Gemini Cas Pol Andreo 1080
Photo: Rogelio Bernal Andreo (Deep Sky Colors)

Open the door, step back, close the door. Open the door, peer through, what’s here, what’s left, what’s new… what’s that? Right now entrances and exits are constantly shifting and we are feeling so much, too much: frustration, reluctance, resistance but also a glimmer of hope formed from questioning our reflections and dreams.

The next issue #57 is not the issue we intended but is instead one that has been supplicated by circumstance. With no authority on the current situation except how we feel subjectively; perceiving that, objectively, the request of labour when ideas of labour themselves are in flux weighs heavily, we approach this issue with due caution. This is the reality, the milieu (or even mildew) out of which issue 57 has formed. We are placed on shifting ground and we are not sure footed and neither do we think we can be.

We remember Vesta, the Roman goddess of hearth and home who alongside others such as the Lares, and the Dioscuri (Castor and Pollux) are sometimes known as the ‘store cupboard gods’. [1] They linger in our homes to appear when we need them most. The latter two figures are specifically credited with saving those in danger. Vesta, rarely represented in a human form, more often as a flickering flame, perhaps grounds this issue written with hope from inside.

So, we have asked others to write from their own stores: what they did know, how they felt. How they felt about writing, how they felt about films on the internet, how they felt about this heavy context. And as a gesture of solidarity we have also asked this question of ourselves. Issue #57 is formed of two interlinking parts: recollections and reflections.

In recollections we review work in memory that can help us form the emergent channels of action we may want to pursue in our futures. The we/us/they of this issue thinks about work that sticks, resurfaces, jumps back. Writers reach out to remembered worlds and artefacts and situate them within a wavering flickering present: places we have been, structures we have worked through, objects we have seen and touched, utopias we have dared to dream.

In reflections we connect with the inner workings of our own household at MAP, reviewing days and times (in strange times) and contemplating what it means to work-with-what-you-got, to be in a state of perhaps somewhat forced nostalgia, to enquire into the off balances of domestic labour, childcare and the expectation of continued employment, government OK’d exercise. Taking time to get to know better what’s already there. An improvised meal.

While dusty works and those that had been archived now rise (comfortably or uncomfortably) to the surface on screens and come into homes, while institutions falter and shift from venue-based production, we try to centre lived experience and trace connections in our murky time. This is an attempt to address and critique work, online modes of production and dissemination, or to at least document what works and what actions were made, now and then. What do we miss, what do we fully want to leave behind, and what do we hope that we will take into the future? Which works and ideas do we turn attention to, which are remembered by institutions, which by writers, artists, individuals? Remember sitting at home and crying at art films, zoning out to action movies, staring out the window, trying not to get ill, trying to draw. Motivation blazes and dims like nobody’s business, precarious and threatening to blow out. Vesta continues to flicker hopefully in the storecupboard and Castor and Pollux still glimmer at us from their constellation Gemini—which is this issue’s time.


[1] H.H. Scullard, A History of the Roman World 753-146 BC, 5th Edition (Routledge, London and New York) p49

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