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Josh Kline, "Subscription Pillow", 2023

Josh Kline

Subscription Pillow (2023)

After the pills, a pillow. With a title that alludes not only to a previous edition for TEXTE ZUR KUNST (the pillbox the artist created in 2017) but above all to its own content, Josh Kline’s “Subscription Pillow” is a transparent plastic pillowcase stuffed with shredded pages of this magazine (which loyal subscribers would of course never mangle in such a way). Continuing Kline’s extended artistic engagement with economic and labor conditions in times of increasing precariousness,“Subscription Pillow” refers to the perilous situation of print media as an industry whose rising production costs and falling sales figures have combined to threaten many publishers’ very existence. At the same time, this edition – whose filling also consists of scraps of administrative documents from the TZK office, alongside exhibition reviews flayed into ribbons – can be read as an allusion to the art-market-value creation processes in which this publication’s texts are so entwined. Kline’s “Subscription Pillow” falls in line with a number of seminal pieces from the artist’s recent oeuvre, among them 2016’s “On Layaway” (a transparent vinyl armchair and ottoman ensemble filled with shredded tax forms and junk mail) and, from his recent solo exhibition at New York’s Whitney Museum, a couch constructed in the style of Le Corbusier’s LC 3 classic and likewise upholstered with shreds of discarded paperwork. Stuffed and sewn by hand, each edition contains a unique, heterogeneous mixture of shredded office documents and magazine pages.