PRINT Summer 2014


Jim Shaw, color study for Whores and Blasphemers, 2014, black-and-white Xerox, ink, and colored pencil on paper, 8 1/2 x 17".

AT LEAST SINCE Lichtenstein appropriated a comic-strip Benday dot, Duchamp riffed on Mutt and Jeff, or Eisenstein admired a Mickey Mouse cel, art has had a love affair with animation, comics, and cartoons—and its ardor, eagerly reciprocated, has given rise to a tense historical interplay between high and low, synthetic and real, margin and center. Perhaps this mutual fascination stems from the fact that animation is about things coming to life—but an artificial life, an alien fantasy. Words and pictures and objects gain an agency that is fundamentally other. Animation is the realm of alterity, of sedition, of seriality, pulp and science fiction, true crime, simulation.

Artforum invited fifteen contributors to survey this teeming landscape, whose scope embraces everything from CGI rendering to Sunday funnies to gaming networks. Curator FABRICE STROUN and critic STEPHEN BURT delve into the history of comics and the graphic novel and their fraught relation to contemporary art and literature; artist CORY ARCANGEL reveals the moment when Pop went digital, unearthing a trove of 1980s computer graphics created by Andy Warhol; cartoonist ART SPIEGELMAN curates a multifarious array of comics from the Bronze Age to 1986; artist LELE SAVERI gathers a compendium of zines in all their xeroxed transgression; and JIM SHAW, JULIEN CECCALDI, JORDAN WOLFSON, DOUGLAS WOLK, HILLARY CHUTE, KERRY JAMES MARSHALL, IDA APPLEBROOG, NICK ZEDD, ED HALTER, and IAN CHENG look at specific practices, whether their own or others’, within and between the genres of drawing, film, video, writing, coding, and animation. If these domains have always provided a special place to speculate about the limits of experience—to explore identity, lifestyle, and “appearances,” as cover artist Ceccaldi puts it—the following pages aim to take us further beyond life as we know it.

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