Flash Art 319 – Adrian Piper | Issue March/April 2018
Flash Art 319 introduces a new graphic identity. Developed with Wrong Studio in Copenhagen, the new design reinvigorates the magazine’s more than five-decade-long commitment to exploring, alongside our readers, the ever-changing landscape of contemporary visual culture. Our new logo, sleek and forward-looking, is a reinterpretation of our iconic sans-serif masthead of the 1970s. The inside pages preserve the neatly organized approach to content that distinguished the magazine’s previous design, while pursuing a less orthodox treatment of imagery: works of art and their critical readings are more freely entangled, in the service of a dynamic layout that remains manifestly legible. A more engaging table of contents; a continued diversification of discursive formats; longer exhibition reviews; and specially commissioned visual projects all contribute to a new look and feel for the flagship publication of one of the leading voices in the field of art journalism.
On the occasion of the artist’s upcoming retrospective at MoMA, New York, this issue presents a twenty-page dossier dedicated to Adrian Piper. Since the 1960s, Piper has used the language of Conceptual art to examine the social construction of identity, in many ways anticipating contemporary discussions on race and gender in the institution. Alongside newly commissioned contributions by Charles Gaines and Yaniya Lee, we republish an essay Piper contributed to Flash Art in 1993, in which she argues that modernist formalism rendered “politically and socially impotent a powerful instrument of social change — visual culture.” Indeed, as Gaines writes in the following pages: “Piper presciently recognized that visuality holds the key to emancipation from stereotype.” Following the trajectory of Piper’s vision, we raise our flag in acknowledgment of the power of the political in visual culture.