CURRENT ISSUE

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                featuring Lina Bolzoni, Steven Connor, Amy Hollywood, Marina Warner, Leif Weatherby, Susan Zieger, and more

                KIOSK / 3 DECEMBER 2019

                The Lasting Breath

                Mairead Small Staid

                On display at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation in Dearborn, Michigan—amid the lacquered black metal of Model Ts and the hanging flanks of the first planes to fly over the poles, just feet from Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion House and the bus seat made famous by Rosa Parks, mere yards from the chair in which Abraham Lincoln was shot and the limousine in which John Fitzgerald Kennedy was also, yes, shot—is a small, clear, and seemingly empty test tube, once rumored to contain the last breath of Thomas Edison. ...

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                KIOSK / 21 NOVEMBER 2019

                Telling Stories

                Lukas Cox

                In the late summer of 1941, a young woman identified by the initials J. B. wrote to the editor of the wildly popular crime magazine True Detective with a story about her father. “Whenever Dad came home from work,” she begins, “he usually found me huddled in a chair reading a mystery magazine.” Her father does not approve. To him, the stories in the magazine—lurid and sensational tales of real murder cases, complete with vibrant illustrations of partially clothed women—are “just trash.” ...

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                ISSUE 65

                Rectangle after Rectangle

                Amy Knight Powell

                This is about the dominance of the rectangular format in a certain tradition of picture making, a dominance that still holds today and extends well beyond the medium of painting. The book, the photographic print, the screen, and the museum—which has tended to favor this format—all guarantee that we encounter most pictures in rectangular frames. ...

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                ISSUE 65

                Ingestion / The White Rabbit and His Colorful Tricks

                Catherine Keyser

                In 2015, General Mills reformulated Trix with “natural” colors. Customers complained that the bright hues of their childhood cereal were now dull yellows and purples. Two years later, the company released Classic Trix to stand on store shelves alongside so-called No, No, No Trix, the natural version. This nickname, promising “no tricks,” sounds abstemious; the virtuous customer says no to technicolor temptation. ...

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                KIOSK / 12 NOVEMBER 2019

                How to Make a Monster

                George Prochnik

                In 1796, when he was fifty-one years old, the Spanish artist Francisco Goya began a visual meditation on monsters, reason, and the relationship between these phenomena. After multiple drafts, the final etching proved to be among the most magnetic images in Western culture. It has inspired endless commentary, suggesting that however many words are dedicated to analyzing its power, the secret of this print will never quite be solved. ...

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                KIOSK / 5 NOVEMBER 2019

                Remedial Art History for the German Far Right

                Lily Scherlis

                This past April, in advance of elections for the EU Parliament, an 1866 French Orientalist painting appeared around Berlin. The painting, The Slave Market by Jean-Léon Gér?me, depicts a naked, enslaved woman having her teeth examined by a prospective buyer. ... The painting was used to publicize the anti-immigration agenda of the far-right AfD (Alternative für Deutschland) party. ...

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                ISSUE 65

                The Power of Naming

                Cecilia Sj?holm

                In Genesis, Adam is given the task of naming the animals. God sends them to parade before him, and he gives them names. This ur-scene of naming is at the heart of the European grand debates over the origins of knowledge. Adam’s task cannot just have been performed randomly. The names would have had to mean something, and would have had to come from somewhere. ...

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                KIOSK / 29 OCTOBER 2019

                Archaeology and Jihad

                Aaron Tugendhaft

                When Samuel Beckett visited the Tell Halaf Museum in Berlin’s Charlottenburg district on 21 December 1936, he had the place to himself. Though King Faisal of Iraq had visited the makeshift museum when it opened six years earlier and the Illustrated London News had run a cover story on the quirky institution, the museum was hardly a popular tourist destination. You had to be in the know. ...

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