Ekaterina Muromtseva. Quarantine Outfit, Part 1. Balcony Gallery (courtesy of the artist, 2020)
Issue 02 (spring 2021)
Edited by The Garage Journal in consultation with Andrey Misiano (Garage Museum of Contemporary Art)
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the strengths and weaknesses in the global organization of economic and political relations, trade, technical infrastructure, finance, information flows, and so on. The role of art, culture, and entertainment has also been brought into question, with the debate about their ‘(non)essential’ status emerging in various contexts. For example, some countries have provided direct financial support to those working in the culture sector, whilst others have delegated responsibilities to the private sector, grassroots communities, and professional associations. In some ways, the crisis caused by COVID-19 is unprecedented by modern standards (e.g., social distancing, sector-wide practice of working from home, and travel bans). But in other ways, it is similar to other crises caused by terrorism, wars, natural disasters, and market crashes (e.g., economic difficulties, disruption of communication, and the impossibility to make long-term plans). Like every crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the ways in which people work, communicate, and socialize, with many individuals and institutions mourning the loss of previous opportunities and making use of new ones to build support groups, networks, and associations.
In this special issue we wish to explore the ways in which crises of all kinds—global and local, current and historical, natural and human-made, and technological and creative—have impacted the ways in which social identities, interactions, and associations occur and continue to be maintained and articulated. In Marxist theory, the conceptualization of crisis concerns itself with the causes and consequences of the tendency for the rate of profit to fall in a capitalist system. We see the notion of crisis in much broader terms, including the notions of the void and gaps developed by Jacques Rancière and Alain Badiou. So, we are interested in submissions that account for the radical politics of equality and event in the context of the art sector, the art market, museums, and contemporary culture.
We are also critical of the ‘crisis management’ of art, museums, and culture which is dominant in neoliberal regimes, aiming to achieve greater efficiency at the expense of well-being and development of individuals. Hence, the focus of this special issue of The Garage Journal is not on identities and cultural politics, but on the relations between individuals and institutions, individuals and communities, and individuals and the art sector. We expand the meaning of the term ‘sociality’ to encompass the following:
1) values, or understandings of the meaning and purpose of a society/community;
2) the quality or state of being sociable, and instances of being sociable;
3) the tendency and desire to associate in or form social groups; and
4) the means to carry out work and other duties, organize one’s professional and personal life, manage projects and institutions, and relate to other social constructs such as the nation.
The special issue invites submissions that explore ways in which the art sector has responded to crises in the recent past, relying on and producing new socialities, including forms of being together, community-based art and research, networks of solidarity, modes of collective resistance, and so on. We are interested in interdisciplinary contributions that explore these concerns in relation to ‘big theories’ such as the digital utopia, network theory, symbolic economics, posthumanism, and others. We are particularly excited about submissions that look critically at the established disciplines of art history, museology, sociology of culture, postcolonial studies, communication and media. We also welcome submissions from those studying fashion, games, design, cinema, literature, and other art genres.
We invite researchers, artists, curators, and cultural practitioners to reflect on these concerns. Contributions in a variety of genres and formats, including creative responses and speculative pieces, are welcome; however, priority will be given to submissions based on extensive research. Contributions can be made in English, Russian or German in the form of articles, visual essays, data essays, interviews, and archival materials. The Garage Journal does not publish unsolicited artworks.
To submit a proposal, please provide the following information in English:
• Contribution type (e.g., article, visual essay, data essay, interview, etc.)
• Language of contribution (English, German or Russian)
• Title of contribution
• Abstract (300 words)
• Key words that indicate the focus of the contribution (e.g., community, artist networks, mediation, participation)
• Biographical information, including a short biographical statement of maximum 100 words stating research interests and relevant professional experience, and a list of no more than 10 publications relevant to the themes of the special issue
Proposals for contributions are due on July 15, 2020. Send all the information requested above—as a single PDF document—to the GJ@garagemca.org.
Founded in 2019, The Garage Journal is an independent interdisciplinary platform advancing critical discussions about contemporary art, culture and museum practice in the Russian and global contexts. It publishes empirical, theoretical and speculative research in a variety of genres, celebrating innovative ways to present research. Fully peer-reviewed, it provides a source book of ideas for an international audience.