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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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.


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.


Even More

Bouchardon. Getty Museum, Los Angeles. Opens January 10.

Among his colleagues he was esteemed as one of the greatest artists of 18th-century France, but his sculptures — too neoclassical for the age’s rococo tastes — found lackluster support in the court of Louis XV. The virtuosity of his pieces is undeniable (though his grand equestrian vision of that king was destroyed in the revolution), though his chalk drawings in striking deep carmine are as striking as his marble gods and heroes.

Marisa Merz.
Met Breuer, New York. Opens January 24.

The only female artist to emerge out of Arte Povera has somehow gone unheralded for the last five decades; now at 90, she debuts her first US retrospective. Though Merz is still as private as ever, preferring art over people in her native Turin, here’s hoping she’ll no longer be overshadowed by her more famous husband Mario. Travels to LA in June.

Art Institute of Chicago.
Opens January 28.

First seen at three European museums, this is the final stop for an epochal exhibition of Japanese photography, which looks at the work of Daido Moriyama, Shomei Tomatsu, and others in the orbit of a profoundly influential and shortlived magazine from the late 1960s. Provoke’s contributors favored a style called are-bure-boke — “rough, blurred, out of focus” — ideal for their shots of protesters, prostitutes, and Tokyo at night.

James Welling.
SMAK, Ghent.
Opens January 28.

The most important insight of this Pictures Generation artist was that conceptual sophistication did not negate, but rather reinforced, a photographer’s mastery, ingenuity, or good eye. This extensive European retrospective will show how he has only grown more interested in technics, and his dozens of series of photographs make use of a similarly wide range of film, from crisp 35mm to large-format Polaroids.