Even Magazine

Issue 2: Fall 2015

As we closed the first issue of Even this spring, Greece was kicking off. As we began to put together the second issue, it was brought to its knees. We’re an art magazine, not a political journal — but art history itself was born out of a love of Greece, and this summer, at last and electrically, the art world started to exhibit a belated resurgence of philhellenism. At the Venice Biennale, the sad spectacle of Isaac Julien’s Das Kapital singalong was beautifully outclassed by the artists of the German pavilion, Hito Steyerl among them, who draped from its Nazi-era marquee a defaced Greek flag. The coming Documenta will take place jointly in Kassel and Athens, to the delight of everyone except the Hessian tourism board. “Whatever happens, I want to die a Greek,” said Chateaubriand, France’s paramount Romantic. We know the feeling.

Even No. 2 is out now, all 176 pages of it: within them, two articles that take seriously the proposition that we need Greece as much as Greece needs us. The curator and editor Marina Fokidis (a Documenta participant) takes us through the exhausted capital, where life takes place amid ruins, where verities ring hollow, but where imagination has not yet been destroyed. And the artist and critic Travis Diehl, at the Getty’s unprecedented exhibition of Hellenistic bronzes, finds in their patinated surfaces a dull reflection of the art of our own age: self-glorifying, and less modern than we think. In the new issue we also look at the ongoing boom in museum construction — via Kanishk Tharoor’s remarkable evaluation of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, and in Elizabeth Diller’s expansive interview on four cultural building projects. You can preview the issue below. But we hope you’ll subscribe.

Portfolio

In Monologue, a gemlike new video by the Cambodian artist VANDY RATTANA, a pair of verdant, lofty mango trees intertwine above a rice paddy, while in a tranquil voiceover he speaks to a sister he has never met. “It is extremely hard to try to know you through the photograph,” the artist apostrophizes; his sister died before he was born, she and millions more. At the mass grave where she lies, it is the dry season. Three women, hunched over like Millet’s Gleaners, sift through the parched rice straw. The mango trees are in bloom, so fragrant Vandy struggles to breathe, and they have been fertilized by the dead of Cambodia: right underfoot, unnamed, unforgettable. “The nature of men is to kill one another,” he says, and the leaves of the mango trees rustle above.

Reviews

Interviews

Negatives

  • Black Squares
    by Philip Tinari

    In both William Kentridge’s animations and David Diao’s paintings, the promise of Russian modernism crashes against the present. And China’s censorship bureau has got some notes to share

  • Classic Fit
    by Philipp Ekardt

    Once Calvin Klein promised a return to basics. The photographer Collier Schorr, in her portrait of a model stripped to his white CK briefs, has got them beat

  • Picture for Women
    by Iona Whittaker

    The ornery art of Robert Seydel, and the unlikely sorority — Marcel Duchamp, Grayson Perry, J.M. Coetzee — of male artists’ female alter egos