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Is it Love?

Editors’ Note:

On the occasion of the column’s launch, we revisit Is it Love?, an essay first published in March 2014 by writer Brian Kuan Wood who is one of the three founding editors of e-flux journal.

“Over the past few decades, it has often been said that we no longer have an addressee for our political demands,” Brian starts by questioning the old political order and further argues: “[...] that’s not true. We have each other.” ​ “All that is capital melts into love.”—Brian puts a loud and humble manifesto in front of us. He goes on to unpack the manifestations of the labor of love in both the familial and socio-political spheres, vigilantly pointing to the substitute of love in place of social infrastructure, and hence the possible arrival of a tyrant named love. Brian’s reflection and redefinition of the notion of love still reads fresh after more than six years of its publication, and even more urgent and profound. Sprinkled with a pinch of spicy sarcasm, his text empowers us to confront the extremely unsettling circumstances.

This is part of e-flux in Chinese Column, a collaboration between Heichi Magazine and e-flux journal, with curator and writer Xiaoyu Weng as the column’s guest-editor.

Is it Love? from e-flux journal #53 - March 2014, read the original article here. Click here to read the essay in Chinese. ​Translated by Youyou Ma, co-edited by Xiaoyu Weng and Qianfan Gu.

Metahaven, City Rising, 2014. Single-channel video, color. This video still features a model by Constant Nieuwenhuys, whose writings are also sourced in the work.

In the days following the removal of Mohammed Morsi from the presidency on July 3, 2013, Egyptian Army fighter planes drew hearts in the sky over Cairo. Shahira Issa speculated that this is what fascism looks like.

Death by e-mail: Luc-Olivier Merson, Pheidippides Giving Word of Victory, 1869.

Metahaven, City Rising, 2014. Single-channel video, color.

Published: 2020.07.10