#51 Spring 2017

When society and politics are in upheaval and old ways of thinking no longer work, can art help?
The power of art and its social role are the subjects of a roundtable discussion with curator Chus Martínez, artist Michaela Meise and philosopher Dieter Lesage at Spike Berlin. Josef Strau talks about how art saved him, while Kenny Schachter finds it both a remedy and a defence. Daniel Baumann delves into the promise of form, and for the critic Jan Verwoert a key function of art is that it teaches forms of conduct. Profiles on the painter Dorothy Iannone and her connections to Fluxus, and the Japanese artist Tetsumi Kudo and his “philosophy of impotence”, are joined by pieces taking on the decline of the supermodel, the Netflix series The Crown, Jimmie Durham's retrospective at the Hammer Museum, and much more. 

The End is Night

Outsourcing is distance times remove. By Shumon Basar


from Los Angeles, New York, London, Basel, Bern, Berlin, Hamburg and Vienna


The Crown: the British Royal Family and the lost dream of empire. By Steven Warwick


by Robert Müller, Porpentine Charity Heartscape, John Holten, Stefanie Kleefeld, Warren Neidich


Christian Kracht's and Christoph Ransmayr's dense and enigmatic artifical worlds. By Jan Küveler


Nobodies are on the catwalk. Fashion is no longer celebrity-obsessed. By Dean Kissick

Essay: Fate and Form

In art, love and politics the first moments of an encounter are crucial. They determine what happens next, whether it goes well or goes badly, if it leads to happiness or misery. How can art help give us a sense for the appropriate forms of conduct when we meet others? By Jan Verwoert

Q/A Daniel Baumann

What is the promise of form?

Interview Josef Strau

The artist spoke to Anna Gritz about deeply rooted behavioural patterns, subjectivity as a system, alternative economic models – and how in the end, although he hated it so much, art is what saved him.

Portrait Marie Angeletti

The French artist ties her art, the conditions of its production, the artist’s life, her exhibitions and commissions and the circulation and distribution of images into a knot that is impossible to untangle. By Dominikus Müller

Portrait Dorothy Iannone

The artist is best known for paintings celebrating the “ecstatic unity” of her relationship with the artist Dieter Roth. She was connected to Fluxus, but too uncompromising in how she brought her personal life, identity and sexuality into her art to be considered part of its canon. By Barbara Casavecchia

Portrait Tetsumi Kudo

With its fluorescent colors, organic forms and apocalyptic scenography, the work of the Japanese artist makes the boldest post-Internet art look like its impoverished nephew. By Joanna Fiduccia

Images contributed by

Nina Könnemann, Michael Hakimi, Talia Chetrit, Min Yoon, Mitchell Syrop


by Martha Kirszenbaum from the Café de Flore, Paris

Roundtable: A language to come

The art world is under the thrall of a new political urgency. Chus Martínez, Michaela Meise and Dieter Lesage talked about the power of art and its social role

Q/A Dorothea von Hantelmann

What can art do as art?

One Work

Tenzing Barshee on Cyprien Gaillard’s video “Desniansky Raion“ (2007)

Exhibition Histories

“Freeze” may have been the most successful student show of all time. Angela Bulloch speaks about the exhibition which was organised by Damien Hirst 1988 in London

Artist's Favourites

by Grzegorz Kowalski