October Surmise

I opened Colby Chamberlain’s [non-paywalled dropbox link October essay, “On Collaboration” immediately, but I confess it took me a couple of days to push through the sneaker drop connotations of the title and actually read it. You, though, should not wait.

Colby takes a historic look at Artforum and other art institutions—PS1, mostly, as proxy for a vaguely self-determined “art world”—as places where critique and opposition happen within the institutional context. “Collaboration,” he writes, “is a patchwork process of working with rather than working against, of temporary solutions and improvised repairs.”

Ultimately his essay poses the question of whether Artforum will still be a site of collaboration and critique after the recent editorial and staff upheavals at Artforum over opposition to Israel’s slaughter in Gaza. That his essay is published in a journal formed almost 50 years ago from a previous editorial upheaval at Artforum, is, perhaps, a sign of hope.

Colby Chamberlain, “On Collaboration”, October 187 [tinyurl/dropbox]