What is Whitechapel gallery chief Iwona Blazwick reading during lockdown?

Iwona Blazwick courtesy Whitechapel Gallery

Working through the stacks of publications I have accumulated over the last year, the following stand out:

The Winter 2019 issue of Spike Art Magazine is dedicated to Magic! To cast their spell, the editors insist we read this issue cover to cover. From Erik Davis on magic and technology to poets CAConrad and Ariana Reines speculation on war as masculine menstrual envy to Suzanne Treisters techno tarot cards or Tony Ourslers archive of the occult, this is a gripping celebration of witchiness and art.

Theme shows are a good way of divining golden threads and making discoveries. What links Wassily Kandinsky, Arnold Schönberg, Marianne von Werefkin (new to me) and Cage? Music and Spirituality in Art, as beautifully charted in the eponymous catalogue (2017) for a show at Palazzo Magnani in Reggio Emilia.

Out of MuHKAs (Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp) catalogue for their 2019 retrospective of James Lee Byars (The Perfect Kiss) slips a facsimile of his 1970 lecture describing the genesis of his World Question Center, a clear precursor of Wikipedia. Byars is later televised phoning all the cleverest people in the world and asking them: "What questions are you asking yourself?"

As if braced for a more austere future, artists have been publishing slim volumes of subtle poesy. Georgie Hopton and Gary HumesHurricanes Hardly Happen(2020) is a delightful juxtaposition of two artists noodling with nature. Richard Deacons I Wanted to Talk About the Future But I Ended Up thinking About the Past (2019)is about footprints and fossils. Each can be slipped in the pocket and carried to the park for our daily constitutional. Read More – Source

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