Getting out a bit more


As its days of hermitage slowly wane, with artworld events coming back into play and Return to Work orders in place, Artreview thinks wistfully of that peaceful time during which it didn’t have to listen to the constant chitter-chattering­s of oce life, or pretend to care about everyone’s weekend plans, or worry about whether it was making the correct facial expression, or make sure it didn’t drink the last of the co‚ee without o‚ering it to anyone else… Still, it supposes, there are those that like to make connection­s with other sentient beings. So in this issue, it looks to examples of networks, collaborat­ions, cosmologie­s and kinship, for lessons in how to interact with the outside world.

Take, for instance, the gradual disappeara­nce of London’s physical project spaces as a mode of exhibiting art, and the correspond­ing rise of dispersed, communal popup projects: as the Š‹ capital’s commercial artworld feels increasing­ly homogenise­d, and its independen­t spaces are increasing­ly under pressure, does this model – albeit a di‚use one – provide an ‘undergroun­d’ network that could help to preserve the city’s diversity? You’ll have to ask Chris Fite-wassilak, who suggests that the role of any city’s informal art projects is ‘to rattle the assumption­s that there is just one way to “artworld”’.

Or in the work of New York-based Torkwase Dyson, who, for her exhibition in London, has created a series of new largescale geometric sculptures that act as a site of collaborat­ion with dancers, poets, artists, curators, performers, music artists and academics (including Chicago-based š› and producer Ron Trent, and musicians Gaika and Ase Manual, who are contributi­ng to a limited-edition dubplate that accompanie­s the show). The show, Liquid a Place, forms part of her

ongoing work of making connection­s between the Black diaspora, imagining a fluid common space for both sharing and resistance.

The photograph­ic work of Deana Lawson, too, draws on the collective experience­s of Black communitie­s, be it in the United States, or Ghana, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Jamaica and Haiti. Whether canoodling with one another, or poised nude at home, Lawson’s portraits of strangers present staged scenes of intimacy, gathered together in photobooks that create ‘an everexpand­ing mythologic­al extended family’.

And speaking of mythologie­s, Makuxi artist Jaider Esbell (who runs a selfdescri­bed ‘laboratory’ in Boa Vista, Brazil, which shows work by artists from multiple indigenous ethnicitie­s and runs art and theory workshops) makes works inspired by Makunaimî – both a god and an ancestor – as well as conversati­ons and collaborat­ions with shamans who represent di‚erent peoples, confrontin­g the environmen­tal and social abuse of Makuxi land in the Roraima region of Brazil. Esbell describes his work an essential ‘artivism’, at work with wider transcosmo­logical forces, shaping his intricate, colourful paintings. That preoccupat­ion of human relationsh­ips with nature, and how we might create a more symbiotic, rather than exploitati­ve way of understand­ing the natural world around us, is also addressed in the work of Anicka Yi, who is about to present this year’s Tate Modern Hyundai Commission. Our presence here on Earth is pretty tenuous, as she asserts in her discussion with artist Gary Zhexi Zhang. ‘It just reinforces for me how robust animal life is, and how fragile and vulnerable humans are,’ she says. ‘And we’re all kind of entangled in that zoonotic spillover.’ Yi proposes that we ‘de-position’ our certaintie­s to get a little bit of perspectiv­e, and perhaps then we can appreciate some of the di‚erent awarenesse­s, attentions and forms of togetherne­ss that the projects inside put forward. See? These artists are already teaching Artreview how to behave, empathise, operate and be brave in this new world. Artreview

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