Within a Budding Grove

Two years after a landmark climate agreement, Paris is trying to live up to its ecological ideals. The French capital’s museums have gone green — but might an infatuation with nature suggest a fear of art?
by Emil Leth Meilvang

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From Issue 8

The Season Finale

by Kyle Chayka

“What to make, then, of the new Four Seasons, scrubbed clean after a $33 million renovation and rechristened as two separate restaurants, The Grill and The Pool? I started a recent evening there in the Pool, where a new bar has been carved out of a former private room and a captain in a dramatic white Tom Ford dinner jacket clucked over its few guests. The post-restoration vibe here is decidedly Seaworld.”

The Semiconductor

by Deirdre Loughridge

“Gustavo Dudamel seems to see music as an artistic sphere unto itself, capable of feeding the soul and having nothing to do with politics; hence the platitudes, such as his frequent line that music is a ‘universal language.’ But this is an idea born in 17th-century Europe, out of sheer ignorance of how different music across the world could be.”

Scandal Sheet

by Suzy Hansen

“Turkey has always had a particular problem with free speech, one that I found bewildering when I first moved here in 2007, a year after Orhan Pamuk, the Nobel Prize-winning novelist, had been put on trial for his words. But putting journalists on trial has long been the Turkish state’s reflex against dissent.”

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From Issue 8

No Enemies

Nothing was the same after June 4, 1989, when the Chinese army opened fire on its own people. As the Guggenheim unveils America’s most ambitious show yet of contemporary Chinese art, a question looms over New York as much as Beijing: when the system goes haywire, what’s the right thing to do?
 
Jacob Dreyer, in Even no. 8, reintroduces us to four lives remade in Tiananmen Square: Liu Xiaobo, Ai Weiwei, Mo Yan, and Xu Bing. And he maps four ways art can dance between the state and the people.

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.”

Aslı Çavuşoğlu

“I was wondering if we could create an archive that would trace the history of art institutions back to the beginning of the Turkish Republic. So we could see what affected what at the very beginning. Because if you don’t know the history you are doomed to fail again.”

Jenny Holzer

“The art world was relatively clean then, though, because there was little to no money to be made. Minimalism hadn’t been all that expensive, or successful in the market. Many younger artists didn’t think about selling their stuff, or developing a brand. It was a paradise in that it was about the work; it was about the content; it was about striving to give.”

A preview of Issue 9

Spin Cycle

“As a skater I loved Tonya Harding because, like her, I was strong and fast and artless,” writes Lucy Madison, who hung up her figure skates as a child. “I loved to see her succeed because it meant I had a chance, too.” But Harding’s rough-hewn athleticism, and unglamorous personal life, made her an awkward fit for figure skating — and that was before she pled guilty to conspiracy charges.
 
Now Harding is back in the limelight with I, Tonya, a wild mix of mockumentary and sports thriller. But as Madison asks in our new issue, is there no way to rediscover the 90s prime-time villain without “a hard shell of nostalgic camp, empty on the inside but for a hint of disdain”?

From the archive

Dansez le Twist

Through the end of February, the Fondation Cartier in Paris is presenting the largest retrospective ever of Malick Sidibé, a photographic pioneer and the king of Bamako nightlife. Allison Moore, a specialist in Malian photography, evoked the force of Sidibé’s photography in an obituary for Even no. 4.
 
“It is rooted in the Mande values of a communal self, of an aesthetic that responds to change and keeps up to date without losing its connection to the past: a rhythmic aesthetic, one of slow transformation through repetition and slight variation.”

Portfolio

The art of Li Ran: image of the people