Reopening: mumok, Vienna

A Spike favorite begins its 2024 sporting new floors, new vents, new sinks – and a titillating new show. “Avant-Garde and Liberation” opens with a party on 6 June at 7pm. Admission is free.

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Paul Pfeiffer at MOCA

Steeped in the momentousness of race, faith, and sports, the Filipino artist’s videos and sculptures unwind the spectacles at the heart of American culture. On view in Los Angeles till 16 June.

“Poetics of Encryption” at KW

A sprawling group show in Berlin emits the feelings of awe, impotence, and conspiracy roused by the impossibility of understanding our digital present.

€ 2.500,–
€ 800,–
Released on occasion on Spike’s Issue #75 - »The Museum Issue«.
€ 40,–
An image for the showcase module titled, "SPIKE ISSUE #79 – OUT NOW!"

Eco ruin and refugeeism, illiberalization and inequality, hot wars and a New Cold War – the polycrisis hydra is always growing another head. But it’s also a state of mind, an identity crisis brought on by paralysis and cognitive shock. Was it always like this, but with less media reach? Or is capitalism really burning itself out, just without any redemptive zest? The arts are expert at thematizing the woes that affect them – hello, Biennale and documenta – but maybe polycrisis is an instructive metaphor for what’s breaking creativity: the commercial takeover of discourse, the bureaucratization of curating, and the dopamine highs of self-branding.

Maybe we’re at a crossroads between recovery and death. But Spike #79 is clear-eyed about the fact that pessimists are never disappointed.

With Henrike Naumann, Shirin Neshat, Roberto Villanueva, Ben Davis, Mire Lee, Precious Okoyomon, Ivan Cheng, Nil Yalter, Anselm Franke, Anna Jermolaewa, Catherine Liu, Oliver Ressler, Morag Keil, Jeppe Ugelvig, and many more.

“TROIKA. Terminal Beach” at MAK Vienna
By Spike Editorial Team

With the immersive spatial installation “Terminal Beach,” the artist collective Troika unfolds a dystopian scenery at the edge of time and the interface of the virtual and the material world.

“Foreigners Everywhere” at La Biennale di Venezia 2024
By Nicolas Bourriaud

Where the politics of the stranger might invent radical futures from outsider-art forms, Adriano Pedrosa’s main exhibition offers little more than a safe space for essentializing folklore.

The Artwork is Always Right: Christian Scheidemann
By Eugenia Lai

A leading conservator of contemporary art on working with the likes of elephant dung, the fingerprints of Matthew Barney as Harry Houdini, and the evolution of an artist’s “sanction.”

“Le Contre-Ciel” at Empty Gallery
By Di Liu

In Hong Kong, Olivia Shao’s counterpointing of tomb artifacts and works by Kazuo Ohno, Wucius Wong, and others italicizes the Chinese aesthetics written into contemporary art.

On Aging
By Joanna Walsh

Is “old” in? In an era of Eclectic Grandpas, “elderly” can mean much more than #eccentric, even if aging in the flesh remains unfashionable.

Hear No Evil: Gallery Weekend Berlin 2024
By Patrick Kurth

Is Berlin’s art scene really getting out of a rut, or did we all drink one glass of sun too many? Five exhibitions stood out in a (re)divided city.

Estelle Hoy: saké blue
By Spike Editorial Team

Zodiac hate crime, going a decade without meals, seeking revenge in Roland Barthes – wisdom is a fruit of the most regrettable choices, truth only what you can annul.

The Shocks Are Not Shocking
By Ben Davis

How do you do culture in a distracting and fragmented mediascape? If age-old strategies of amplification and withdrawal no longer work, art must find a new way to deal with the noise of crisis.

Going Out in Venice
By Tea Hacic-Vlahovic

As the Art World descends on Venice’s canals for the 60th Biennale, Spike’s hedonist columnist dishes out the best way to get drunk between bridges and where to eat like Hemingway.

A Polite No
By Jeppe Ugelvig

If Pharrell’s LVMH appointment pulled up the ladder into luxury, young upstarts need new precarity tactics: brand consulting, mooching off art, perhaps rejecting corporate “fashion” outright.

Denk ich an Deutschland: Basma Al-Sharif, Juliano Fiori & Anselm Franke
By Alex Hochuli

Is Western liberalism really on its deathbed? Four voices in art and politics convene for a roundtable on censorship, what the hell is happening in Germany, and art’s role on the precipice of doom.

Vorous, Not Unwelcoming: Mire Lee
By Travis Diehl

Portraying the body public like body-horror film, the South Korean artist’s oozing, wheezing sculptures show the difference between flesh and machines to be uncomfortably small.

Stanley Brouwn at the Hammer Museum
By Eli Diner

A Los Angeles exhibition devoid of biography, photographs, and explanations turns museum-going conventions into vectors for measuring empty space.

Resistance, Fish By Fish: Shu Lea Cheang
By Patrick Kurth

The director of Fresh Kill reflects on fusing gender hacking, queer media activism, and a parable of environmental racism into a (newly restored) avant-anarcho eco-satire.

Boy Meets Boy Meets Boys’ Love
By Simon Wu

A journey into the sugary heart of gay romance, from yaoi to E.M. Forster, raises the question: Why is gay happiness so controversial? Is it just because they’re having better sex?

The Steely Ennui of Constance Debré’s “Playboy”
By Estelle Hoy

Beyond affirming that fashioning a new self is often a matter of class, the French author’s coming-out auto-fiction is a cold, hard accounting of being bored shitless.

Jianghu and Art-Making in the Chinese Diaspora
By Xueli Wang

Drawn from martial arts, the fantasy of an underworld peopled by noble outcasts has marked decades of Chinese cinema and recent art on the coincidences of immigrant life.

Going Out in Hong Kong 2024
By Eugenia Lai

Need a foot massage during Art Basel Hong Kong? A Spike confidante has some suggestions – and plenty of tips on the city’s best dim sum, speakeasies, and cha chaang tengs.

“There Is Something Odd…” at Christine König Galerie
By Ramona Heinlein

In Vienna, bold figurative paintings by Cathrin Hoffmann, Laurent Proux, and Pieter Schoolwerth render the nightmarish gaps between visceral and virtual realities.

Art in the Afterlife of the Rave
By Michelle Lhooq

What happened during LA art week? A little woo woo for white women, Eartheater doing her occult thing, some shop talk about drugs. But there are rich people complaining everywhere these days.

On Frumpiness
By Joanna Walsh

If frumpiness is everything fashion doesn’t want to be, what is “post-frump” and how can it save style?

Gisèle Vienne’s “EXTRA LIFE” at Tanzquartier Wien
By Gianna Virginia Prein

Her second choreography with Adèle Haenel raises the question: Is talking through childhood trauma an ode to new beginnings, or just another turn round an endless carousel?

7pm in Paris
By Camille Bidault-Waddington

Hermès went leather, Balenciaga zen, Loewe anti-Pantone, and gremlins are in, and post-punk is lazy, and not all women are lesbians? A stylist logs her attacks of desire at Fashion Week 2024.

“I gave up making sculpture, and I walked into the space”: Joan Jonas
By Barbara Clausen

For half a century, the “sculptural” performance artist, now the subject of a MoMA retrospective, has used shards of myth and ritual to cut into history’s repetitions and the images they yield.

“Unbound: Performance as Rupture” at JSF Berlin
By Francesco Tenaglia

A sixty-year survey including Eleanor Antin, Vaginal Davis, and Akeem Smith tracks recorded performance’s shift from antagonism to top-down media to ubiquity in the experience economy.