It is our intent that the themes for un Magazine 17.1 and 17.2,
RESIST/RETURN, ultimately be understood together as
inextricable gestures of negotiation with culture and artistic
practice. We see them as directional movements — to push
against, to pull or be pulled towards — each with a different
centre of gravity, often in action simultaneously.
In choosing to anchor each word to a separate issue, however, we understand they will also be read in isolation. It was instinctual to begin with RESIST, as though it were natural to first push away what we do not want or need before reaching for what we do, even though it is just as natural to return to the wisdom of ancestors, or to a memory, or a place, in order to build the strength
to resist. The relationship of instinct — and learned response — to
both of these words requires more analysis than we can give here.
Each of the texts in this issue contain both gestures (resist/return) in some way. Just as the texts in issue 17.2 will too.
But now, we are feeling the anxiety of definition.
We are feeling the weight of doing justice to the word RESIST.
We know the world through its lens looks different to everyone.
We are feeling the limitations of format, of the tyranny of word
counts, of the English language. We are feeling our own personal
and interpersonal capacities, grappling with an internal resistance
to offer feedback on texts that call for autonomy or disobedience,
with the conferred authority of editors. We say this not to be
unimpeachable but to signal the many ways resistance works on us and to acknowledge the heat that comes from its necessary friction.
This issue is not intended to be — perhaps it cannot
be — a Molotov cocktail thrown into society or a manifesto for
resistance. It is, after all, an art magazine for an audience of insiders. Early in our discussions with potential writers we were advised to be wary of conflating representation or critique with political action. We do not intend to answer any questions. This issue is instead a compilation of thinking on, or near, or about resisting or resistance as it manifests in artistic practice, or within or in response to the systems we know as the art world, or scene, or ecology.
For some of our contributors, resistance means Land
Back, or institutional critique, or self-preservation, or the slow
drip of paint through a tube. It manifests as lying, or vandalism,
or silence, or speculation; in radio waves, and language, and
learning together. In loving your friends and making new ones.
Whether determined by justness, spectacle, collective action or
personal reflection, each of our contributors tell of a defiant
relationship with imposed order.
This positioning is made in anticipation of RETURN.
Eventually, these texts will sit in relation to the next issue,
changing their relationships to us and to each other, perhaps
closing the circle, or perhaps not. —-----