Issue 207
November - December 2019

‘The more the activist agitates within [familiar cultural defaults], the more the noose tightens.’ – Keller Easterling

The November/December issue of frieze focuses on infrastructural shifts in the arts, the environment and in activism. What is the artistic landscape like outside established global capitals? How are artists representing our now-hotter, wetter world? How can museums recover after scandals, and what should activism achieve? Featuring Pope.L, Keller Easterling, Rem Koolhaas, Chris Kraus, Marlene McCarty, Saskia Sassen, 13BC (Vic Brooks, Lucy Raven and Evan Calder Williams) and more.

Kaelen Wilson-Goldie profiles 13BC, a film collective engaged in changing how we see and map landscape. A production still from their 2019 film, Straight Flush, set in the barracks of a decommissioned military facility in Utah, features on the cover of the issue.

Also featuring: Architect Rem Koolhaas and AMO visualize the emergence of a ‘new sublime’ in the world’s rural zones; Chris Kraus convenes a roundtable on art-making on the Mexico-US border; urbanist Keller Easterling on activism in an age of polarization and information warfare; sociologist Saskia Sassen on cultural ‘invisibility’ in an age of global displacement; Jessica Lynne on Pope.L, an artist whose often-provocative work – spanning public performance, teaching and traditional media – has never been more urgent; Jennifer Kabat visits Silo City in Buffalo, New York, where artist Marlene McCarty is planting a garden that draws on the area’s history at the crux of capitalism and modernism; and Max Andrews pens a case study on how right-wing politics can impact museums, looking to Spain’s trailblazing Institut Valencia d’Art Modern (IVAM).

Plus, 22 reviews from around the world, including Vincent Fecteau at CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, and Wael Shawky at Lisson Gallery, New York. And answering our questionnaire is legendary sci-fi author William Gibson, whose novel, Agency, is forthcoming with Berkley Books.

From this issue

State of the Art

On the odd fraternity between investor Peter Thiel and literary theorist René Girard

BY Pablo Larios | 31 OCT 19

From Palantir to Microsoft to Google, the new resistance arises from labour itself

BY Mike Pepi | 28 OCT 19

Or, the links between Brexit and suspense television

BY Timotheus Vermeulen | 28 OCT 19

A group exhibition at Pérez Art Museum Miami challenges apocalyptic forecasts for a region on the front lines of climate change 

BY Monica Uszerowicz | 27 OCT 19

‘Lande’, at Oxford’s Pitt Rivers, begets core questions about art and its display

BY Nicholas Mirzoeff | 27 OCT 19

The 1994 exhibition, ‘The Institute of Cultural Anxiety’, at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London resonates powerfully with the culture and politics of 2019

BY Jonathan P. Watts | 26 OCT 19

Remembering a meeting of two worlds in November 1989

BY Susanne von Falkenhausen | 26 OCT 19

Can a trio of exhibitions in New York shed light on this enigmatic figure?

BY Jessica Lynne | 25 OCT 19

The prize-winning sociologist on where measurement fails

BY Saskia Sassen | 25 OCT 19

Activism in the age of the ‘Superbug’

BY Keller Easterling | 24 OCT 19

As ‘Countryside, The Future’ opens at the Guggenheim, Koolhaas explains the rapid shifts occurring in rural zones

BY Rem Koolhaas | 24 OCT 19

In Buffalo, the artist Marlene McCarty has planted a toxic garden that draws on the area’s intertwined histories of capitalism, expropriation and utopian dreaming

BY Jennifer Kabat | 23 OCT 19

A roundtable with Mexicali and Tijuana artists Mely Barragán, Pablo Castañeda, Fernando Méndez Corona and collector Alonso Elias. With a poem by artist Guillermo Gómez-Peña

BY Chris Kraus | 23 OCT 19

The challenges faced by the Institut Valencià d’Art Modern have involved a form of firefighting that many museums outside of capital cities seem in thrall to

BY Max Andrews | 22 OCT 19

Kaelen Wilson-Goldie on 13BC and the artists using art, science and technology to map the world

BY Kaelen Wilson-Goldie | 22 OCT 19

Informed by the legacies of funk and jazz, the artist’s many collaborations are given space to shine

BY Ian Bourland | 21 OCT 19

The artist’s stuttering videos, on view at Freedman Fitzpatrick, challenge conventional notions of artistic authorship and circulation

BY Olivian Cha | 18 OCT 19

Kilimnik’s subjects are nearly always brutal – murder, empire, war – and just as often delivered with a practiced detachment

BY Travis Diehl | 18 OCT 19

The artist’s fantastical sculptures and bas reliefs, on view at Lisson, New York, combine prehistoric creatures with oil barons and kings

BY Murtaza Vali | 09 OCT 19

Drones, 1980s synth-pop and a giant chess board turn the show into a game whose rules are never quite clear

BY Mimi Chu | 09 OCT 19

An exhibition at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, London, unveils the surrealist undercurrents of 1960s pop 

BY Alex Estorick | 09 OCT 19

In a new show, Sze pairs precision with nods to disassembly or messy composition

BY Diana Hamilton | 04 OCT 19

His ‘brutalist dollhouses’ invite viewers into the void ‘in the friendliest manner’ 

BY Robert Glück | 04 OCT 19

At the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, the artists’ first US museum survey traces their slick, satirical and sentimental practice

BY Grant Klarich Johnson | 03 OCT 19

At Bangkok Art & Culture Centre, a survey of work from the mid-1980s to the early 2000s captures an art scene in transition

BY Max Crosbie-Jones | 30 SEP 19

A new show at London’s IMT gallery attempts to exorcise the horror of British politics

BY ​Jack Smurthwaite | 27 SEP 19

This year’s edition of the triennial advocates for several marginalized groups but fails to create enough space for their individual discourses

BY Adam Kleinman | 27 SEP 19

From international newspapers to the artist’s personal image archive, an exhibition at K21, Kunstsammlung NRW, Düsseldorf, examines the mass of information and its impact on agency

BY Sarah E. James | 24 SEP 19

The artist’s extensive solo show at Kunsthalle Düsseldorf is full of moments of vulnerability

BY Harry Burke | 23 SEP 19

A timely show at the Netherlands’ Cobra Museum is devoted to eight women connected with the mid-century avant-garde movement

BY Juliet Jacques | 20 SEP 19

Should art explain, solve or soothe? In ‘The Seventh Continent’, answers are thin on the ground

BY Jennifer Higgie | 19 SEP 19

In ‘This Marram’, TM Davy ushers you into a very personal – and almost enchanted – sliver of Fire Island

BY Shiv Kotecha | 19 SEP 19

At the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, it’s hard to tell what’s real and what isn’t

BY Alan Gilbert | 18 SEP 19

A new installation at CCA, Glasgow, reflects on capitalism’s failure to protect even the identities it formed

BY ​Hussein Mitha | 18 SEP 19

In three video installations, the artist stages theatrical mise-en-scènes at Salzburger Kunstverein

BY Hili Perlson | 17 SEP 19

Two shows at David Zwirner, New York, champion the artist's ability to capture the sound of a now-bygone world

BY Andrew Durbin | 12 SEP 19

As the full communications blackout enters one month, we must take action – not only to declare solidarity but to profoundly critique the times we live in

BY Skye Arundhati Thomas | 03 SEP 19

An elegant exhibition of ceramics at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, UK, questions our expectation of functionality

BY Amy Sherlock | 02 SEP 19