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 Reena Spaulings, The Dealers , 2007 Postcards, postcard rack Courtesy of Campoli Presti

Reena Spaulings, The Dealers, 2007

Postcards, postcard rack

Courtesy of Campoli Presti

Gallerists play a key role in the ecosystem of art and we are grateful to them: for supporting artists, putting on shows, hosting dinners. But swathes of the art market are driven by greed, lying, and back-room deals, all covered by a blanket of secrecy. A look at some of the less savoury tricks of this highly unregulated trade. By Kenny Schachter

 Julian Charrière, The Blue Fossil Entropic Stories I , 2013 © Julian Charrière; VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, Germany. Courtesy DITTRICH & SCHLECHTRIEM, Berlin

Julian Charrière, The Blue Fossil Entropic Stories I, 2013

© Julian Charrière; VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, Germany. Courtesy DITTRICH & SCHLECHTRIEM, Berlin

Instead of jetting to Venice, Basel, Hongkong, or New York, you should probably stay at home and read a book, or look at Instagram if you must. Every flight bringing people to artworks and artworks to people adds to the art world’s enormous carbon footprint. Is the value of seeing art IRL really worth it? Nobody can live in the sky for ever. By Mitch Speed

“Über Leben am Land” at Kunst Haus Wien by Klaus Speidel. Friedrich von Berzeviczy-Pallavicini: “Der Hausfreund” at Universitaetsgalerie im Heiligenkreuzer Hof by Maximilian Geymüller. “Peter Friedl: Teatro” at Kunsthalle Wien by Benjamin Hirte. 

By Robin Peckham, Jakob Kudsk Steensen, Maria Bernheim, Saim Demircan, Kira Wilson

“Nine Weeks of Art and Action”

Protest at the Whitney Museum in New York in 2019

Photo: Andres Rodriguez

New York has been called Gotham, a modern Gomorrah, Empire City of the New World, the city of dreams, and the capital of the art world. If you fake it in here, you fake it anywhere, right? Rahel Aima on the immorality of New York.

Photo: Charlie Gray

Why are white male artists more valued by the market?

With or without the help of AI, attempts to end the proliferation of fake content and disinformation on social-media platforms are probably doomed to failure. Instead, our posts and likes will continue to exacerbate conflict, strengthen groupthink, and cause mental distress. Why current strategies for fighting harmful messages are unlikely to work. By Rob Horning

Annotated images of the Fomalhaut system from NASA/ESA.

The details show the orbital motion of the planet Fomalhaut b (aka Dagon).

NASA, ESA, and Z. Levay (STScI)

How to dress the devil? If there’s one thing we can learn from the canon of villainy it would be that evil rarely requires a stylist. The arts are populated with villains – on both sides of the screen, page, canvas – who know how to work far more dashing cuts than their heroic counterparts. By Ella Plevin

Irena Haiduk, Seductive Exacting Realism. Installation view, Documenta 14, Kassel, 2017

Photo: Anna Shteynshleyger. Produced by Yugoexport

Can freedom be redeemed?

Burschenschaft Hysteria parading in the centre of Vienna, 2018

Photo: Theresa Aigner

It is probably almost impossible for many readers to imagine how bizarre and threatening German and Austrian male student fraternities can be. Their politics typically ranges from nationalistic to extreme right-wing, and men form bonds that last a lifetime and reach into the highest levels of politics, while observing anachronistic rituals and dress codes. The Vienna-based Burschenschaft Hysteria, which is open only to women and claims to be the “ur-fraternity”, recasts the power structures of such associations with spectacular interventions and the demand for a “Golden Matriarchate”. By Sonja Eismann

 Pretend You’re Actually Alive  (2008) Colour and black & white photographs, ink on paper, various ephemera. Installation dimensions variable Courtesy of the artist

Leigh Ledare, Pretend You’re Actually Alive (2008)

Colour and black & white photographs, ink on paper, various ephemera.
Installation dimensions variable

Courtesy of the artist

Victoria Campbell on Micaela Carolan, Leigh Ledare, Reba Maybury

Is art writing always morally compromised?

 Photos: Omer Krieger

Photos: Omer Krieger

By Omer Krieger

 Photograph: Lycien-David Csery

Photograph: Lycien-David Csery

A roundtable discussion at Spike Berlin with Krist Gruijthuijsen, director of KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin, New York–based artist Mathieu Malouf, and Nina Power, a cultural critic and theorist living in London. Moderated by Laurie Rojas

Natalia LL, Consumer Art, 1974

Colour photograph, 50 x 60 cm

© Natalia LL. Courtesy lokal_30 gallery, Warsaw

Joanna Warsza on Natalia LL's 1972–75 series “Consumer Art”

Valeria Geselev on “Stolen Arab Art” (2018) at 1:1 Center for Art and Politics, Tel Aviv

Lucia Pietroiusti on Felix Gonzalez-Torres’s “Untitled” (Portrait of Ross in L.A.) (1991)

Photograph: Claudio Fuentes

By Tania Bruguera

Why has moralism taken the place of politics?

“Käthe Kollwitz Prize 2019: Hito Steyerl” at Akademie der Künste by Laurie Rojas; “Bauhaus Imaginista”at Haus der Kulturen der Welt by Lennart Wolff; Andy Warhol at Galerie Buchholz by Bianca Heuser; “The Cabinet of Ramon Haze”at Museum Abteiberg by Dorothea Zwirner

Gina Pane
Io mescolo tutto (I Mix Everything) (1976)

Photo: Françoise Masson; Courtesy Museum of Modern Art, Bologna © Bildrecht, Wien 2019

“You Can't Tweet Adorno” by Alison M. Gingeras & Jamieson Webster

by Peter Kubelka, Fiona Duncan, Justin Polera, Tobias Rehberger, Johanna Meyer-Grohbrügge

The Washhouse of Blessey (1997-2007)

Landscape architectural redesign by the residents and the artist Rémy Zaugg

Alternative models for art patronage are emerging amidst the crisis of neoliberalism. Founded in 1990, New Patrons helps to articulate and realise citizens’ wishes for a public work of art, capable of more than just managing supply and demand. By Dominikus Müller

What is socialist networking?

Ted Nelson invented hypertext and hypermedia and imagined a future of online publishing, public cloud storage, internet cafes, and even realist CGI. But monopolistic megacorporations and social media streams bear little resemblance to the utopian vision of this now octogenarian evangelist for an alternative internet. An interview by Amelia Stein

With an oeuvre that covers everything from agitprop cans stuffed with cow-dung to ergo-dynamic lounge chairs, anyone in search of a new design manifesto would need to start with Victor Papanek, a guru for socially and ecologically responsible design and pedagogy. By Alison J. Clarke

Illustration by Kurt Woerpel

As products and media started to blur into each other, in the wake of a cultural repositioning of the image through social media streams, fashion led the way in turning content into a new art form. By Thom Bettridge

 Cruising Pavilion at Ludlow 38, New York City

Cruising Pavilion at Ludlow 38, New York City

Cruising Pavilion make shows exploring the architectural aspects of cruising culture. They’re interested in widening the definition of “cruising” to mean more than just gay men looking for sex with strangers in public spaces. By Dean Kissick

The Austrian filmmaker talks to Asad Raza about a life in film and how the art of cooking isn’t hard to master.

The origins of the fashion industry’s most provocative and innovative strategies had a forerunner in BLESS, the enigmatic fashion studio founded between Paris and Berlin in the late 1990s. By David Lieske

Wu Tsang’s works blend reality and fantasy, often in collaborations that bring together the languages of performance and storytelling.  On the heels of a move to Athens she talked to Aimee Lin

George Maciunas founded one of the most influential art movements of the 20th century: Fluxus. Embodying its principle that art must not congeal, in everything he did he transformed the lives of artists and in so doing transformed the fate of SoHo. By Gerry Beegan

Can we design our way out of platform capitalism?

Rob Horning on the nasal spray Spravato™

Florence Bonnefous and Pierre Joseph on “Les Ateliers du Paradis” (1990) at Air de Paris in Nice

Juan Downey
Still from “The Laughing Alligator” (1978)

Courtesy LIMA Amsterdam © Bildrecht Wien, 2019

Stefanie Hessler on Juan Downey's The Laughing Alligator (1978)

Charles Stankievech
Still from The Soniferous Æther of The Land Beyond The Land Beyond (2013)

© Charles Stankievech

By Haseeb Ahmed

 The Ayotzinapa Case: A Cartography of Violence Commissioned by and undertaken in collaboration with the Equipo Argentino de Antropologia Forense and Centro de Derechos Humanos Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez for the families of the 43 disappeared, the wounded and killed students, in the town of Iguala, Guerrero

The Ayotzinapa Case: A Cartography of Violence

Commissioned by and undertaken in collaboration with the Equipo Argentino de Antropologia Forense and Centro de Derechos Humanos Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez for the families of the 43 disappeared, the wounded and killed students, in the town of Iguala, Guerrero

We cannot take for granted that the decentralisation of networks, markets, and communication is in itself a good thing. Relations of power just work differently there. Jaya Klara Brekke and Francesco Sebregondi discuss the common ground between Forensic Architecture and blockchain technology.

Décor and theatricality have returned with a vengeance after more than a century of being shunned as art’s lowbrow cousins. Marcel Broodthaers and Palle Nielsen were among the first artists to register the implications of this shift, anticipating the rise of immersion, affective networking, storytelling, surveillance, and monetisation that came along with it. By Antony Hudek

Beatriz González at KW Institute for Contemporary Art by Federica Bueti, Henrike Naumann at Galerie im Turm and Irina Rastorgueva & Thomas Martin BQ by Penny Rafferty in Berlin; Cady Noland at MMK by Bob Nickas in Frankfurt; Jörg Immendorf at Haus der Kunst by Daniela Stöppel in Munich; Mary Beth Edelson at Kunsthalle Münster by Alex Scrimgeour

“Disenchanted beyond belief” by Alison M. Gingeras & Jamieson Webster

by Eoghan Ryan, Franziska Wildförster, Lucas Zwirner, Emily McDermott, and Simon Wang

The 650-page doorstopper Imponderable documents a vast range of objects and ephemera relating to magic and the occult, all from the collection of the artist Tony Oursler. By Philomena Epps

Why should we continue to live as before, when we could become one with our dogs, live as pigs, have butts like fireflies, or turn into something entirely different that cannot yet be imagined? By Dean Kissick

Reality as a clay, malleable simply through the power of thought, is the premise of a magical thinking. Social relationships are giving way to the imagination because it alone can manifest desire and fantasy – just after hitting the return key, that is. By Rob Horning

We seem to be living through the revival of esotericism and technobelief in a disenchanted age, but what we are witnessing is no comeback. The gods we pray to and spells we cast have, in fact, been here all along, now they just bear different names. The reality is that the Enlightenment has yet to come… By Ella Plevin

Lu Yang fuses virtual with actual architectures, luring the viewer into syncretic hells of augmented realities. With high-energy soundtracks and by tapping into the realms of ancient Buddhism, cyberfeminism, and technoreligions, her installations and videos conjure spiritual stimulants, curious deities, death, and posthuman life forms. By Harry Burke

Jim Shaw’s dreams and waking visions tap into the deep reservoir of the American unconscious, which runs through his oeuvre and inspires his neo-surreal sculptural objects and installations. His most ambitious project is the ongoing development of a religion that revolves around a goddess known only as “O”. By Stanya Kahn

Crafting an alternative history of the twentieth century through cybernetics, psychedelia, and tarot, Suzanne Treister’s sprawling projects 
trace a vertiginously networked world where everything is connected and nothing is meaningless. By Lars Bang Larsen

from Bali by Ashley Bickerton

Why are people afraid of witches?

 Photo: Bernice Mulenga

Photo: Bernice Mulenga

How does technology change reality?

 Photo by Avery Singer (detail)

Photo by Avery Singer (detail)

Why did you found a blockchain religion?

Why has so much of millennial culture turned towards psychedelics?

Spike brought together American poets and friends CAConrad and Ariana Reines to talk about the relationship between ritual and writing. A conversation about the bones of poetry

 Paul Thek Pyramid/A Work in Progress  at Moderna Museet, Stockholm (1971-72)

Paul Thek
Pyramid/A Work in Progress at Moderna Museet, Stockholm (1971-72)

Lynn Zelevansky on Paul Thek's “Processions” (1969-1973)

The protagonists of Viennese modernism knew that technology and magic are inherently connected. For them it was clear that the spiritual opened new dimensions in a time ruled by science. How does this relate to the resurgence of magic today? By Elisabeth von Samsonow

 Photo: Chris Bliss

Photo: Chris Bliss

Pádraic E. Moore on John McCracken's “Red Pyramid” (1974)

 Kara Walker The Pool Party of Sardanapalus (after Delacroix, Kienholz)  (2017)

Kara Walker
The Pool Party of Sardanapalus (after Delacroix, Kienholz) (2017)

By Bhanu Kapil

What was the style of the 80s?

"Falling in and out of time" by Ella Plevin

Palermo, Vienna, Salzburg, Mönchengladbach, Berlin, Dresden, Frankfurt, Zurich, Basel, Bucharest, London, New York

 From left to right: Herbert Brandl, Peter Pakesch, Heimo Zobernig, Franz West, 1987

From left to right: Herbert Brandl, Peter Pakesch, Heimo Zobernig, Franz West, 1987

Photo: Didi Sattmann

In the early 80s Vienna for the first time had an art scene that wanted to be more than local. A conversation about the extension of the Cologne-New York axis to Vienna, and long nights with John Baldessari. By Edek Bartz & Peter Pakesch



In the 80s the artwork became a speculation object. Today blockchain startups are struggling to shake off the last of its aura. By Daniel Keller

The Face and i-D first appeared in London in 1980, inventing the idea of the “style bible”, and with it a new kind of modern youth culture. That cultural moment is clearly over now. But how did it begin, and where did it go wrong? By Dean Kissick

 Still from  American Psycho, 2000 Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman with Huey Lewis and The New's album Fore!  

Still from American Psycho, 2000

Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman with Huey Lewis and The New's album Fore!


What is the sound of a decade in which society is consigned to history’s trash heap? One made up of perfect surfaces that hide the suffering beneath. On the music criticism of Patrick Bateman (American Psycho). By Rob Horning

Why is Jean Baudrillard the signature thinker of the 80s?

What did the 80s do to the New York art scene?

by Jessica Diamond, Ed Fornieles, Richard Hoeck & John Miller, Ida Ekblad, Julia Wachtel

 "The Real Estate Show," 123, Delancey Street, New York City, 31.12.1979 - 21.1.1980

"The Real Estate Show," 123, Delancey Street, New York City, 31.12.1979 - 21.1.1980

Photo: Andrea Messner

The 1980s are a distant mirror of the present: careerism, out-of-control consumerism, greed, and brutality. But the prospect of self-destruction can also create a new sense of community. Bob Nickas on collective resistance in an ambivalent decade. 

Joanna Fiduccia on Gretchen Bender's intro credits for "America's Most Wanted"

 Portrait of Christian Leigh from “The Silent Baroque”catalogue

Portrait of Christian Leigh from “The Silent Baroque”catalogue

Sarah Morris and Thaddaeus Ropac on "The Silent Baroque" (1989) in Salzburg

 Rosemarie Trockel Made in Western Germany  (1987)

Rosemarie Trockel
Made in Western Germany (1987)

Lynne Cooke on Rosemarie Trockel's "Made West in Germany" (1987)

 Gran Fury Title  (198X) Courtesy the artist and Gallery X

The New York artist/activist collective Gran Fury emerged in 1988 out of ACT UP. As “individuals united in anger and dedicated to exploiting the power of art to end the AIDS crisis”, they shaped public discourse about AIDS with iconic agitprop imagery.  By Alison M. Gingeras and Jamieson Webster

readymades belong to everyone®
Thinking of... (1993)

Within the booming art market of the 1980s, Philippe Thomas radically called into question the star system of the time. On an artist who exposed the paradoxical entanglements of commerce, art, and authorship to set the terms of his own self-erasure. By Barbara Casavecchia

The architects Gins and Arakawa dedicated their lives to immortality. Their designs and buildings force people to develop new behaviours and to change their bodies until one day they no longer need to die. By Elvia Wilk

The past few years have seen the rise of a generation of young rappers who are as surreal as the time from which they have emerged. These figures are like collective hallucinations: they might be amazing or they might be terrible, but all of them are weird. By Dean Kissick

What does it look like on the streets today when democratic elections take place in the centre of Europe, on the right edge of its Union? On politics in public space in Hungary. By Róza El-Hassan

Marianna Simnett pushes her body to the limit – hyperventilating until she faints or injecting Botox into her vocal cords. Her films are about the complexities of gender, contamination, robot cockroaches, cosmetic manipulation, sworn virgins, and Freudian experiments. By Ella Plevin

Can you separate an artist and their work? What if their life is itself an artwork? In the early 1970s Otto Muehl founded a commune that defied social norms and declared it a revolutionary artwork. About a failed experiment and what it can tell us about our own time. By Alison Gingeras & Jamieson Webster

Sandra Mujinga plays with economies of visibility and disappearance. The traditional identity politics of presence is reversed in order to operate out of hidden realms. If everything is surveilled, the biggest potential lies in not being seen. By Jeppe Ugelvig

What would Édouard Glissant fight for?

By Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian

 © Marina Faust

© Marina Faust

"Margiela/Galliera, 1989-2009" at Palais Galliera in Paris by Marina Faust

New York Fashion Week. By Natasha Stagg

Colette and the end of the concept store. By Dominikus Müller

Micro-Influencing by Natasha Stagg

What is the new luxury in fashion?

What is the meaning of style?

How fashion makes us consent to the absurdity of consensus reality; or, why being wrong together is more interesting than being right alone. By Rob Horning

Making an artwork out of a Louis Vuitton bag seems obvious today, but Sylvie Fleury has been doing collaborations with luxury fashion brands since before they were cool. She uses muscle cars, eyeshadow and runways as material, reminding us of the absurd nature of fashion, and perhaps, of art itself. By Dean Kissick

 Bernadette Corporation with Benjamin Huseby; BC Lifestyle INT 2 – Ruby (2013

Bernadette Corporation with Benjamin Huseby; BC Lifestyle INT 2 – Ruby (2013

In spite of making a vast amount of work ranging from sleek art installations in gallery spaces and collectively authored books to fashion and photography, the New York collective Bernadette Corporation has managed to stay just out of focus. By Ella Plevin

Lukas Duwenhögger makes paintings that play with the tangled connections between the visible and invisible, desire and distance, transparency and opacity – all at the same time. By Dominikus Müller

Isa Genzken at König Galerie by Dominikus Müller, Preis der Nationalgalerie by Chloe Stead, Parapolitics at HKW by Alexander Scrimgeour, Salvage Art Institute at BNKR in Munich by Daniela Stöppel, Alexander Kluge at Folkwang Museum in Essen by Moritz Scheper

Glopartheid. By Mohammad Salemy

Marcel Broodthaers, Parle Ecrit Copie (1972–73)
Three typewriters, letterpress on canvas, each 34 x 31.5 x 38 cm, © Estate Marcel Broodthaers, Courtesy Michael Werner Gallery

Contemporary Art Writing Daily write anonymous exhibition reviews. Their writing is curlicued, abbreviated, crisp – criticism is reduced to its essentials. By Alexander Scrimgeour

The familiar, traditional American mall is being reimagined as an uncanny postmodern fantasy. By Dean Kissick

 Martin Kippenberger,  METRO-Net Skulptur: Transportabler U-Bahn-Eingang (1997)

Martin Kippenberger, METRO-Net Skulptur: Transportabler U-Bahn-Eingang (1997)

Documenta X (1997) by Daniel Baumann

Gustave Courbet, “La dame au podoscaphe". By Daniela Stöppel

What is the most important recent technological break-through?

Why is the new so attractive?

A spate of recent closures suggest that the gallery model is under increasing pressure. Gallerists Vanessa Carlos, Jean-Claude Freymond-Guth & Kevin Rubén Jacobs talk the situation over.

When a lecture theatre full of zombies and digital artworks is just a few clicks away there is no reason you have to scroll through installation shots on a website documenting of line exhibitions. A text about new formats for presenting digital art. By Natalie Kane

 Pan with Bears  (2017), Courtesy the artist, Metro Pictures, New York, and Tanya Leighton, Berlin

Pan with Bears (2017), Courtesy the artist, Metro Pictures, New York, and Tanya Leighton, Berlin

The Austrian­ born artist and co-founder of the influential image blog VVORK (2006-2012) has never been interested in the difference between digital and real. In his work, he questions the privileged authority of established art institutions. By Chloe Stead

 Gilbert the Cunt and George the Shit , Magazine Sculpture (1969)

Gilbert the Cunt and George the Shit, Magazine Sculpture (1969)

Gilbert & George have been turning themselves into an image for more than fifty years – an image that never quite adds up. In the deadlock of identity politics, their work reminds us of the political power of productive withdrawal. By Dean Kissick 

 Lifestyle Wars (Detail, 2017) Courtesy of the artist, 47 Canal, New York, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Photo: Joerg Lohse,

Lifestyle Wars (Detail, 2017) 
Courtesy of the artist, 47 Canal, New York, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Photo: Joerg Lohse,

The Korean-born New York–based artist Anicka Yi brings musky-husky odors and colorful bacterial cultures into the sanctum of art. Hi-tech meets feminism in her imprecise, subjective, and mysterious work, which stages the future in the present. By Joanna Fiduccia

Wu Tsang at Kunsthalle Münster by Kolja Reichert, "Generation Loss" at Julia Stoschek Collection Düsseldorf by Robert Schulte, Anne Speier at Portikus in Frankfurt by Sofia Leiby, "After the Fact: Propaganda in the 21st Century" at Lenbachhaus München by Christoph Chwatal

Witness Protection. By Ariana Reines

Smartphones and social media have inserted themselves between us and the outside world, but this is an problem in a new form – the pursuit of unmediated experience has always been a hopeless endeavour. By Rob Horning 

Thomas Lawson on Group Material's exhibition "Primer (for Raymond Williams" at Artists Space (1982)

Emily Jacir plans to transform her 127-year-old family home in Bethlehem into an international art centre – Dar Jacir is an ambitious project in which the personal gets political. By Kaelen Wilson-Goldie

Reality can’t be trusted. apparently we are living in a simulation, everybody is talking about post­truth, and “Real food” is an advertising pitch. But reality hasn't disappeared, it's just infused with fiction. By Klaus Speidel

In view of the enduring proximity of art and commerce, why does the art world stubbornly hold on to its hypocritical moralism? On artists who have crossed the line in the sand, whether by founding companies or finding other ways to experiment with alternative models of artistic autonomy. By Martin Herbert

Francesco Vezzoli is mostly associated with the extreme glamour and Hollywood stars of the work he had made around ten years ago. Since then, times have changed. In a moment when celebrity culture has become the hard reality of politics and the art world, nothing is innocent anymore. By Dean Kissick

 STAGING (2017), installation view;  Neue Neue Galerie (Neue Hauptpost), Kassel, documenta 14 

STAGING (2017), installation view; 
Neue Neue Galerie (Neue Hauptpost), Kassel, documenta 14 

The slow, elegant movements of bodies in Maria Hassabi's performances turn them into images that toggle unsettlingly between play, splay, and display. By Harry Burke

Can documentary communicate the truth?

What is the porn punctum?

Has the readymade lost its power?