Theatrical Thinking: Rose English

In English (the language, not the artist), there is a curious phrase for considering an idea: “to entertain a thought.” It marries apparent opposites: thought, which is serious, philosophical, abstract, or interrogative, and entertainment, which is unserious, trivial, and a means of escapism—from thinking, among other things. But when the phrase is used, there’s no intention to invoke the world of cabaret or comedy: it’s Rose English who connects showmanship to theory. In her performances, she uses the conventions of theater and stage spectacle, along with comic wordplay, to interrogate philosophical problems of representation, democracy, and gender identity.

The Next Great Moment in History Is Ours: Dorothy Iannone

Voluptuous buttocks and full breasts, thick black contours surrounding glorified female silhouettes, ornamental plants depicted in primary colors, two golden mandalas. Executed in her signature style, which oscillates between hippie psychedelia and Byzantine mosaics, Dorothy Iannone’s cover for her book A Cook Book (1969) features her full repertoire of iconic motifs. Plus some pots and pans. The following pages contain more than two hundred recipes handwritten against delightfully colorful backgrounds intermingled with short annotations on life, love, feminism, and moussaka à la Grecque. There is no hierarchy between text and image, food and food for thought. Politics go hand in hand with humor, hunger with sexual appetite. A recipe for one-minute mayonnaise is accompanied by the casual-sounding statement: “Well, it is possible that God is a woman. Sorry.”

The Way Out: Listening to, and Looking at, New Age Now

Tibetan singing bowls, gong baths, sheets of shimmering synths, strummed harps, lapping waves, and flutes whose sounds used to resonate, furtively, in “spas, wellness centers, yoga studios, and hippie bookstores” alone: for some time now, it has actually once again been okay to listen to these sonic hallmarks of New Age music—in fact, it has become inexplicably cool to flaunt your Deuter records and Iasos tapes of late. It wasn’t always thus. In this wide-ranging consideration of the critical revival of the long maligned and ridiculed New Age phenomenon, Crystal Vibrations aficionado Dieter Roelstraete asks why the same hasn’t happened to New Age music’s visual pendant—the aesthetic scourge of Visionary art. Might its time have come, at long last? Let’s see, and start by looking.

Make a Wilderness: Miltos Manetas

Miltos Manetas (b. 1964, Athens) is a charming caractère and a real go-getter. A painter, yet also a pillar in the development of what will later be dubbed Post-Internet art, with the founding of the art movement known as Neen he, among many fellow practitioners across the world, captured the zeitgeist of a generation of artists working on- and offline, blurring the boundaries between the digital and the material world, shaping the mind frame of a newborn attitude toward the notion of art in the twenty-first century that he later sorted under the umbrella of “Ñewpressionism.” His memetic mantra, “Outside of the Internet There Is No Glory,” is somewhat of an oxymoron that fully exemplifies the symmetry of his seamlessly distributed practice.
For MILANO, currently on view at Torre Rasini in Porta Venezia, Milan, the artist reunited his Cables paintings (1997–ongoing) portraying a “family group in an interior” in a world where technology itself has become “our” family.
In the following exchange, Manetas retraces his career starting from his arrival in Milan, mapping his movements around the globe—each movement coinciding with a new stage of his work.

Photo: Lorenzo Piovella