeism, illiberalization and inequality, hot wars and a New Cold War – the polycrisis hydra is always growing another head. But it’s also a state of mind, an identity crisis brought on by paralysis and cognitive shock. Was it always like this, but with less media reach? Or is capitalism really burning itself out, just without any redemptive zest? The arts are expert at thematizing the woes that affect them – hello, Biennale and documenta – but maybe polycrisis is an instructive metaphor for what’s breaking creativity: the commercial takeover of discourse, the bureaucratization of curating, and the dopamine highs of self-branding.

Maybe we’re at a crossroads between recovery and death. But Spike #79 is clear-eyed about the fact that pessimists are never disappointed.

With Henrike Naumann, Shirin Neshat, Roberto Villanueva, Ben Davis, Mire Lee, Precious Okoyomon, Ivan Cheng, Nil Yalter, Anselm Franke, Anna Jermolaewa, Catherine Liu, Oliver Ressler, Morag Keil, Jeppe Ugelvig, and many more.

On Aesthetics
By Joanna Walsh

If aesthetics has become the feeling of something rather than an actual something, can we romanticize the intellectualism of Dark Academia while breaking free from its retrograde politics?

The Shocks Are Not Shocking
By Ben Davis

How do you do culture in a distracting and fragmented mediascape? If age-old strategies of amplification and withdrawal no longer work, art must find a new way to deal with the noise of crisis.

Going Out in Venice
By Tea Hacic-Vlahovic

As the Art World descends on Venice’s canals for the 60th Biennale, Spike’s hedonist columnist dishes out the best way to get drunk between bridges and where to eat like Hemingway.

Denk ich an Deutschland: Basma Al-Sharif, Juliano Fiori & Anselm Franke
By Alex Hochuli

Is Western liberalism really on its deathbed? Four voices in art and politics convene for a roundtable on censorship, what the hell is happening in Germany, and art’s role on the precipice of doom.

Stanley Brouwn at the Hammer Museum
By Eli Diner

A Los Angeles exhibition devoid of biography, photographs, and explanations turns museum-going conventions into vectors for measuring empty space.

Resistance, Fish By Fish: Shu Lea Cheang
By Patrick Kurth

The director of Fresh Kill reflects on fusing gender hacking, queer media activism, and a parable of environmental racism into a (newly restored) avant-anarcho eco-satire.

Boy Meets Boy Meets Boys’ Love
By Simon Wu

A journey into the sugary heart of gay romance, from yaoi to E.M. Forster, raises the question: Why is gay happiness so controversial? Is it just because they’re having better sex?

The Steely Ennui of Constance Debré’s “Playboy”
By Estelle Hoy

Beyond affirming that fashioning a new self is often a matter of class, the French author’s coming-out auto-fiction is a cold, hard accounting of being bored shitless.

WangShui at Haus der Kunst
By Vittoria de Franchis

Inspired by Octavia Butler’s sci-fi, a Munich exhibition centered on live simulation and painting’s latent space suggests how post-human interbreeds might perceive.

Jianghu and Art-Making in the Chinese Diaspora
By Xueli Wang

Drawn from martial arts, the fantasy of an underworld peopled by noble outcasts has marked decades of Chinese cinema and recent art on the coincidences of immigrant life.

Going Out in Hong Kong 2024
By Eugenia Lai

Need a foot massage during Art Basel Hong Kong? A Spike confidante has some suggestions – and plenty of tips on the city’s best dim sum, speakeasies, and cha chaang tengs.

“There Is Something Odd…” at Christine König Galerie
By Ramona Heinlein

In Vienna, bold figurative paintings by Cathrin Hoffmann, Laurent Proux, and Pieter Schoolwerth render the nightmarish gaps between visceral and virtual realities.

Art in the Afterlife of the Rave
By Michelle Lhooq

What happened during LA art week? A little woo woo for white women, Eartheater doing her occult thing, some shop talk about drugs. But there are rich people complaining everywhere these days.

On Frumpiness
By Joanna Walsh

If frumpiness is everything fashion doesn’t want to be, what is “post-frump” and how can it save style?

Gisèle Vienne’s “EXTRA LIFE” at Tanzquartier Wien
By Gianna Virginia Prein

Her second choreography with Adèle Haenel raises the question: Is talking through childhood trauma an ode to new beginnings, or just another turn round an endless carousel?

“I gave up making sculpture, and I walked into the space”: Joan Jonas
By Barbara Clausen

For half a century, the “sculptural” performance artist, now the subject of a MoMA retrospective, has used shards of myth and ritual to cut into history’s repetitions and the images they yield.

The Pure Geometry of a Harley: Olivier Mosset
By Francesco João

A radical Minimalist talks seeing custom choppers in the lineage of readymades and feeling lost in a century where art has no limits.

Playboi Carti against His Own Game
By Nolan Kelly

In a one-man battle with Reddit, the hype cycle, and AI deepfakes for control over his output, the rapper is pushing his artistic identity to the breaking point.

At the End of the Secret Paths
By Thomas Irmer

In memory of René Pollesch (1962–2024), a 2005 conversation with Olaf Nicolai distills the late Volksbühne director’s onstage commitment to affirming his collaborators’ lives in all their messy specif...

What’s after Post-Internet Art?
By Kat Kitay

Technoromanticism may find the sublime by devirtualizing online culture – or usher in an end-times of Gothic circuit board worship.

On Luxury
By Joanna Walsh

Is luxury just a signifier of wealth, or can it exist without class? As with any fashion phenomenon, what appears like a matter of economy turns out to be a question of gender, too.

Emilio Prini at MACRO
By Eleonora Milani

In Rome, an encyclopedic show of anti-commodities, auto-documentations, and studies in emptiness typifies an Arte Povera prankster’s conviction that work is unfinishable.

Dismantling The House Tech Built: Mimi Ọnụọha
By Alexandra Gilliams

Jailbreaking the algorithmic violence of Big Tech’s new toys, the Brooklyn-based artist creates shelters for nuance amid the growing storm of datification.

Haus-Rucker-Co at Lentos Museum
By Patricia Grzonka

In Linz, a playground of inflatables, wearables, and other whimsical inventions refresh the art and architecture group’s utopianism for our gloomy present.