In New York this past summer — hiding amid the gods and heroes of the Met’s blowout exhibition of Hellenistic sculpture — was an ardent, astounding suite of pen drawings of a temple’s ruins, sketched by an amateur two hundred miles from Constantinople. “We have found an entire artistic epoch!” the German engineer Carl Humann exulted at Pergamon, and he was savvy enough to know it despite having no archaeological training of any kind. Humann was a road planner, surveying the western extreme of Asia when he stumbled upon the remains of the ancient capital in the late 19th century. You can visit his grave on a hillside in Turkey, a country where history — as the artist Aslı Çavuşoğlu explains in this issue — has become a literal battlefield. He might remind you that the past is everyone’s business, and that modern life requires a constant excavation.

We roamed widely to complete this fifth issue of Even, our largest ever, and traveled not only across the globe but into the history books. Over the course of a year’s reporting, Anna Altman examined an unlikely new art museum in the West Bank (itself a cauldron of archaeological dispute), whose vacant galleries might as well be debating chambers. In Cape Town, M. Neelika Jayawardane met a group of young artists for whom South Africa’s vicious past is not merely source material; it’s the armature of their daily lives, and calls out to be reassembled or else dismantled. Google Earth may tell you the whole world’s been mapped, but there is more to the present than can be captured by camera or code. Once you stop looking for answers beyond the horizon you may find them beneath your feet.

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Reviews

Even, a new magazine about contemporary art.

Even takes a systematic look at contemporary art. We publish long-form articles, ranging from in-depth monographic studies to broad analysis of art and its institutions. We feature distinctive, expansive reviews that take in multiple exhibitions at museums and galleries worldwide.

Portfolio

For Tongue Twister, the Czech artist ROMAN ŠTĚTINA partnered with an 80-year-old veteran of the country's national broadcaster, spoken of by her colleagues as the Czech Republic's "radio memory." She listens to a recording of a wacky sentence filled with P's and K's, and carefully splices out spoken blunders into a perfect recitation, but we never hear it; the doctored recording spools onto an obsolete reel-to-reel machine, held together with tiny pieces of double-sided tape. The film is one of numerous works Štětina has made with Czech Radio, exploring not only its technological innovations and its quiet censorship, but also the historical force of old media in a time besotted with the new. Radio is less an artistic medium than a historical fact: an institution whose audible track muffles underlying rules and crackles with subtle erasures.

Negatives

Even More

Robert Rauschenberg.
Tate Modern, London. Opens December 1.

Hard to believe it’s been a decade since Paul Schimmel’s showcase of Rauschenberg’s Combines: the epochal, proto-Pop fusions of painting and collage from 1954–64, which integrated such unorthodox components as a shoe, a clock, and an angora goat. This show, by contrast, promises the full Rauschenberg, including the early white paintings and the lesser-loved late works, such as his garish ROCI series.

Lewis Baltz.
Fundación MAPFRE, Madrid. Opens
December 12.

In the early 1970s, his rigorous, austere photographs of industrial parks around Irvine, California, systematized the American suburbs in a similar fashion to the Bechers’ factories and water towers. This exhibition showcases Baltz’s unromantic Americana, as well as the later and underappreciated color photography he produced after moving to Europe in the late 1980s.

3rd Kochi-Muziris Biennale. Kochi, India. Opens December 12.

In just four years this has become one of Asia’s most important biennials, and it draws on the complex maritime history of southern India as a blueprint for cross-cultural inquiry. This year’s edition counts among its participants not just artists like Paweł Althamer, Latifa Echakhch, and Camille Norment, but also some distinguished writers: the Chilean poet Raúl Zurita, for one, and the novelist Sharmistha Mohanty.

Babette Mangolte.
Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna.
Opens December 18.

Better known as the cinematographer for the late Chantal Akerman, Mangolte is an experimental filmmaker in her own right, helping pioneer and articulate a female filmic perspective where none existed. This retrospective presents a vivid documentation of 70s New York and celebrates what the French-American transplant calls the “language of women.”