Issue 215
November/December 2020

‘A powerful way to think about the present is to see it as the culmination of all that has come before it.’ – Skye Arundhati Thomas

In the November issue of frieze, Skye Arundhati Thomas profiles the artist Otobong Nkanga; John Kelsey examines the late style of the film director Jean-Luc Godard; and Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme answer our questionnaire. 

Profile: Skye Arundhati Thomas on Otobong Nkanga
‘Material is archive, memory and also monument.’ Otobong Nkanga’s excavation of material histories has taken her from Nigeria to Namibia and back. Her work – currently on view in solo exhibitions at Gropius Bau, Henie Onstad Kunstsenter and Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art – shows how tragedy shapes the landscape.

Essay: Jean-Luc Godard at 90 
‘In Jean-Luc Godard’s late films, we witness a mutation of the medium from within its own processes, as a living history tries to reveal itself amongst the fresh ruins of cinema.’ John Kelsey rewatches the filmmaker’s most recent works – Film Socialisme (2010), Goodbye to Language (2014) and The Image Book (2018) – which define the iconic auteur’s cranky late style.

Also featuring: 
A conversation between Simone White and photographer Dawoud Bey; 1,500 words by Shiv Kotecha on thinking through Bollywood’s class consciousness from the vantage of the Indian diaspora; nine artists – including Korakrit Arunanondchai, Lubaina Himid and Christodoulos Panayiotou – nominate a colleague whose work has been on their mind; and Philipp Ekardt responds to Isa Genzken’s Schauspieler III, 3 (2015). 

Columns: Camouflage
Maryse Condé recalls her first encounter with Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks (1952); Denise Ferreira da Silva on vulnerability, precarity and the necessity of opacity; Stephanie Syjuco on Ruth Asawa’s time in the Rohwer War Relocation Centre; Heba Y. Amin and Anthony Downey examine how pilotless aerial drones have reshaped the psychogeography of the Middle East; and a specially commissioned comic by Julien Ceccaldi, who has also designed our cover.

From this issue

Philipp Ekardt on a Genzken sculpture that reaches back into her own artistic biography

BY Philipp Ekardt | 10 NOV 20

A group exhibition at Kulturstiftung Basel H. Geiger draws attention to the unique positionality of Caribbean artists

BY Rianna Jade Parker | 02 NOV 20

Her work – currently on view in solo exhibitions at Gropius Bau, Henie Onstad Kunstsenter and Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art – pulls tragedy from landscape

BY Skye Arundhati Thomas | 30 OCT 20

The artist creates a new, specially commissioned comic on the perils of looking good

BY Julien Ceccaldi | 30 OCT 20

At Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London, the artist awakens novel patterns of figuration in her large-scale canvases

BY Leanne Petersen | 29 OCT 20

At etHALL, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, the artist pays homage to the thresholds between life and death

BY Max Andrews | 19 OCT 20

At London's Cell Project Space, the artists' timely new commissions explore the potency of intimate gestures and simple actions 

BY Kareem Reid | 16 OCT 20

An exhibition at Anna Schwartz Gallery of the late artist, curator and educator suggests that constructivist idioms still pulse with life  

BY Sophie Knezic | 16 OCT 20

At Portikus, Frankfurt, the artist pays attention to quiet but powerful acts of resistance

BY Carina Bukuts | 15 OCT 20

The winner of the New Academy Prize remembers how Fanon's legendary book has changed her reading and writing life

BY Maryse Condé | 07 OCT 20

At Bonner Kunstverein, the artist investigates our relationship to everyday objects

BY Noemi Smolik | 07 OCT 20

Amongst the family portraits and Sèvres porcelain, the artist’s newly commissioned paintings reflect on a broken Britain


BY Aindrea Emelife | 05 OCT 20

Shot in Cambridge, the artist’s latest film interlaces histories of laziness, from Johnny Mercer to Audre Lorde

BY Rianna Jade Parker | 28 SEP 20

The strongest components of the unusually dispersed exhibition "take art from the altar and into the vernacular"

BY Pablo Larios | 25 SEP 20

At PDX Contemporary Art, Portland, the artist presents contrasting works on paper that recall Sergei Eisenstein’s theory of montage

BY Bean Gilsdorf | 24 SEP 20