Umbigo #81

After Umbigo #80 opened the celebratory project for the 20 years of Umbigo – subordinated, then, to Nature – issue number 81 is now dedicating its core features to Capitalism and its means over the world. The projects and essays thus presented propose nothing more than a critical reading of facts, memories, cultures and politics that Capitalism has been surreptitiously imposing.

Umbigo #81 opens with two covers designed by Fernão Cruz who is also the artist of this issue’s Art Project. Exhumation uses the symbolic matter of Capital – the cheque – as a canvas for artistic indulgence. Further on, MafaldaRuão writes about Cruz’s work, after a long conversation with the artist in his studio. 

Inside, the magazine has on the first page a special commission made by Ukrainian artist Nikita Kadan in which he shows the devastation of war in Ukraine. Kadan composes and decomposes the destruction of buildings and, through the means of a digital assemblage, he manages to conceive a reality that doesn’t seem to exist beyond annihilation. 

[ Political Capital ] is the title chosen by Paulo Mendes for his curatorial project, in which the selected works are shown next to carefully extracted quotes by some of the major voices in Economics, Philosophy, History and Politics. Participating in it are Anne Imhof, BineldeHyrcan, CoryArcangel, Estelita Mendonça, Fábio Colaço, Fernando J. Ribeiro, Hugo Almeida Pinho, KaderAttia, Maria Trabulo, Nuno Ramalho, Priscila Fernandes, Rita GT, RyanGanderand Wang Bing.

In the written essays, Pedro G. Romero analyses the Roma communities’ resistance to Capitalism in Bestiary XV. Anti-capitalist mirror; Matteo Bergamini studies Pier Paolo Pasolini’s profile on Capitalism, Consumerism and Censorship; Lee Mackinnon plays with the “attention necrosis and the hetero-capitalist gaze”; Bianca Chu dives into Derek Jarman’s work to summon Eros; Francisco Correia explores the economy of the precariat in cultural and art institutions. 

In the visual essays, the Russian dissident from the punk group Pussy Riot, NikaNikulshina, makes a coldblooded excision on life ruled under the capitalist system and the violent culture of Russian oligopolies, in a collaboration with 9cyka; Nicolai Nekh shows a series of jackets he brought from Russia in Valet Stand; José Maçãs de Carvalho reviews his life experience in Macau in his project Wynn’s.

Elsewhere, RennyPritikin interviews Steve Lambert, a North-American artist and activist who has been developing a series of works driven by community discussions and therefore stressing the importance of words and dialogues within the arts. Also, MattiaTosti talked to Amin Husain about the collective Strike MoMA that has been fighting publicly over the decolonization of the Museum of Modern Art. 

On the Umbigo’s sections, Sofia Yala is the artist opening the collaboration with Luso-American Development Foundation, in a personal, retrieving and recovering chronicle; Henrique Pavão decomposes the matter in which cinema and film are made of, in a Dialogue with the Cinemateca Portuguesa | Museu do Cinema; Jorge Martins is the artist of this edition’s Drawing Project, with the support of Carmona e Costa Foundation; Henrique Machado e Silva interviewed Ana Cordeiro Santos over Capitalism in the era of financialization; Carolina Trigueiros made a walking talk with Joana Escoval at the Botanic Garden of Lisbon; the partnership Umbigo x Brotéria debates Capitalism, Art and Religion with the supervision of João Norton, Sj; in Genealogies, Carolina Machado tackles the aesthetics of the precariat – or how Capitalism is taking over young artists work; Colin Ginks, in The Velvet Room section, peeps through the so-called Queer Art and Capitalism; UmbigoLAB shows a quick profile of LucíaVives; and, finally, Exodus closes the magazine with a photographic essay by LuizaBaldan. Before this, JoãoSilvério wrote about Isabel Andrade Madureira and Miguel Domingues’ work at the collection of PLMJ Foundation. 

The back cover of Umbigo has included yet again a new artwork, this time around a documental registry of Steve lambert’s intervention at Times Square, in which citizens are asked to vote according to the expression “Capitalism works for me! True / False”. In the captured instant, citizens appear to disagree with the expression… but not by a large amount. 

UK cover price: £8

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