Cinderblocks

Reconstruction is war by other means. Even before the horrific bombardment of Syria’s largest city, the battle to control its future had already begun
by Frederick Deknatel

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From Issue 10

Cinema Vérité

by Alexander Lee

“No large-budget Bollywood film has enjoyed such a bumpy path to the box office as Padmaavat. Mobs disrupted the set several times, assaulting the director and destroying equipment. Yet it’s hard to pinpoint anything a Hindu nationalist could dislike in this movie, which 22nd-century film studies PhDs may find useful for understanding the insecurities of Modi’s India.”

Beauty and the Beast

by Amanda Rees

“Concerns for animal welfare have led many zoos to give animals access to creative materials — meaning that even hissing cockroaches have been able to make their artistic marks. Some animals, particularly elephants, are trained to produce the same picture again, and again, and again. The eager-to-buy audience is delighted. Is the elephant?”

A Presidenta

by Silas Martí

“Feminist progress in Brazil has appeared to be reversing these last two years, ever since our first female president, Dilma Rousseff, was ousted from Brasília’s Alvorada Palace in what millions in the country consider a coup d’état. Yet Brazil is nearly unique in having had an artistic avant-garde in which women stand at the forefront.”

A magazine for a bigger art world

  • Even is the culture magazine for a global community — with compelling long reads, in-depth interviews, and fearless criticism.
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  • We’re tired of hearing about culture as opaque and unapproachable. Even positions art, music, architecture, and film within the context of the world’s biggest stories, from the crises of European governance to the rise of Spotify and Uber.
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  • Our serious, at times irreverent writing bridges the misunderstood gap between culture and the world.

From Issue 10

Mountains Between Us

Conservators know just how to repair an Italian fresco; repainting them in Nepal, by contrast, is a more improvised matter. And the voluntourists at one of the most important Buddhist monuments in the Himalayas may be doing more harm than good.
 
For Erica X Eisen, writing in Even no. 10, the debate over these Nepalese murals reveals a persistent western bias in art conservation — one that imperils Asia’s artistic legacy. Who gets to decide how to care for cultural heritage? And how much more will be lost before we have the answer?

Interviews from Even

Luc Tuymans

“There is an elementary relapse into nation states, into populism. But there is no other solution than the European community. There is no other solution.”

Liz Glynn

“The Getty Villa is paradise, but it’s also utterly fake. When I came to California, none of the materials that I would find on the side of the road were anything but garbage, really. Performance became a way to invest those objects with a history.”

Susan Neiman

“The idea that reasons in politics, political decisions, really can all be reduced to attempts to assert the power of the group with which one is most aligned: that is such a deep assumption. It seems to be the case that 1989 signaled not just the end to universal moral claims, but the end to principles altogether.”

From Issue 10

Tell It to the Judge

After a decade of planning, the French capital has a new courthouse: the Tribunal de Paris, a precise stack of glass boxes by the roaring Périphérique. Renzo Piano’s most important Parisian building since the Centre Pompidou has shifted the administration of justice to the northwest of town, and architects are impressed; lawyers, less so.
 
Piano “seems to imagine literal transparency as a means to inspire figurative transparency, especially in the realm of the law,” James McAuley observes from the salle des pas perdus of the new palace of justice. But the caged defendants, forced to testify via microphone, will tell you glass has more functions than just letting the light in.

From the archive

A Society of Gentlemen

Pride comes to London this month, and Britain’s gents in glitter and dykes on bikes can expect endless, and sometimes exhausting, expressions of solidarity from the top of Tory officialdom. It was not always this way, as Huw Lemmey wrote in Even no. 8 — and the gay commemorations in London’s elite institutions have a way of scrambling the past.
 
“The legal and cultural suppression of public homosexuality has left us with only meager remnants of England’s gay past. And amid those remnants, England’s intellectual elite continues to dominate, their lives bound up with Britain’s imperial history as well as its surviving reactionary powers. ”

Portfolio

The photographs of Wiktoria Wojciechowska: grim-visag’d war