The capacity of art and culture to reach across entrenched social divides is nowhere more disputed than in Jerusalem, a city defined by partition. Francesca Wade (winner of the 2015 Tony Lothian Prize for biography) travels to a place in which ‘history, religion, current events are all the same thing’ to witness how disparate cultures persist, exchange and collide in the city’s contested streets.
In an interview with Helen Mackreath, artist and activist Dor Guez discusses his refusal to accept the Israeli ‘formalisation of what identity is supposed to be, since none of us fit into the formal definition of a national identity.’ He talks about the possibility of assuming different identities according to context, a practice formalised in his recent project The Sick Man of Europe, which addresses the relationship between individual perspective and artistic creativity.
Identity is also the subject of a new essay by Anna Coatman, which takes Rachel Maclean’s Feed Me as the starting point for an exploration of the way that an emerging generation of video and performance artists are re-figuring the relationship of the individual to society through the use of alter egos, multiple personae and digital avatars.
Duncan Wheeler takes up similar themes in his essay on Javier Cercas, one of Spain’s greatest living novelist, whose work interrogates the legacy of the Civil War and Franco in his home country.
In the short story Wolves, Korean author Jeon Sungtae, translated by Sora Kim-Russell, merges different voices – the monk, the chief, the hunter and the acrobat – to tell the story of a great hunt and a dying tradition. We’re excited, too, to publish a short story by Danish author Naja Marie Aidt, who recently read at the US launch of our fourteenth print issue at Signal Gallery, Brooklyn.
In advance of the publication of our fifteenth print issue we publish recent translations form the 30-volume magnum opus of Ko Un, Korea’s foremost living poet. We’re excited to publish more from Maninbo, and brand new work, in the upcoming print issue.