Summary

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Fear

As a psychological phenomenon linked to a perceived threat, be it real or imaginary, fear is a part of our daily lives. Writers and film makers have, for some time now, amused themselves by generating the conditions necessary to the staging of fear in an effort to entertain the public or to find in its production either a form of emotional stimulation or an outlet. Fear of death, dread of the day to day, the difficulty of living in society, the fear of difference or of being rejected for one’s singularity are some of the affects artists explore in this issue.

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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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