Real Review is the flagship publication of the REAL foundation and is published quarterly. Through engaging analysis, evaluation and enquiry, the Real Review pursues what it means to live today.
What does it mean to live today?
We are overwhelmed by the feeling of being merely spectators in an already predetermined script. We are watching ourselves live, powerless to influence the course of events—both suspended in an infinite moment, yet divorced from our bodies by space and time. This is the condition of historical déjà-vu.
Real Review #2 marks a number of important milestones: 9/11, the Arab Spring and Occupy movement amongst others. Their consequences are still playing out in predictable, even inevitable ways. We can’t memorialise these events because we were never able to forget them. They linger. They persist beyond their own time, reaching forward into our daily lives, stretching and distorting our sense of the contemporary. Real Review formulates positive propositions for how to live in this extreme present.
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INSIDE ISSUE TWO
— Did the Serpentine Pavilions create the ‘starchitect’? RR interviews Hans Ulrich Obrist on the “extreme present” and the role of the art object today. Also featuring poetry by architect Jean Nouvel.
— In “Muscular Secularity”, Leon Batchelor reviews crossfit gyms, those sweat boxes where “elite fitness guarantees moral and economic supremacy.” Includes pornographic motivational artworks by Tosha van Veenendaal.
— Fashion companies accelerate production by sending ships from China filled with fabric and seamstresses, designing new fashion ranges in transit. Ming Lin reviews these floating factories. Photography of gibberish English t-shirts by Ann Woo.
— “An Uber driver produces her future obsolescence through her hard work in the present.” Helen Runting and Arthur Röing Baer review algorithmic networks, self-driving cars and the future of the city in “Uber as Megastructure”. Prius-based photography by Max Creasy, captioned with Uber’s empty promises…
— “If the communist system represents a radical pursuit of the mundane, the market economy embodies the inverse: a mundane pursuit of the radical.” OMA partner Reinier de Graaf reviews the USSR’s concrete panel housing slabs, illustrated with rare 1970s Soviet cartoons.
— Jack Self reviews the year 2011, from the Arab Spring to Occupy, from the end of the Iraq War to the death of Osama bin Laden, and from the August Riots to the Royal wedding.
— Meanwhile, Iranian architect Samaneh Moafi reviews president Ahmadinejad’s housing programme, designed to produce 4-million strong, on-demand, pro-government protests.
— Also in the issue: Vere van Gool reviews anarchist manifesto Theory of a Young-Girl, and says she prefers 90s rap group TLC; Mark Cousins reviews the domestic and domination; Samantha Hardingham reviews renowned architect Cedric Price; Amelia Stein reviews artist Camille Henrot’s telephones; Emily Rees reviews masculine and feminine TV sets; Federico Campagna reviews Occupy, with photos of the 1% by Carlos Spottorno; Giles Smith (Assemble) reviews Britain’s Modernist social housing; James Taylor-Foster reviews Rem Koolhaas; and Deborah Orr reviews the cultural destruction of ISIS. Plus! Real Review on 9/11 and commissioned artwork by Justin Beal and Graham Hamilton.