COLUMNS

  • Daily Drawings: Week Six

    As people around the world stay indoors to curb the spread of Covid-19, Artforum has invited artists to share a drawing—however they would like to define the word—made in self-isolation. Check back each day this week for a new work by a different artist.

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  • School Spirit

    for Timea Szell

    “Jabès and Semprún both said that language was their only homeland [....] Why is it so difficult to be alive to what happens?” - Paul B. Preciado, An Apartment on Uranus

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    The first time I heard a mourning dove

    I thought it was an owl

    The first bunny I ever saw

    Was hidden in a bed

    I think it was a bed of “Impatiens

    A word shaped like my grandmother’s hands

    But is there such a thing as a bed of “Impatiens

    Or else it was it a bed of pansies

    The sound of the owl had a smell, I thought

    I mean I thought that what I smelled

    When the mourning dove moaned

    Which I thought was an owl

    Was the scent of

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  • Daily Drawings: Week Five

    As people around the world stay indoors to curb the spread of Covid-19, Artforum has invited artists to share a drawing—however they would like to define the word—made in self-isolation. Check back each day this week for a new work by a different artist.

    Read more
  • Daily Drawings: Week Four

    As people around the world stay indoors to curb the spread of Covid-19, Artforum has invited artists to share a drawing—however they would like to define the word—made in self-isolation. Check back each day this week for a new work by a different artist.

    Read more
  • Letter from Paris

    THE LOUVRE was the first to go. On March 1, the world’s most-attended art museum (averaging 15,000 visitors per day) went dark after some three hundred staff members walked out over concerns about the transmission of Covid-19. Although this initial closure lasted only three days, by March 14, the museum had announced it was shuttering again—this time indefinitely, in accordance with the government-ordered nationwide shutdown of all nonessential businesses in France.

    After more than eight weeks of lockdown, France is poised to begin loosening its strict stay-at-home orders. Starting Monday May

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  • Pirate Care

    IN LATE 2019, we organized a writing retreat at the Croatian cultural center Drugo More, in Rijeka, to create an online syllabus with activists who practice what we call “pirate care.” These practices represent an emergent form of militancy and civil disobedience—helping migrants survive at sea and on land, providing pregnancy terminations where they are illegal, offering health support where institutions fail, and liberating knowledge where access is denied. 

    Despite the recent “care” emoji launched by Facebook, pirate care dismisses the idea that caring is simply an emotion. Caring is not

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  • Daily Drawings: Week Three

    As people around the world stay indoors to curb the spread of Covid-19, Artforum has invited artists to share a drawing—however they would like to define the word—made in self-isolation. Check back each day this week for a new work by a different artist.

    Read more
  • Letter from Athens

    IN ATHENS, heavy silence oppresses while spring blossoms. On the roofs of apartment complexes, panels absorb energy and antennae extend like the branches of heavily populated transmission forests. All of them are built on top of histories on top of archaeologies, ancestries, and forgotten myths. How many times can you excavate a city whose name remains the same for hundreds of centuries? What do you expect to find? The scent of the city’s flowers—jasmine, bougainvillea, hyacinth—find some of us quarantined in the safety of our homes, others fighting the virus in hospitals. Nearly everyone is

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  • The Impossible Dedication

    DURING CONFINEMENT, in the time of the coronavirus, between the disorder of time and the reorganization of daily tasks caused by the general shutdown, I acquired a new habit. Every day at 8:30 PM, after going out on the balcony to applaud or shout, I answer the videoconference call from my parents. They are in a city in the north of Castile in Spain, and I am in a district of Paris. Before the coronavirus, we talked once every two months, at important events, parties, birthdays. But now the daily call is like a blast of oxygen. This is what my mother, who has always had a talent for melodrama,

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  • The Real Real

    In this unprecedenteed global crisis, and in the wake of a total caesura of normal life, many of us are looking to mental health workers—or discursive systems such as psychoanalysis—for individual therapeutic guidance and collective societal answers. I sat down with Jamieson Webster, a writer and practicing psychoanalyst in New York, to discuss the limits of her profession, states of separateness, resisting normalization, Covid dreams, and how virality has broken through to the Real.

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    Alison Gingeras: Years ago, you gave me Élisabeth Roudinesco’s book Why Psychoanalysis? (1999). Today, the

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  • Daily Drawings: Week Two

    As people around the world stay indoors to curb the spread of Covid-19, Artforum has invited artists to share a drawing—however they would like to define the word—made in self-isolation. Check back each day this week for a new work by a different artist.

    Read more
  • Letter from India

    NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS, identity papers, and crumpled, bloodstained notes lie next to pair of folded trousers. The photograph was taken by Kashmiri photographer Masrat Zahra, the items carefully arranged on a lavender cloth, embroidered with red and blue flowers, by Arifa Jan, the widow of Abdul Qadir Sheikh. Sheikh was shot by the Indian Army in 2000; we are looking at what was in his pockets on the day he died. Sheikh’s death was the result of an “encounter killing”—confrontations staged between suspected militants and state forces that most often result in unarmed civilian deaths. There is little

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