Issue #75: spring 2021

Mousse Magazine, Milan / Italy

April 22, 2021
April 22, 2021

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In this issue:

Captured and Released
Surrounded by boundless landscapes or juxtaposed with abstract portions thereof, big, faceless men punctured with scars and matted hair are captured with uncanny precision in Marc McKnight’s black-and-white photographs. The fleshy particularity, absorbed by nature, gives queer male desire a novel form, while channeling the heritage of modernist photographic masters. “The smooth sheen of the photograph’s surface becomes a pool of water for a submerged world of intense contrasts more real than the one we see it from,” writes Andrew Berardini.

I’ve Been Told I’m So-So in Bed
In a tormented and tragicomic journey into proletarian integrity, activism, privilege, and introversion, Estelle Hoy pens a celebration of shy dissidents inspired by Cecilia Pavón’s Little Joy. “Gathering myself up off the toilet, I pretended to wash my hands and prowled out in badass anonymity, a namelessness, a quietude, a lastingness knitted of sequins and appetition, held out like a communion host. My reappearance brought Frau Müller to the security beepers, mothlike, but I said nothing. A superior mind might’ve yelled or called her out or whatever, but I was low-key happy with my Ouija-graffiti uprising and had a hard-on from my Chinese-whispers resistance.”

Smooth Operators: On the Unbearable Sameness of Art Writing
“Although the contemporary art world is premised on a plurality of style, subject, and personhood, much art criticism seems to have been produced by a single autonomic voice. This voice is poised, self-assured. Most of the time, it seems to kind of sort of know its stuff. The voice is often wickedly and lovably cheeky. But given how ubiquitous it is, is it really a voice at all?” Mitch Speed performs an autopsy on the discourse production machine, toward an art criticism that prioritizes a more complex and swerving conception of voice.

Lost and Found
In the eyes of Kaelen Wilson-Goldie, the magic of Alex Ayed resides in his power to lure you to consider seemingly commonplace, random objects. Something you might find on the street, at a flea market, or in an old abandoned house offers a chance to unravel wildly complicated histories, associations, and affiliations, illuminating the complexities of a world shaped by empire and trade, exploration and endless migration, meticulous navigation and the overwhelming, regenerative forces of nature.

Breathing Cameras
Introduced by Andrea Lissoni as “an apparition,” Tiffany Sia’s short experimental film Never Rest/Unrest (2020) was, in her own words, “just made.” Shot “obsessively” on her phone only, with no script and without a crew, the work documents the relentless timeline of the protests that blistered in Hong Kong from June to December 2019. In conversation, Sia and Lissoni delve into a way of filming that posits a counter-spectacular narrative, rethinks the ethics of documentation writ large, and challenges typical distribution models.

Shining
Erna Rosentein’s (1913–2004) surrealistic oeuvre spanned poetry, fiction, paintings, and objects, by way of which the artist narrated stories filtered through her turbulent life and the frequently dark events of her Eastern European homeland. Krzysztof Kościuczuk retraces Rosentein’s career, blurring boundaries between genres as well as between work and life, making clear how her biography was just as close to art as her art was to her biography.

Tidbits:
Cudelice Brazelton IV by Leonie Radine; He Xiangyu by Xiaoyu Weng; Gianluca Concialdi by Reem Shadid; Samuel Hindolo by Alessandro Rabottini; Phung-Tien Phan by Stanton Taylor; Trulee Hall by Travis Diehl; Laura Grisi by Flavia Frigeri; Duan Jianyu by Billy Tang; Miho Dohi by Harry Burke; Stella Zhong by Lumi Tan; Yalda Afsah by Maurin Dietrich.

Book reviews by Taylor Le Melle.

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