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2006, English
24×24 cm, 48 pages, 32 color ill., softcover
ISBN 978-1-933128-14-6

Only appearances remain: why not raise them to the level of a style?

—E. M. Cioran

This fully illustrated, artist-designed catalogue features the most recent work of New York-based Josephine Meckseper, including her work for the 2006 Whitney Biennial. The artist suggests that our desire for luxury goods and fashion is induced by media-driven ruling regimes, and comes to the conclusion that partisan politics are just another status symbol. Radicalism quickly morphs into radical chic, which is just one more object to be fetishized and sold in a museum-gallery-boutique that samples utopian dreams ranging from the communists to the hippies.


“In Meckseper’s work, politics becomes a style, and commitment an object to be displayed in a chic display cabinet, suggestive of those in museums and ethnographic societies,” write the curators of the 2005 Lyon Biennale. “Meckseper explores the questionable links between images of political news, the fashion industry and advertising.”

In Meckseper’s work, objects remain discontinuous, just like unrelated news media items, which are held together only by their instant replacement. Her windows act like a screen on which objects have been slowed to a halt, revealing the arbitrariness of their placement. The stillness of these objects feels catatonic. They are not so much perceived as hallucinated. Standing out against the black background, intensely lit and delineated, they challenge our gaze. There’s something retentive, even fascistic, about them. … behind every airbrushed consumerist display looms the prospect of complete mayhem and disorder. Danger lurks everywhere, and more objects are mobilized to remove the threat. Just as Hitler presented himself as the savior of Germany, the job of consumerism is to fill a void it itself has created. Exchangeability crystallizes into fetishes: can total delirium be far behind?

—Sylvère Lotringer