The Last Word: 10 of the Best Quotes from Our New Issue

From interviews with art pioneers to features about the future, photos and teddy bears, here are some snippets from Elephant’s Spring Summer print edition

“It might have once evoked Descartes’ ‘I think therefore I am’. Recently, it has also been used in a Vice article entitled A Chicken Wearing Pants Speaks to the Human Condition”

Philippa Snow sticks the boots into the overused expression, “It speaks to the human condition”, in our Jargon column

Urara Tsuchiya, Just close your eyes and imagine I haven’t evolved, 2016

“Pastel-coloured bears cavort and frolic with one another, and engage in threesomes and oral sex”

Louise Benson investigates the artistic cult of the teddy bear




“Science fiction offers that sense of otherness, the imagination of new cultures, new belief systems, and new ways of living. Gay and queer people like me can connect with that”

Rafal Zajko is one of the five artists tasked with imagining a future armageddon (and an ingenious solution to it) for our Age of Apocalypse feature

Nathan Beard, Tender Ruin, 2021. © Nathan Beard

“On the morning of 8 September, 2019 I was woken by a phone call informing me that my mother had passed away suddenly at her home in Nakhon Nayok, Thailand…”

Charting the preparations for his mother’s funeral, Nathan Beard’s intensely personal new photographic work ponders the nature of love and loss

Tai Shani and Sin Wai Kin photographed by Hidhir Badaruddin

 “I don’t want to make drag that is about what I want to take off, I want to make drag about what I’m putting on, what can masculinity look like and feel like?”

Sin Wai Kai talks to fellow artist Tai Shani about the issues of identity and gender that fuel the work of both of them in our special double interview

Wangari Mathenge, The Ascendants XVIII (She Is Here And So Are You), 2021. Courtesy the artist

“Isn’t what I’m giving enough? Why do you feel that the only way that you can connect with my work is by connecting with me?”

The figures in Wangari Mathenge’s paintings feel vibrantly alive. But, as she tells Alejandra Oliva, don’t assume for a moment that they’re her…

Hew Locke photographed by Jordan Afi Lambert in his studio in Camberwell, South London

“Artists are in boxes constantly trying to get out of the bloody things”

Hew Locke’s work challenges viewers to look and think again about the world that surrounds them. Precious Adesina discovers what fascinates him, and just what he is and is not prepared to talk about

Marina Abramović photographed by Maciek Pożoga outside the Royal Academy of Arts

“My god, if these are my last days, let’s have the best time”

Marina Abramović plans to enjoy every last second of existence. The performance art icon talks to Emily Steer about film making, opera and rubbish bins

Masahisa Fukase, Yoko: From Window, 1974

“Issues of consent, of ownership, of control, are never far from these photographs, no matter the identity or inclination of the imagemaker”

When photographers shoot their romantic partners, the results can be revealing, shocking, funny and powerful. Lou Stoppard looks into a genre that goes far beyond the clichés of artfully framed nudes

Dorothea Tanning, Self-Portrait, 1944. © San Francisco Museum of Modern Art / Bridgeman Images

“Why shouldn’t she be the sole explorer of a beautiful world of her creation? Why shouldn’t we?”

In This Artwork Changed My Life, novelist Sophie Mackintosh explains how Dorothea Tanning’s image of a lone woman confronting an uncertain future helped her to discover the self-confidence she needed


Elephant Spring Summer 2022

Pre-order now exclusively via Elephant Kiosk