COLUMNS

  • 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.

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  • 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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  • Hard Times

    THE UNITED STATES MAY SOON reach levels of unemployment not seen since the 1930s. During that period, the government saw an obligation to provide artists in need with economic support by commissioning or hiring them to produce public artworks on a massive scale. These provisions lasted a decade before they were closed down, when the nation transitioned to a war economy, and they were not resurrected when the war ended—although there were calls for them to be. But while the New Deal arts programs turned out to be temporary, in the minds of many who worked on them and managed them, they signaled

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  • Daily Drawings: Week One

    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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  • Reborn AgaIn

    IT IS EARTH DAY, and at the New Moon in Taurus tonight, the Sun and Moon will be in a wide conjunction with Uranus, about whose tenure in Taurus I have written a lot, over the past few years, for this publication.

    I am thinking about the phrase “enriched Uranium” and about true wealth, true value. I am thinking about Venus, who rules Taurus, about Ferdinand the Bull, about the sensuality of moving slow and steady, and about the full moon in Scorpio May 7, a day I hope to write you more fully.

    I warned you last month that I would deprofessionalize and that the way I write was likely to change.

    Over

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  • Close Contact

    OVER THE COURSE OF SEVERAL RECENT MONTHS, a fiery debate raged in the pages of UK art publications The Burlington Magazine and The Art Newspaper, and inevitably migrated online as well. It revolved around a simple question: Who was the true author of the radical 1917 work Fountain, the porcelain urinal submitted to the first exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists in New York under the pseudonym R. Mutt? On one side are those who accept the long-held and near-universal identification of Marcel Duchamp as the work’s creator; on the other are those who argue fiercely that authorship should

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  • Basic Instinct

    THE PANDEMIC has prompted us to ask how, amid a precipitous decline in employment and massive wealth destruction, we can maintain or even expand reasonable standards of living. Some have advocated a universal basic income (UBI), a routinized, non-means-tested payment to everyone in a given country, a once-marginal policy idea recently brought closer to the mainstream by Andrew Yang’s US presidential campaign. In the rapidly transforming present, government plans to send monthly “helicopter money” to assist citizens during the pandemic have made the prospect of a permanent UBI more realistic.

    But

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  • Handle with Care

    For all our fluttery ideas about the dematerialized object, the economics of art still rely on moving physical objects from one place to another. Right now, the logistics of art are frozen, as are the lives of those who shuttle, mount, and set it just so. Even the relatively small number of art handlers and installers with non-gig positions at institutions and the larger moving outfits have been subject to layoffs—some, like those at UOVO Fine Art Storage, with questionable motives. The rest are mostly freelance, mostly precarious, and right now mostly not making a living.

    I’VE WORKED IN ART

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  • Letter from London

    LONELY FIGURES walk the streets of London. A service worker circles the columns of the Bank of England. A tourist slides into the shadow of Centre Point. A solitary trader is eclipsed by the shadowed dome of St Paul’s Cathedral; around him, emptiness where emptiness should not be.

    As in every western capital, photographs of vacated London streets have become ubiquitous. Lest they be misconstrued as stock architectural images, their creators ensure that the capital’s famed avenues and alleyways are always occupied by one individual, a not-too-subtle reminder that these streets were built to be

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  • 7 Days: #7

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Dennis Cooper’s GIF books include ZAC’s CORAL REEF (2018), ZAC’S FREIGHT ELEVATOR, a novel (2016), ZAC’S CONTROL PANEL (2015), ZAC'S HAUNTED HOUSE, a novel (2015), and ZAC’S DRUG BINGE_, a novel (forthcoming, spring 2020). They are published by Kiddiepunk Press and are free to download at www.kiddiepunk.com/zines.htm. His GIF works have been exhibited at Art Basel (2019), Cabinet Gallery (London), Galerie Balice Hertling (Paris), The New Museum (NYC), and elsewhere._ 

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  • 7 Days: #6

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Dennis Cooper’s GIF books include ZAC’s CORAL REEF (2018), ZAC’S FREIGHT ELEVATOR, a novel (2016), ZAC’S CONTROL PANEL (2015), ZAC'S HAUNTED HOUSE, a novel (2015), and ZAC’S DRUG BINGE_, a novel (forthcoming, spring 2020). They are published by Kiddiepunk Press and are free to download at www.kiddiepunk.com/zines.htm. His GIF works have been exhibited at Art Basel (2019), Cabinet Gallery (London), Galerie Balice Hertling (Paris), The New Museum (NYC), and elsewhere._ 

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