Artforum, January 1983

Cover of Artforum 21, no. 5 (January 1983). Barry Le Va, During (Between Imagination and Actuality) (detail), 1982.

In this new column, artists, critics, and curators single out past issues from Artforum’s archives and explore their resonance, then and now.

I RECENTLY CAME ACROSS a copy of the January 1983 issue of Artforum at New York’s Twenty-Fifth Street flea market. I didn’t immediately recognize the image on the cover, an oblique view of Barry Le Va’s 1982 installation During (Between Imagination and Actuality), depicting a sequence of stainless-steel balls resting on a wooden armature, but a number of the articles provoked a distinct sense of déjà vu: poet Carter Ratcliff’s “David Bowie’s Survival,” a seven-page paean to Bowie’s chameleonic genius; Kim Gordon’s “‘I’m Really Scared When I Kill in My Dreams,’” a freewheeling riff on the work of Glenn Branca and the spectacle of rock performance (sample quote: “In whatever hellhole a performance is given, no matter how bad the world outside

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