Issue #74

Mousse Magazine, Milan / Italy

January 26, 2021
January 26, 2021
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In this issue:

Blue Monday Forever
According to Moritz Scheper, the paintings of Scottish artist Alan Michael have been confusing audiences for more than twenty years now. Operating in seeming isolation from prevailing debates around painting and representation, Michael has created a distinct kind of pictorial fatalism: a sedated trip through endless repetitions and rehashings, emptiness, and the permanent presence of death in contemporary culture, making this painting “veteran” a key point of reference for an entire generation of young artists. Through forms of photo-, hyper-, or super-realism, Michael’s perversion of realism takes aim at our state of exhaustion, the awful inevitability of our reality.

A Sculpture Looking at You Whilst Touching Itself
Since living in New York, the British-born sculptor Jesse Wine has been trying to unravel the archive of his life through making art. Wine’s recent production interweaves autobiography with a critique of British Modernism and classical sculpture, underpinned by a large dose of humor—to the point of perceiving mattresses as viscerally sensitive objects. In conversation with fellow citizen Kathy Noble, the artist opens up about the awareness you gain as an expat; the emotional agency of limbs; the self-consciousness of sculptures; and houses where a lot of family life has happened.

A Heart Perpetually Awake
Dipping herself beneath the pale of consciousness, Sabrina Tarasoff situates Beth Collar’s work in the logic of a white night: the inversions, leaps, and bounds of a sleepless head anticipating all horrors and delights—“that thing coming.” Collar’s sculptures, performances, drawings, and installations are those of the “bad sleeper” who talks “with tongue-tied things, trying to untwist”: “figures fragmented in the torment of personal relation, asymmetries of affection, blown-up, hysterical ‘female’ emotions, the unstable shimmers of the mind, death, heartbreak, [. . .] awkward silence, sudden frailty.”

Architect of the Lifeworld
Like many political currents of the 1960s, the ecology movement was a reaction to the successes and the failures of modernism. Spurred by the increasing toxicity of air and water and soaring oil prices, 1972 witnessed the UN Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm, the first international meeting on environmental issues. In this climate Peter Fend’s lifelong project emerged. Dora Budor retraces Fend’s visionary practice, culminating with the Ocean Earth Construction and Development Corporation, an instrument for implementing the goals of the environmental art movement and pushing earthworks beyond purely aesthetic engagement.

Portraits of Landscapes
“My main obsession is fabric,” asserts Canadian self-taught artist Tau Lewis in an exchange with Hans Ulrich Obrist regarding a practice rooted in recycling and inhabited by creatures, found material, and art objects as fossil-repositories of emotional, generational DNA. Lewis has since the very beginning engaged with the creation of imaginary geographies, characters, and spirits—her “fairy godmothers”—conceived as allegories, personal stories, and physical embodiments hailing from fictional places.

This Piece of Land, These Bits of Sea
Zooming in on the practices of several Taiwan-based artists, Robin Peckham tackles the geopolitical philosophies behind the land-sea dialectic in recent Taiwanese history. Attempting to read and understand artworks focusing on the island often referred to as “this piece of land”—a phrase that sidesteps the “country/state/republic” vocabulary—the author outlines two approaches: one that maps the sea through the land, bringing a terrestrial logic to maritime space, and the other mapping the land through the sea, using the materiality of water to destabilize the cultural order of land.

Florence Jung by Fabian Schöneich; Piotr Łakomy by Kristian Vistrup Madsen; Pauline Curnier Jardin by Charles Aubin; Kayode Ojo by Alex Bennett; Igshaan Adams by Rahel Aima; Yong Xiang Li by Alvin Li; Win McCarthy by Leonie Radine; Irina Lotarevich by Philipp Hindahl; Agata Ingarden by Attilia Fattori Franchini; Florian Krewer by Stanton Taylor; Josiane M.H. Pozi by Kari Rittenbach.

Book reviews by McKenzie Wark.

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