Using a we to establish a we, using an us to establish an us, we, Alison and Rosie, are making contact with you, a MAP reader, hello o o o.
At the beginning of this editorial residency, working collaboratively, we set ourselves the question of how we work together and collaborate with you: the artist, the writer, the reader, the filmmaker, the programmer, the interested party.
In forming an answer we proposed the notion of ‘contact’: getting in touch, reaching out, hoping that what we send you finds you well.
Now, in these uncertain times of closure, cancellation and isolation (waiting, hands washed and on our own) ‘contact’ finds itself up front in our minds—the consideration of its meaning and its possibility all the more vital.
The question of this close view unfolds in our first issue, Staying Close, as a collection that gestures towards a proximity that is geographical, interpersonal and intertextual, in recognition of the challenges of commissioning, of research in a fractional position and the limits to knowledge. Why and how might we write about what is close to us while still hidden behind a screen? We look to the words of another with a somewhat similar preoccupation, the complexity of closeness:
‘We face each other but we do not see each other’s faces. We are together but through circuitous means. Enclosed by our task intimate but separate, at either end of a line of sight we converge on an impersonal point.’
—Sarah Tripp in You are of Vital Importance
As a community of discrete readers, our eyes may meet in the reflections of text, in the glass on screens, in windows, through frames. MAP is a location, a host, a point of contact and convergence. A point around which to encircle. We start from a place we know well. Or think we do. Glasgow: this city might not be a closed-circuit but it is a close one and the two can feel the same.
Regardless, it requires energy, engineers and a structure to send out dazzling beams. Locating a ‘review’ in its broadest sense as a piece of critical work, bound to others, the articles in this issue form ties, be they tightly wound cables, perfect connections or unravellings of electro-magnetic chaos. Held together, the commissions articulate this relational gesture. SO BUZZIN’ WE GET STARTED!
We invited the residents of 32 St. Andrews Street (Good Press, Lunchtime and Sunday’s) to reflect on and document comradery, collaboration and corroboration. William Kherbek visited transmediale 2020, Berlin, to discuss networks, discontents and optimists. Nell Osborne reviews Lisa Robertson’s new novel The Baudelaire Fractal published by Coach House Books.
Jessica Ramm confronts Gnostic Cautery by Alex Impey at The Hunterian, University of Glasgow. Gwenan Davies moves among the figures within France-Lise McGurn’s In Emotia at Tramway and Esther Draycott documents Our World, The World To Come at 16 Nicholson St, Glasgow.
Documenting events in more remote parts, Rose Higham-Stainton attends the launch of MOTHER by Studio Morison in the wetlands of Wicken Fen, Alice Bain takes part in the ceremonial planting of a willow at Deveron Projects and Francis Davis re-visits the familiar anew at Timespan’s Molecular Intimacies Symposium.
Long-form writing includes James Bell on the histories of feminist and queer cultural activism in contemporary art practice in the exhibition Seized by the Left Hand at Dundee Contemporary Arts. Marcus Jack contacted us with thoughts on place-making, narrative and labour in relation to artists’ moving image and the conditions around its production in Scotland. Rhea Storr considers the gaze in Steve McQueen’s retrospective at Tate.
An upcoming article by Jonathan P. Watts reflects on writing adjacent to dance and Some Proximity while Claire Biddles discusses crossovers between artists and musicians Doing It (All) Yourself.
We look for grounding in Kirsty Hendry’s ‘A Maggot’ and Eula Biss’ ‘On Immunity’: both reach out with new-found resonance for ourselves and for those we come into contact with.
We look forward to hosting Lauren La Rose’s film Gay Bond which we will publish alongside a MAP interview with the artist. Erica Scourti considers expectations of productivity, remotely-re-viewing Helen Cammock’sThey Call It Idlewild at Wysing Arts Centre.
MAP Issue #56 makes points of contact shine and we—the we that is us and you—can make contact, find ways of approaching each other, touching each other without touching.
Next, we will stretch our view, willingly straining the grasp and the eyes further afield, importantly beyond our here. Looking at the space ahead, to Issue #57, we invite you to make contact with us: alisonandrosie[at]mapmagazine.co.uk