6

Julianne Cordray
Letter from the Editor

 

The topic for issue 6 came about last November, during a residency program I participated in organized by the Re_Routing Project and Co-Making Matters at Haus der Statistik, Berlin. I spent around 10 days exhibiting textur in a window display and working out of the cozy container space generously provided. There, the street-level, low-to-the-ground windows facing the sidewalk offered more or less consistent views of feet passing by on the way to and from Alexanderplatz. These streams of feet were frequently followed by rolling luggage and the distinct sound of small wheels against concrete. Contents enclosed, hidden from view, I watched this daily baggage walk a line between private and public space.

Issue six rolled on from there.

Since the art ecosystem is our point of departure, a series of associations soon sprung to mind: from art that uses suitcases as material or display to luggage pics posted on social media by artists and publishers on their way to fairs or residencies; as well as the ever-growing collection of branded tote bags handed out at press previews and now nesting in the hallway of my apartment; or the backpack I used to transport myself and my workspace to the walking residency each day. Then there are the cases of stolen art turning up in bags or being transported in luggage; and the artifacts contained in Western museum collections, taken in a colonial context that still resonates within the walls of those institutions.

Of course, you never know what further associations will arise, or the final shape the issue and its theme will take, as contributors also bring their own interpretations, interests and experiences — their own baggage. Threads that run through this issue include lineage and changing life phases, from childhood to death, heaviness and the idea of something being ‘too much’, as well as nostalgia, imagination, storytelling, and passing something down or on. Time makes things carried heavier and unwieldier; they can take on a life of their own. The stories we tell or create, the liminal spaces we occupy, the shape and language we give to these, might offer transportative possibilities — towards a release, a break, a fundamental shift.

For me, this issue is related to our very first issue, on hospitality (2018) — particulary, of course, in its connection to travel, going to and being in another place. But whereas that issue looked at place as the site of a specific set of relations, rules and dynamics to be negotiated, this one reflects on place as something that contains, carries, and the labor that requires.

For financial and practical reasons, we weren’t able to publish quite as many texts here as we would have liked. But this has led to the implementation of an expanded editorial calendar around the issue’s theme. More texts in different printed forms will be published throughout the year. Rather than an end or a closed chapter, this issue is just the beginning.

For now, I’ll bring it to a temporary close (a pause) by pointing out how fitting it is that the issue’s journey has involved being transported in rolling luggage, first from the paper shop to the print studio, then from the print studio onto the U8, past Alexanderplatz, and into my home office. It truly has come full circle.

 


Julianne Cordray is an art writer, editor and publisher based in Berlin. She has written for Berlin Art Link, Hyperallergic, Vienna Art Week, and THE SEEN, among others. Her essays and translations have been commissioned for catalogs and exhibitions by artists, institutions and galleries. She co-founded textur in 2018, and in 2020 she was Critic in Residence at studio das weisse haus in cooperation with Vienna Art Week. In 2023, she participated in the Re_Routing x Co-Making Matters ‘Walking Residency’ at Haus der Statistik, Berlin.