Fall 2014

Are we living in a time when capitalism holds total sway over art production? Is the spectacle synonymous with alienation of the individual? Are there any positive aspects to this spectacularization of culture to compensate? The next issue of esse examines new forms of the spectacle by observing its different manifestations on today’s society, and particularly in the contemporary art field, in which the appeal of the spectacular is increasingly unrelenting.






Young Critics

Current Issue


We now face a global water crisis. Warning signs are flashing everywhere about the increased desertification of the Earth, the industrial pollution of water resources, and the over-exploitation of aquifers. Faced with such a bleak portrait and the fact that environmental and humanitarian challenges are dependent on economic issues and interlinked policies, which are framed by complex laws, the influence of art is relatively modest. Nevertheless, alongside civic actions that we should actively do, artists can give back to water its symbolic and sacred value. Taking a poetical approach to water, the artists and theorists in this issue navigate between aesthetic forms, activist actions, and metaphor-rich analytical thinking. Adopting a resolutely critical perspective, the articles refer to artworks that try to raise awareness about water pollution and climate issues, envisage a restorative justice, and offer new horizons of hope.

Cover: Hannah Rowan
Vessels of Touch, 2021.
Photo: courtesy of the artist & C+N Gallery CANEPANERI, Milan