14.10 from 18.30: Simulacrum Magazine’s thirtieth anniversary issue presentation with editors Mirna Vrdoljak and Kenneth Geurts @ Motto Berlin

Posted in Events, magazines, Motto Berlin event on October 14th, 2022
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Please join us for the presentation of Simulacrum Magazine’s thirtieth anniversary issue het Reflectienummer with editors Mirna Vrdoljak and Kenneth Geurts.

14 October 2022
from 6.30pm

Motto Berlin
Skalitzer Str. 68
10997 Berlin

is an arts and culture magazine based in Amsterdam. Since thirty years, it functions as an accessible and high-quality platform for students and experts from various fields to publish together. Simulacrum is a quarterly thematic publishing project that aims at fostering transdisciplinary connections among contributions that explore both historical and contemporary perspectives of the European cultural landscape. 

On 14 October, Simulacrum is coming to Motto Berlin to celebrate the magazine’s thirtieth anniversary issue titled het Reflectienummer. For this issue the editors delved into the full archive and asked contributors to reflect on their submissions. These reflections offer insight into how art, culture, and historiography have changed over the course of thirty years. However, the eleven reflections bundled together do not only refer to the past. Reflection is an exercise with an eye to the future; it is a moment of standing still and thinking about how it was, how it is, and how it could be.

Editors Mirna Vrdoljak and Kenneth Geurts will hold a discussion on the blurring of boundaries across disciplines in the humanities, and the magazine’s role in adequately responding to the reciprocal influence between academic and artistic spheres. Bearing in mind the magazine’s primary focus on art historical research thirty years ago, we will speak from our own experiences with the diverging range of submissions, as well as the questions that arise with the use of new media platforms and digital modes of archiving. There will also be a moment to introduce Simulacrum’s freshly printed autumnal newspaper on documenta fifteen, The documenta Issue.

Browse Simulacrum here

Simulacrum – Jrg. 30 #3 Nightmare. Simulacrum

Posted in Journals, magazines, writing on September 3rd, 2022
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Aren’t we all familiar with the deeply personal experience of waking up alone, in anguish and despair, from the depths of a nightmare? Whether it’s disordered sleeping, sleep paralysis or the more regular frightening dream, the night and its terrors have kept us occupied since the very beginning of humanity. For this issue of Simulacrum, we – together – delve into the furthest corners of our minds to discover the dark and disorienting meaning we might find there. But a nightmare is much more than something to be fearful of. The nightmare is entangled with our histories and can lead us to our deepest selves, by bringing up feelings which we don’t dare to feel in real life. It has provided many creators with inspiration for their art of many forms. As we will discover within this issue of Simulacrum, this personal aspect of the nightmare can lead to incredibly diverse approaches and interpretations that we hope will allow you to reconsider the meaning and feeling that nightmares can bring us.

Authors: Neža Kokol, Joyce Poot, Niels Noot, Jonas van Kappel, Jérémy Bernard, Kenneth Geurts, Denise van Rooij, Kim Mulder, Frank van der Wulp, Laure Vanrijckeghem, Sanne Kabalt.

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Simulacrum – Jrg. 30 #2 Dirt. Various Authors. Simulacrum

Posted in magazines on April 15th, 2022
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Since time immemorial dirt has been conceived of as both out of place matter, along the understanding offered by Mary Douglas, as well as a tool of oppression. Through a far reaching treatment of dirt and the system of relations this word implies, this issue embarks on a quest for perspective in our understanding of human and more-than-human relations.

DIRT then becomes an opportunity to wonder about dirt in all its forms. What falls under the scope of DIRT? How is this concept used and to whose benefit? What should we change in both our conceptions of, as well as our relations to, dirt? What imaginations of dirt open up new speculative insights? And especially, what dirt will we leave behind us?

Attending to these and many more fascinating questions, the ten contributors to this issue explore the possibilities of dirt as a transient category. DIRT thus maps a constellation of approaches through which we may conceive of dirt and negotiate our relationship with it. Featuring interviews, reviews, authorial work and poetic treatments, this issue approaches DIRT as both a natural and cultural phenomenon.

Introducing the issue are the words and images of Anna Patzak, whose oneiric poems evoke a revelry of childhood memories and sensory experiences of scavenging dirt. Following hand in hand, Niels Gercama’s Ibuprofen is a tale of blurring boundaries, in which the daily grind of childhood is spent among all kinds of dirt and adulthood hovers around like a ghostly presence, prying into our world with its intrusive fingers.

In Hardnekkig vuil by Lies Defever, dirt becomes a metaphor for the childhood memories of a family’s colonial history. Through the ruins of a personal archive, we are ushered into the intimate, entangled present of a life in decay. The bodily dimension of dirt introduced by Defever is taken up by Seline Westerhof in De Walgelijke Vergankelijkheid van de Mens. This review of Sally Mann’s What Remains (2000), discusses the photographer’s work on a US body-farm, an establishment for the scientific study of decomposing human bodies. In her treatment of Mann, Westerhof focuses on both the beauty of bodily decay as well as its many regenerative potentials. Foregrounding the issue of soil, Westerhof reminds us of the freedom that is to be found in foregoing the dictatorship of perfection and control we demand of life and terrestrial bodies.

The issue of control is a central tenet of Annanova van Kanten’s The Devil’s Advocate: The Ethics of Consensual Cannibalism. In this thought provoking essay, van Kanten introduces us to the legal gap in which a case of modern day, consensual cannibalism fell in the early 2000s. By exploring the historical origins and etymology of cannibalism, van Kanten identifies this practice as originating from a process of marked othering deeply imbricated within histories of coloniality and power. In her advocating in favour of consensual cannibalism, the author makes a clever use of the theories proposed by Hobbes, Bentham and Berlin, in order to reflect upon the issues of power, consent, disgust and the right to personal determination in present society.

The second essay of this issue, Soil Entanglements, presents us with an analysis of the documentary Kiss the Ground (2020). In her critical take on the narrative proposed by the film, Emily Rhodes makes the case for a more aware appreciation of earthly soils and their needs. Proposing to understand this more-than-human category as being composed of living organisms, and of humans as being themselves humus, Rhodes foregrounds the work of Rosa Marie Mulder in Art as Humus. Through a framework informed by the work of Donna Haraway and Vandana Shiva, Mulder reviews artistic efforts that exemplify the significance of composting as both a speculative and practical practice, thus providing an inspiring range of interactions between more-than-human species and humanity.

These interactions and the set of relations stemming from them are the basis of Semâ Bekirović’s work. In her interview with Simulacrum, the Amsterdam based artist and curator discusses her approach to dirt, as well as her method and artistic practice. Focusing on interspecies communication and the need to accept our own reality as beings made of dirt, Bekirović encourages us to conceive of dirt as a transient space of generative practice.

Likewise oriented towards dirt’s positive potential for present and future practices, is Lizan Freijsen’s conception of dirt. In this last contribution, the artist and designer discusses with Simulacrum her life-work with molds, fungi and stains. Sharing details of her passion for these more-than-human organisms, Freijsen closes this issue by reminding us of the importance of ruins and their necessity for building the future, spurring us to think well and deeply about what kind of dirt we should leave behind.

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Simulacrum – Jrg. 30 #1 Intimacies. Various authors. Simulacrum.

Posted in writing on February 14th, 2022
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“Our first issue of the year is an inquiry into intimacy in its many forms. We decided on this topic the last week of summer, the first time we sat down with our new editorial team. ‘We don’t share intimacy yet,’ said one of our editors, `intimacy needs time to grow.’ Yet, looking back, that first meeting was perhaps as intimate as it gets; nervous introductions, how-was-your-summer’s, testing waters, sharing ideas, enthusiasm, and doubts as well. ‘How do we define the intimate?’ Won’t it be too much like Simulacrum’s Love issue?’ What’s the difference between love and intimacy anyway?’ 
From these questions, ideas of intimacies started to take shape: those on the threshold between public and private, in languages between lovers, those differing from the hetero-and homonormative, the intimacies shared with oneself. Through touch and writing, poetry and myth, economic systems and modes of play, the subconscious and the attentive; the divergent approaches the eleven contributors of this issue have taken give us a glimpse of the endless ways in which the spectrum of intimate experience can be explored, exercised, and rethought.”

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