Aesthetica Issue 96: Now is the Time

  • Kate Simpson

Now is the time. This modest sentence is the driving force behind the August / September issue. It’s a phrase that is bold and empowering. It is a call to action. Beyond lockdown, the economic downturn and the climate crisis, we must stand united in support of Black Lives Matter. As a global community, we must change. There is no place for racism in today’s world. We must join together and fight against it.

Published 1 August 2020. To pick up a copy, click here.

In the last few weeks, a number of institutions, both large and small, have been expanding their strands of digital content, including interviews, podcasts, extended tours and even virtual sculpture gardens. Switch on and connect with galleries from across the globe.


- Intimate Portraiture: Inside this issue, we look at the forthcoming Zanele Muholi exhibition, due to open at Tate Modern, London, later this year. Muholi is a South African artist who transgresses the boundaries of race, gender and sexuality with a body of work that reclaims the lens for black lesbian, gay, transgender and intersex individuals. We interview Tate's curator to expand on the themes in this groundbreaking show.

- Design as Adventure: Innovation thrives within constraints. The last few months have proved that – within limitations and heavy restrictions – humanity can still find ways to thrive, create and connect. In architecture, there are perhaps no greater limitations for than those posed by a mountain. These high altitudes are bound to extremes – avalanches, storms and  impassable terrains – moving from dense forests to barren planes with no signs of vegetation. Building a home in these conditions requires resourceful, adventurous design.

- Modes of Iconography: Kuzma Vostrikov and Ajuan Song’s richly saturated, theatrical and symbolic images focus on costume, character and allegory. In a dream world of strange and alluring portraiture, the viewers are presented with a host of archetypal images, hybrid creatures, surreal motifs and canonical postures, as well as inversions of historic art references. We interview the artists about their latest venture, Absolutely Augmented Reality.

- Digitised Landscapes: We also survey artists who are harnessing technology to illuminate the severity of the climate crisis, in partnership with Google Arts & Culture Lab. These vital projects remind us of how every action has an environmental cost. We must learn to change and adapt to save the planet.


- Yannis Davy Guibinga (Cover photographer)
- Alexis Christodoulou
- Alex Lysakowski
- Julia Fullerton-Batten
- Ulas & Merve