Greta Thunberg Speaks to AOC; Stormzy Speaks to a Nation

What the frieze editors have been reading this week

Greta Thunberg, outside the Swedish parliament. Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

  • ‘People think of leadership as this glamorous, powerful thing. But leadership is a responsibility.’ At the Guardian, a conversation between Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Greta Thunberg, two of the most powerful voices on the climate crisis
     
  • How did the CIA use a fake science fiction film to sneak six Americans out of revolutionary Iran? For Wired, Joshua Bearman tells the true story that became Ben Affleck’s Argo
     
  • The man expected to be Britain’s next Prime Minister makes people in power, including himself, appear ridiculous, but that doesn’t mean he’d dream of handing power to anybody else. Sam Knight on the empty promise of Boris Johnson, for the New Yorker
     
  • ‘Here you are talking about duck again’: for the London Review of Books, Mark Ford reads Philip Larkin’s letters
     
  • Life in sound: Following the opening of his show at the Met Breuer, Oliver Beer talks to frieze editorial director, Jennifer Higgie, about the artists, writers and composers who have shaped his thinking 
     
  • Freedom of the press under attack: for the Los Angeles Review of Books, Stephen Rohde on three new reports which detail assaults to freedom of the press and freedom of speech over the past year
     
  • ‘Is it so revolutionary to say that every human being is eligible for compassion?’ For The Paris Review, Patrick Nathan on participating in the American theatre of trauma

Oliver Beer, Recomposition (Mother Flawless Sabrina), 2018, Egyptian predynastic black topped redware c.3,100 BCE, laughing gas canisters from outside the artist’s studio, 1985 artillery shell, metronome, piano keys from the artist’s piano, clock mechanism, mother of pearl, sectioned and set in resin. Courtesy: the artist and Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, Salzburg and London

Oliver Beer, Recomposition (Mother Flawless Sabrina), 2018, Egyptian predynastic black topped redware c.3,100 BCE, laughing gas canisters from outside the artist’s studio, 1985 artillery shell, metronome, piano keys from the artist’s piano, clock mechanism, mother of pearl, sectioned and set in resin. Courtesy: the artist and Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, Salzburg and London

  • Don’t eat before reading this: A year on from Anthony Bourdain’s death, revisit the 1999 New Yorker essay that kick-started the chef’s mesmeric career
     
  • An odd coupling: Ann Neuman on Big Pharma, Jack Klugman and the most expensive drug in the world, for The Baffler
     
  • The lingering of loss: Jill Lepore on motherhood, writing, and the death of a friend, for the New Yorker
     
  • We don’t need Zuckbucks! For Jacobin, Nicole M. Aschoff compares Facebook’s cryptocurrency with the East India Company
     
  • Following the opening of Wong Ping’s exhibition at Camden Arts Centre, London, Harry Thorne explores the Hong Kong-born artist’s darkly comic cartoon visuals for frieze
     
  • Roger Federer as religious experience: As Wimbledon gets under way, we revisit David Foster Wallace’s seminal text on the unparalleled beauty of Roger Federer, for the New York Times
     
  • And in the New York Review of Books, Christopher Benfey on the tragic hubris of Rudyard Kipling’s poem ‘If—’, which is inscribed above the doors of Wimbledon’s Centre Court 
     
  • ‘Baruch Vega ran a scheme that ensnared Colombian cocaine kingpins and gave him a life of luxury. Then one put a price on his head.’ Zeke Faux on the fashion photographer who duped drug lords and the DEA alike, for Bloomberg Businessweek
     
  • Sculptors discuss sculpture: From the frieze archive, ten contemporary sculptors – from Thea Djordjadze to Leonor Antunes – consider the ways in which meaning is controlled and conveyed in their work
     
  • The new left economics: For the Guardian, Andy Beckett on the transatlantic movement of left-wing economists that is transforming contemporary capitalism
     
  • ‘This timeline of the self-driving car begins and ends — for now — with a crash. The second, unlike the first, is fatal.’ James Bridle on the self-driven world, for e-flux
     
  • ‘Our young black king, the warlike Michael, entered stage left.’ Zadie Smith reviews Stormzy’s majestic set at Glastonbury, for the New Yorker

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Janiva Ellis, Catchphrase Coping Mechanism, 2019, oil on linen, 2.2 x 1.8 m. Courtesy: the artist and 47 Canal, New York; photograph: Joerg Lohse

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