The conclusion of issue 23, Vanitas

We’re pleased to announce the conclusion of issue 23, Vanitas, which we encourage you to read (or revisit). The issue, launched in September of 2016, takes its name from the opulent, hyperrealist still lifes popularized by Dutch and Flemish painters in the seventeenth century, which symbolize the brevity of human life and essential emptiness of earthly pursuits, even as they advertise the artist’s ability to fix time. “What is vanity now,” asks Lucy Ives in the introduction to the issue, “and does it equate with mere selfishness or indicate a more complex balance of rational belief and carnal experience?” Read the full note here.

Vanitas includes fiction, poetry, essays, video works, performances, digital artworks, talks, and an identity designed in collaboration with Olya Domoradova of Werkplaats Typografie. The pieces in this issue consider mortality in a present defined by extremes of finitude and excess, deprivation and luxury, from police brutality and collective processes of aging to the much-heralded “end of death” and the pursuit of impossible—or nearly impossible—forms of beauty

With contributions by Simone Aughterlony, Frances Bodomo, Kate Brandt, Angela Ferraiolo, Dan Fox, Sophia Le Fraga, Andrea Geyer, Christian González-Rivera, Lucy Ives, Gabriela Jauregui, Aisha Sasha John, Okkyung Lee, Per-Oskar Leu, Rebecca Matalon, Gwen Muren, Jen Rosenblit, Namwali Serpell, Deane Simpson, Marvin J. Taylor, Mónica de la Torre, TZECHAR, and Jon Wang, among others.