Be a place of perpetual undulation.
Whether it be in mid-sea
On the dark, green water-wheel,
Or on the beaches,
There must be no cessation
Of motion, or of the noise of motion,
The renewal of noise
And manifold continuation;
And, most, of the motion of thought
And its restless iteration,
In the place of the solitaires,
Which is to be a place of perpetual undulation.
– Wallace Stevens / The Place of the Solitaires
We arrive at the turning of another year. 2022 was a year unsparing of conflict and confusion, uncertainty, and the highs and lows of human struggle. In short, it was a year much like any other. Welcome to the 2023. Here is our New Year’s Prescription and a look back on 2022.
The pandemic, for the most part in the industrialized world, comes under control and there is some sense of a return to normal; Still, many other countries are seeing the continuing rise and fall in the toll of this illusive virus and the push and pull of governing policies met with subsequent public reactions along with clashes of civic discord.
Europe and other parts of the world sustain record breaking heatwaves this past summer and extreme weather events linked to climate change continue to affect many parts of the globe. Meanwhile this holiday season the winter storm in the eastern part of North America claims nearly a hundred lives, and still discovering those unaccounted.
In the U.S. the Supreme Court walks back on Roe vs. Wade, deferring the decision to individual states. Gun safely laws pass, considered historic, but really only because it took three decades and several tens of thousands of lives. The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., visited by millions annually, celebrates its centennial, silently weeping again at the still divided country. Five years after our reflections on the then White House, Art & Politics in America under the mis-leadership of Trump, two impeachments and one insurrection later, the U.S. House Select Committee on January 9th releases their findings along with recommendations of criminal prosecution, handing off the task to the Department of Justice to do the right thnig.
The UK gets their 3rd Prime Minister of the calendar year, and the death of their longest reigning monarch. The full weight of Brexit is felt, but the Northern Ireland Protocol is still not clear. No one imagined severing ties with the EU would result in such internal hemorrhaging, doubled by the energy crisis. Darkest Hour. The Brits are learning about the 2-way street. Mind the gap.
Protests in Iran are answered with mass arrests by the “morality police” and the death penalty is enacted for protesters, now with over 100 detainees condemned and awaiting execution.
Pedro Castillo in Peru in an attempt to preempt the vote on the third impeachment motion on corruption charges declares the dissolution of Congress; The Congress in turn within hours resolves to impeach and remove the president who is later arrested and detained.
Italy elects the far right Brothers of Italy, led by its sister Giorgia Meloni at the Prime Minister’s seat – the most far right government since World War II with lineage inbred of members of groups including the banned National Fascist Party of another era.
Israel brings back Netanyahu for a third term and forms an extreme right coalition despite his indictment in 2019 for bribery, fraud, and breach of trust, with the criminal trial still ongoing.
India is poised to overtake China as the world’s most populous nation this coming year while certain other countries face the trend of depopulation with deferred marriages and declining birth rates, undoubtedly in part due to the increasing isolation, and our near total dependence on our (de)vices.
Tensions rise between Serbia and Kosovo. Ethiopia’s government and Tigrayan rebels agree on landmark peace accord after two years of conflict. The Taliban administration in Afghanistan suspends university education for all female students and orders NGOs to ban female employees from work. In Brazil’s elections, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, or Lula, defeats Bolsonaro by the narrowest of margins.
The invasion of Ukraine and the resulting sanctions on Russia create an energy crisis on a scale unseen in half a century with cost of gas and energy soaring globally. Ukraine continues to make front page news some 300 days in. Time magazine Person of the Year is Volodymyr Zelensky.
Artpil earlier this year celebrated its 5 Year Anniversary and recently launched the online Collections and Works available for sale entering into new collaborations with artists, curators, and galleries.
We covered some landmark events and exhibitions including William Klein’s YES featuring photographs, paintings, and films from 1948–2013 at ICP, Deana Lawson’s first museum survey Exhibition organized by ICA / Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston and MoMA / Museum of Modern Art, with additional venues including High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Loo & Lou Gallery’s group exhibition Nature // Natures, Bernd & Hilla Becher at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s international touring mid-career retrospective Fly in League with the Night. We covered Magnum’s Updates from Ukraine, Thierry Clech’s book Sunset on Ukraine, and profiled Ukrainian artists Kristina Podobed. Igor Chakachkov, Louise Nevelson, and the poet Natalka Bilotserkivets, as well as festivals and events such as Rencontres d’Arles, Paris Photo, World Press Photo, and the Venice Biennale’s 59th Edition.
The 2022 Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionary was “Goblin mode” – voted by the public – a neologism for the rejection of societal expectations and the act of living in an unkempt, hedonistic manner without concern for one’s self-image. “Gaslighting” was chosen by Merriam-Webster. “Permacrisis” was Collins Dictionary’s pick. The Global Language Monitor registered “denier” as the most invoked word of the year.
In so many ways, 2022 was a grand disappointment, infused with a double dose of lethargy and fatigue. It was arguably far less remarkable than 2021, or even 2020, considering. Still, may we endure this semantic shift of our resolve to our indifference. Let the place of the solitaires be a place of perpetual undulation… There must be no cessation of motion, or of the noise of motion…
Welcome to 2023. Happy New Year.