PRINT December 2012

Editor’s Letter

After the Deluge

Zoe Leonard, Arkwright Road, 2012, lens, darkened room. Installation view, Camden Arts Centre, London.

THE WEEK THIS ISSUE of Artforum was supposed to go to press, the “natural” disaster dubbed Hurricane Sandy devastated thousands of homes and huge swaths of coastline in the eastern United States. I use scare quotes around natural because the weather is, as we know, intricately tied to man-made environmental changes—and also because to understand something as natural is to normalize it, indeed to naturalize it, and this event was, like countless crises facing us around the world, hardly comprehensible. It was strange, and it was horrific. I will not forget driving down Seventh Avenue and seeing lower Manhattan uncannily rendered an inky, dark, and powerless void. And that is to remark on only one unsettling sign of a vast wreckage. If the Jersey Shore, Staten Island, and the Rockaways bore the brunt of the destruction, the hurricane nevertheless hit even closer to home, striking

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