We live in troubled times. Social media is showing us more and more of the life we aren’t living, AI threatens to boot many of us out of our jobs and our politicians seem increasingly hell-bent on total destruction. Add to this the threat of a sixth major mass extinction (in which we may very well be wiped out altogether), and you can’t blame us for feeling a little unsettled.
Angst may have found its first expression in the pages of philosophy books, but it’s the arts that have given it such a relatable (and often cathartic) aesthetic and experiential flourish. Without Munch’s Scream, Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides and Radiohead’s, well… everything, how on earth would we be able to wallow in all that is unavoidably human and painful in such glorious splendour?
In this issue we speak with six artists who explore angst from their point of view, variously discussing the postnatal state, fear of an unknown political future and, unexpectedly, the funny side of our mortal woes.
We also feature Encounters with JR, Chantal Joffe, AA Bronson, Miranda July and Nick Cave, and meet the next generation, speaking with Urara Tsuchiya and Tom Lovelace for New Establishment. Issue 35 cover artist and photographer Harley Weir is paired with Jo Ann Callis in one of our Paper Galleries, and Wilhelm Sasnal’s black and white paintings are featured in the other.
Our regular columnists, Federico Florian, Mel Byars and Ben Eastham discuss euphoria, anxiety and questionable career choices, respectively, while Henry Hitchings writes about the ever-changing associations we have with the word “angst”.
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