Axel Wieder Appointed Berlin Biennale Director

The former Bergen Kunsthall director and co-founder of bookstore Pro qm will manage next year’s 13th Berlin Biennale, curated by Zasha Colah. He succeeds Gabriele Horn’s 22 years at the helm.

Anu Põder at Muzeum Susch

Curated by Cecilia Alemani, a retrospective of the late Estonian artist’s sculptures in jute, epoxy, and other materials once considered “non-artistic” buzzes with the erotic violence of autopsy.

Klima Biennale Wien

In Vienna, the world’s “first ever climate-focused art festival” commendably demos ways to lower exhibitions’ carbon footprints, but is unconvincing about art’s role amid ecocide.

Hear No Evil: Gallery Weekend Berlin 2024

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

SETH PRICE »ZERO BOW MASK«, 2021
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JON RAFMAN, »YOU ARE STANDING IN AN OPEN FIELD (MOUNT ADAMS, WASHINGTON) SPIKE EDITION«, 2019
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An image for the showcase module titled, "SPIKE ISSUE #79 – OUT NOW!"
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.

“Tune In / Drop Out” at Gessnerallee, Zurich
By Spike Editorial Team

Under the sign of Timothy Leary, a four-day festival of performance, theatre, and dance will be an ecstatic finale to a four-year art experiment in “tentacular” thinking.

On Damage
By Joanna Walsh

Damage can be an accident, a deliberate style, or a divertissement for the wealthy. So what makes a garment unwearable, and when does a flaw become a subject of desire?x

Liberation Theology: Florentina Holzinger’s Debut Opera
By Florian Malzacher

In coitus and nuns’ veils, cabaret and liturgy, roller skates and torrents of blood, Austrian choreographer Florentina Holzinger’s SANCTA is living feminist utopia now.

Josh Smith: “I just didn’t feel like being Mr. Brush Guy”
By Ramona Heinlein

With sixteen new works at Galerie Presenhuber, Vienna, American artist Josh Smith on treating his paintings like puzzles and his Instagram channel as a work of art.

Yael Bartana: “The Idea of Utopia in the Wrong Hands Can Be Very Dangerous”
By Hanno Hauenstein

After co-opening the Biennale’s German Pavilion to responses of awe and protest, we spoke to the Israeli artist about artistic ambiguity, the war in Gaza, and the redemptive promise of outer space.

Hoping For Swan Lake: Anna Jermolaewa
By Nicole Scheyerer

The dissident artist’s videos probe the memory of state socialism. In tutus and pointe, her Austrian Pavilion at the 60th Venice Biennale envisions the downfall of Russia’s current evil sorcerer.

“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 exhibition offers little more than a safe space for essentializing folklore.

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.

Spike #79: A Polite No
By Jeppe Ugelvig

If Pharrell’s LVMH appointment pulled up the ladder into luxury, young upstarts need new precarity tactics.

Spike #79: Denk ich an Deutschland
By Alex Hochuli

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.

Spike #79: Mire Lee
By Travis Diehl

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.

LA Art Week: 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.

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.