“Rich inner lives aren’t just for humans”

by Kitty Drake in December 2021
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Art & design Fashion & style

Spike is a contemporary art magazine based between Berlin and Vienna. Published four times a year, the Autumn 2021 issue caught my eye with an intriguing first line: “There are three sides to every story: your side, my side, and the truth”.

Intended as an exploration of the subjective nature of storytelling, the issue as a whole toys with ideas of authenticity. In one piece, ostensibly written by a dog, a Pomeranian with 440k Instagram followers shares tips on how to self-promote:

“Rich inner lives aren’t just for humans, and frankly, I take issue with that kind of anthropocentricm… widening people’s view of puppy subjectivity does more good than harm. Companion species of the world, unite and snap selfies.”

Perhaps my favourite interpretation of the theme is a list of most-treasured gay bars, written by the artists Hannah Quinlan and Rosie Hastings. Quinlan and Hastings, who shared their first kiss in a gay bar, have made the decision to include not just real-life locations in their hit-list, but fictional bars, too. They write about Tifkas, a lesbian bar in Leslie Feinberg’s novel Stone Butch Blues, as “a haven for femmes, he-shes, drag queens and stone butches”.

I like the idea that you can value a fictional location as much as a real-life one, and that through your love you can bring it into being. Quinlan and Hastings have actually created a beer can and monogrammed ‘Tifkas’ paper bar napkin, which is used to illustrate the piece. 

Below, we’ve photographed some of our favourite spreads.

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