James Lee Byars died in 1997. But in 1978, he declared that upon his death, all of his artworks would be cancelled. So he is the perfect artist for us because, as far as he is concerned, his artworks aren’t art anymore.More »
February 12, 2013. The subject matter of the cover image for this issue, Christian Marclay's 2006 silkscreen, Silence (The Electric Chair), was a sign that appeared in the execution chamber at Sing Sing prison, and more specifically, in Warhol's series of silkscreened images of the electric chair housed there. One wonders who is commanded to be silent: the condemned, the executioner, or the witnesses? Several of the articles in this issue look at practices that navigate around the strictures, institutional or otherwise, that would enforce mute accounting in the face of violence. The polite distance maintained as neighbors in Claudia Joskowicz's video stands in stark contrast to the brash humor of Saul Garcia Lopez's taxi driver in Monterrey, Mexico, but in both cases, defensiveness and defiance are conveyed through performance. For other work, the archive is the place from which one speaks. Taraneh Hemami, Molly Springfield, Bean Gilsdorf and A. Will Brown all reckon with the inscription, articulation, and preservation of personal memory in the face of prevailing narratives; collectively, there is urgency, even humility, as Jordan Stein notes, in the task of audibly and visibly rendering these perspectives for others. Enjoy—PM.