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Editorial



Hey!

How have you been?

What’s going on in your life?

Interspersed with occasional dramas, our lives are full of ordinary, trivial, and habitual actions, movements, and events in the public and private spheres. To be frank, all of this, which we refer to as “the everyday,” many of us would not hesitate to also call “unremarkable” or even “boring”—but upon closer inspection, we find that the stuff of the everyday entails infinite possibilities of variation and modulation. It is something we all experience, yet it never looks quite the same for any two of us. Tang Han, a Berlin-based multimedia artist, shows us a slice of her everyday in this issue’s cover image, which is composed of her day-to-day tasks and activities rendered as digital files. The blending of digital and concrete realities that we see in Tang’s cover design emerges as a recurrent theme throughout several texts published in this issue. The readings of the everyday contained within this issue call attention to other themes, as well: the willful intervention into the everyday; the oft-overlooked power of common objects and humdrum practices; and the role of social, racial, political, physical, economic, and other factors in shaping the conditions of our daily experiences.  

Spanning a wide variety of entry points into the everyday, we are pleased to present essay contributions from Ren Ewart, Victoria Parker, Hannah Gadbois, Katharina Mludek, and Marie Egger. The first two essays ask us to consider practices closely linked to the body: Ewart, situating textile art within the interwoven histories of feminist art and labor debates, delves into the artist Anne Wilson’s evocative and richly symbolic engagement with stained and damaged domestic textiles. Parker shows how a “natural” feature of the human body—hair—takes on political meaning as an indication of race and ethnicity. Showcasing the proximity between ordinary occurrences and political struggle, she anchors her analysis in personal experience, turning our attention to power relations reflected in the visual aesthetics of Afro hair.

Our third essay, by Hannah Gadbois, examines how an early Soviet artifact—the photobook Pro Eto (1923), in which Vladimir Mayakovsky’s poetry is paired with Aleksandr Rodchenko’s Constructivist photomontages—aimed to revolutionize societal norms governing the everyday. Gadbois positions Pro Eto’s aspiration to resonate on a collectivist level as standing in opposition to Roland Barthes’ emphasis on viewers' unique and subjective experience of the photograph. Katharina Mludek and Marie Egger in their essays focus on objects that populate the everyday but would typically escape our attention: Mludek examines the I-cursor—that trivial and inescapable feature of the digital age, which blinks at us whenever we open a blank page—and discusses its design history with attention to the interface between man and machine. Egger supplies an art historical perspective of current e-commerce as she takes a closer look at nude images from the German Democratic Republic which circulate on eBay. Considering the sellers’ strategies of displaying, classifying, and authenticating these images—permeated by notions of the East German woman—she critically examines the commercial dissemination of these photos and the mechanisms which turn amateur photos into desirable goods.

This issue also features reviews by Maxie Fischer on Rasmus Søndergaard Johannsen’s exhibition Patterns, Caroline Greifenstein on the exhibition Terrestrial Assemblage at the Floating University, and Imke Gerhard on Carlotta Lücke’s silicone drawings. Sabrina Blembel reviews Tom Holert’s book Knowledge Beside Itself: Contemporary Art’s Epistemic Politics (2020), and Johanna Engemann reviews the cyberfeminist manifesto Glitch Feminism (2020) by Legacy Russell.

Last but not least, this issue includes a portrait by Congle Fu of our cover artist, Tang Han, and an interview by Swantje Pieper with the Düsseldorf-based artist Janis Löhrer. Fu plunges into Tang’s rich oeuvre and sheds light on her artistic development in China and Germany. Pieper converses with Löhrer about his large-format “drawing-paintings,” in which Löhrer incorporates household objects, gestures spotted on the street, and the surprising, humorous, compelling, and sometimes unpleasant emotions that arise from everyday situations.

We hope you enjoy reading our second issue!

Sabrina Blembel
Congle Fu
Josefin Granetoft
Frederik Luszeit
Meryem Özel
      
Managing Editors
re:visions #2, The Everyday





Contributions by
Sabrina Blembel
Marie Egger
Johanna Engemann
Ren Ewart
Maxie Fischer
Congle Fu
Hanna Gadbois
Imke Gerhardt
Carolin Greifenstein
Katharina Mludek
Victoria Caroline Parker
Swantje Pieper

Managing Editors
Sabrina Blembel
Congle Fu
Josefin Granetoft
Frederik Luszeit
Meryem Özel
Editors
Sabrina Blembel
Johanna Engemann
Congle Fu
Imke Gerhardt
Josefin Granetoft
Julia Grüßing
Frederik Luszeit
Swantje Pieper
Pauline Schirmer
Laura Seidel
Ananda Siml
Meryem Özel

Proofreaders
Sabrina Blembel
Johanna Engemann
Corey Ratch
Pauline Schirmer
Laura Seidel
Meryem Özel
Swantje Pieper
Cover Design
Tang Han

Graphic Design
Julia Grüßing
Jérémy Landes

Website
Congle Fu
Josefin Granetoft
Julia Grüßing
Jérémy Landes

Social Media
Swantje Pieper
Julia Grüßing



Journal der Freien Universität Berlin


Berlin 2022