Art of the Decade

Spike asked ten writers to climb out of the sludge of the present and think about what works of the 2010s remain in memory. The texts that follow and the art discussed can be read as both symptoms of their time and documents of what has changed and what has stayed the same: a testament to what matters now, and why. Their disparate selections show what a strange decade it was: one in which there was little to no consensus, little to no canon, little to no stars, lots of questioning, with the occasional ashes of honesty, revelation, insight, and excitement.

Hou Hanru:
Huang Yong Ping’s Serpent d’Océan (2012)

There’s something special about works of contemporary art that have returned from physical disappearance. Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty (1970), for example, is legendary: it has been seen as a monument of both utopia and dystopia, of both victory over nature and capitulation to entropy. Almost half a century later, Huang Yong Ping’s Serpent d’Océan (2012), on the other side of the Atlantic, has revived the mystery of return and launched a new legend...

This text appears in Spike #62 . You can buy it in our online shop