In the May issue of frieze, we invite five writers and artists whose work engages with questions of racial identity – Thomas Chatterton Williams, Adelita Husni-Bey, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, Pope L. and Dread Scott – to write open letters to Adrian Piper, subject of a major retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, until July.
Also in this issue: Colin Chinnery surveys four artists – Zhuang Hui, Wang Sishun, Zhao Yao and Zhao Zhao – whose work in China’s far west evokes the complex geopolitics of the Belt and Road Initiative. Novelist Lucy Ives discerns ‘visionary cybernetics’ in the conceptual works of the late American poet Hannah Weiner and poet and architect Madeline Gins. Astrid Kaminski looks at how slowness is being used as a critical device in the performance and choreographic works of Daina Ashbee, Maria Hassabi, Alexandra Pirici, Angela Schubot and Kat Válastur. Ann Reynolds profiles the late Japanese-American sculptor and arts educator, Ruth Asawa, whose work is currently on view at the Whitney Museum, New York, and the de Young fine arts museum, San Francisco. Martin Hargraves considers theatricality and desire in the performances of Than Hussein Clark, recently the subject of a solo exhibition at GAK, Bremen. Artist David Salle writes a fan letter in praise of George W. S. Trow’s prescient commentary on American culture, Within the Context of No Context (1981). And for this issue’s visual essay, photographer Heji Shin presents a series of specially-commissioned portraits.
In the front section: Swiss architect and designer-duo Trix & Robert Haussmann – whose retrospective at KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, travels to Nottingham Contemporary in the summer – nominate the objects, people and ideas that have influenced them; Paul Rekret unpacks the political underpinnings of the latest turn to chill music; and, to coincide with the publication of his latest book, How to Write an Autobiographical Novel, we ask bestselling author, poet and essayist Alexander Chee to reveal his ideal syllabus.
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