A collaboration between graphic artist Christopher Darling and writer and artist Gregory Sholette, Double City Manifesto (2013) is a graphic novel specially commissioned by frieze.
Sholette describes the project, which is set in a near-future version of New York, as a parable about the precarious working conditions of artists today. It tells the story of a young artist who is caught in a double-bind: trapped within an alienating yet ever-expanding affective economy, he rebels by making ‘political’ art that becomes accidentally popular with collectors. Life is bleak, until he stumbles across a coded pamphlet on the subway, a call to arms written by ‘an undistinguished legion’ of interns, art handlers, assistants and students.
Double City Manifesto relates to Sholette’s focus on fiction in his recent art work and essays, as well as to the hidden potential of what he has called ‘creative dark matter’ — the apparently invisible mass of self-organized, amateur and activist practices. It is the first part in a new project Sholette is developing in collaboration with other artists.