Category: Volume 10, Issue 3

From the Editors

Ten years ago, the printed version of ARTMargins joined its sister publication, ARTMargins Online. The idea of the three founding editors— Sven Spieker, Angela Harutyunyan, and Octavian Esanu—was to create an innovative art historical journal with a broad remit that would offer some measure of correction to the euphoria surrounding globalized art at the time, and that would include contributions from the perspectives of artists, scholars, and critics. Would this hybrid publication model, which was somewhat unusual for an academic journal, be acceptable to its future publisher and readers? More importantly, would it find a place among already-existing publications that Read more

The Ghosts of Past Events in the Hall of Mirrors

The heads of states met at the end of World War I to sign the Versailles treaty in 1919 in the Palace’s hall of mirrors. This was at the time when Europe was infected with the Spanish flu pandemic that lasted until 1922. The project is a visual narration of the conjunction of these two historical events that have uncanny reverberations in the present: the Versailles treaty has charted the path towards present-day geopolitical crises, and the Spanish flu can be seen as a prelude to the COVID pandemic and its response.

ARTMargins Online, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp. … Read more

Taxonomy of Breathing

Taxonomy of Breathing is a socially conscious, multidisciplinary art project that investigates our current societal moment through the lens of
breath—its vulnerability to restriction, and its power of transformation. The fragility of the body—with breath as its essential element—is
a manifestation of our environment, our historical moment, and our political and social context. It is at once foundational and aspirational, embodied, and symbolic.

ARTMargins Online, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp. 202-206.


Art and Scholarship in Moments of Historical Danger

Consider the nature and function of art and art historical scholarship in the present: Is there still a line—even fine or porous—securing the fragile autonomy of the arts and humanities from commodification in late capitalism? Can art still serve as a negative and critical mirror for reality under the seemingly complete commodification and technological mediation of social life? Is there any real need for art and art historical scholarship even to exist today? Can the arts and humanities serve an emancipatory social agenda, and, if so, how? What role might the humanist ideals once shared by liberals and communists play … Read more

What is Radical?

What does it mean to think and act radically, and how does this relate to forms of radicalism connected to earlier moments, for example, in the 20th century? What can be the role of radical art and scholarship under the conditions of late capitalism? More generally, how can art and artists serve the ongoing struggle for social justice and the agendas of emancipatory social change? Finally, what kinds of art criticism and art historical scholarship are necessary to address the great challenges of our uncertain future?

ARTMargins Online, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp. 8-96.


Art and Class Struggle

What do we need to know about “art” or “class struggle” before considering their relation to one another? Could you describe a specific work or text that might serve as an illustration of class struggle or as an exploration of the problem of representing it? Let us say that visual art, broadly speaking, does express the worldview of the dominant class. What kind of art then expresses the worldview of, say, hedge fund managers? Does the dialectic of the visible and invisible still hold for conceptual and post-conceptual art? What alternative critical apparatus would you propose, since neither Lenin nor … Read more

Art under Neoliberalism

Apart from the longstanding and much-debated problem of art’s commodification, how does neoliberalism transform and determine the conditions of artistic practice? Further, if neoliberalism is a substantially distinct stage in the history of capitalism, and not merely its intensification, what are the implications of this new condition for the practice and criticism of contemporary art? What does it mean to practice and theorize art, to be an artist or critic, under neoliberalism? Drawing on the central topic of this issue, is aesthetic, artistic, or political radicality in art still possible under the neoliberal condition? Can, or should, artistic practice constitute … Read more