Mousse #83—The Artist’s Artist

Mousse #83—The Artist’s Artist

Mousse Magazine

Mousse #83 – Spring 2023

April 12, 2023
Mousse #83 – The Artist’s Artist
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More a book than a magazine, Mousse #83—The Artist’s Artist is a special, collectible issue conceived as a small anthology of seven comprehensive monographs dedicated to influential, yet at times underrepresented, artists who spearheaded the languages that are defining our age—the so-called artists’ artists. Julie BeckerDara BirnbaumAndrea BranziVaginal DavisLala RukhRosemary Mayer, and Jean-Frédéric Schnyder help us to celebrate the perpetually ambitious objective of providing layers of understanding regarding artists’ practices and their implications in the present.

In a moment when the editorial landscape is witnessing a precipitous turn away from firm engagement with art’s primary matters, we have registered a growing concern among those who inspire us and to whom we want to pay homage, to which we respond by returning to committed writing and engagement, a foundation of contemporary culture’s production and reception.

Dara Birnbaum
Turning the Media against Itself
I Fought Like Fucking Hell to Get Out of the Black Box
Michelle KuoRahel Aima, and Emmanuel Olunkwa discuss the perspective of a gendered subject, and how we navigate the world in an economy prompting us to constantly manipulate media’s syntax.

Dara Birnbaum and Hito Steyerl, in a conversation moderated by Stuart Comer, survey the impact of changing technologies, production methods, and systems of distribution on how artists relate to images.

Andrea Branzi
A Ribbon Running Through
La Gioconda sbarbata
Andrea Branzi speaks to Alessandro Rabottini about critiquing modernist paradigms and moving in and out of his own work while never addressing beauty’s aesthetic question.

In a reprint from the March 1972 Casabella, Branzi rivals a positivist understanding of the avant-garde, outlining it as a capitalist force harboring the “technical destruction of culture.” 

Julie Becker
The Delirium of Digression
Outside the Vitrine (Julie Becker, Sparkle Woman)
(from Mousse #76, Summer 2021)
Sabrina Tarasoff ponders Julie Becker’s imagery as a domestically shaped fever dream, while Mark von Schlegell recalls his friendship with Becker by way of her obsession with the immediate world around her: her studio, her apartment, her neighborhood in Los Angeles. 

Lala Rukh
Reading Lala Rukh
Interviews, Past and Present
Saira Ansari discloses the personal, public, and professional life of the late Pakistani artist Lala Rukh, who by all accounts was not the easiest person to decode—she spoke in few words and made images with far less. 

Through interviews with Amin Gulgee, Hamra Abbas, Sarah Zaman, and Lala Rukh herself, Mariah Lookman pens an intimate, posthumous portrait of the artist.

Vaginal Davis
Vaginal Davis Troubles the Smile
The Royal We
Anarchic Abundance, or The Art of Living
(from Mousse #79, Spring 2022)
A foundational figure of the Los Angeles queer and punk scenes, Vaginal Davis has inscribed herself into international subcultural networks of queer creatives in music, performance, literature, and art. Essays by Dodie Bellamy and Amelia Jones and a conversation with Ron Athey retrace her queer feminist fierceness with humor and charm.

Rosemary Mayer
Nothing Independent of Its Circumstances
(from Mousse #73, Fall 2020)
Wendy Vogel relates the history and practice of Rosemary Mayer, who developed a unique feminist approach to lyrical abstraction and public art that would flourish in the alternative-space heyday of the 1970s. 

Urban commuter photographs, floral drawings, replicas of Jacopo da Pontormo’s artworks, and a poetic essay, are all included in Mayer’s intervention for the April 1977 Art-Rite, here reprinted.

Jean-Frédéric Schnyder
Mister Neutral
On Schnyderian Art
Martin Herbert looks behind the constructed guise of Jean-Frédéric Schnyder, a man of quietly huge ambitions who planned, up front, to outrun all of us while embracing a world of difference and contradiction.

An essay by Patrick Frey originally published in 1990 in Parkett lauds the greatness of Schnyder and his art, which mixed trueness to life and a skeptical intelligence.

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April 12, 2023

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