How Art Got a Sense of Humour

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“If a contemporary anything isn’t funny, beware!”—Casey Jane Ellison

How can laughter help to ease pain? What is the world’s oldest joke? Why did the elephant cross the road? In issue 33 we speak with artists who are making funny, often using humour to explore life’s dark or bewildering elements. We discuss comedy as a bridge-maker—between people, cultures and art forms—and as a way to address otherwise impenetrable topics with honesty and catharsis. There’s the occasional laugh to be had too, starting with Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg’s evil wolf/grandma hybrid featured on the cover.

In this issue we feature Encounters with our cover artists, as well as Lubaina Himid, Ian Davenport, Anne Collier and Kehinde Wiley, and have two Paper Galleries—one dedicated to the work of celebrated Leviathan creator Shazeed Dawood, the other to young painters who are turning the world on its head.

Our columnists, Mel Byars and Ben Eastham, discuss healing with humour and romantic delusions, while Paul Carey-Kent talks us through seven artworks that happen to tickle his funny bone.

Journal gets an update for issue 33, with the addition of exhibition and book reviews—expect to find semi-nude ballet involving mopeds—as well as a poem and a self-deconstructing letter to the editor.