Hive is a bi-monthly web journal. The aim of Hive is to provide an alternative platform for the publication of cultural practitioners’ voices.
While we acknowledge the entrenched machinations of debate and argument – so crucial in a democracy – we invite cultural practitioners to exercise their imaginative voices and thinking to counter these formulaic processes with alternative speculative heresy. We invite open, unabashed speculation, experimentation, joyful failures of logic and reason, and a cheerful breakdown of the postulates of embedded systems. We invite cultural practitioners to collapse, amend, expand or stretch the boundaries of the cultural phase space, so that not only does the space of culture evolve, but with it the mandate given to culture to mediate, disrupt, speculate and re-imagine.
In a highly hierarchical and specialized space we believe cultural practitioners’ practices, perspectives, and thinking provides a viewpoint that affords an expansion of alternatives available to prevailing systems of thought and organization. Our aim is to bring some of these speculations, practices, and thinking to the forefront.
For the inaugural issue, Juan Orrantia, a photographer based in Johannesburg South Africa, explores the evocative possibilities of photography as a critical form. He uses a personal narrative through his work in Guinea- Bissau as a way of speaking of different locations – ex – Portuguese colonies and their flows – as a way to document situations. In his essay, Suspended: Notes on Dreams of Liberation, Orrantia encounters two poles – Amilcar Cabral, and a Portuguese club – and stages and examines through documentary photography the traces left of ideology as it traverses into the present, or as Orrantia terms it, Dreams of Liberation.
Artist and researcher Naeem Mohaiemen, in his essay, Play Some more Bach, frames the concern that in the background of numerous real world conflicts the institutions and practitioners of art often shy from taking political positions. In the essay, a juxtaposition of Mohaiemen’s experiences in two situations, suggests geographical and cultural dislocation, viewed from one position, where gestures are advanced, rebuffed and reconstituted – suggesting that art, artists and institutions are often defeated by their utopian ideals.
Lastly, Khaled Ramadan, artist and curator, tackles contemporary institutional critique in his essay, Art and its Institutions in the Age of Physical Absentia, which examines the relational role of museums positing that ‘the role of art institutions is shifting, not only to form imaginary and utopian realities, but also to present ways of living and models of responsibilities within the existing social reality’, suggesting that an evolving institutional complex may still make room made for learning, support and participation.
We hope you enjoy our first collection of essays.