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Ever since artists have sought to bring art and everyday life closer together and turned the “mundane” into an important material of their practice, collecting — a part of many people’s activities — has frequently been transformed into an artistic gesture. The collection of worthless objects, of diverse traces, or even concepts, has become the raw material of numerous artistic productions in which the observation and dissection of the real, inventorying and archiving play a dominant role. This issue can be seen as a cabinet of curiosities where one will discover the traces and archives of practices bordering at times on the obsessive.

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Family

As the basis for social organization and the primary site of socialization, the family has drawn particular attention in the visual arts since the inception of art history. As contemporary art seems well engaged in an examination of cultural practices, the family, in all its forms, is returning to the spotlight. Many artists today revisit family traditions, sites, and taboos, challenge what has been held as unspeakable by digging into archives, and invent new, intimate forms of sociability out of biographical experiences. This issue reflects on family histories as they are rewritten in contemporary art.

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