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10 Oct 2019

Jill Mulleady: Fight-or-Flight

Swiss Institute

Reviewed by Suzanne Unrein

A Fantasy of Transcendence and a Preoccupation with Downfall and Ruin (2019) is the tour-de-force in Jill Mulleady's exhibition at Swiss Institute. Elements inspired by Bruegel's The Land of Cockaigne surround an artificially intelligent colossus, reclining in a dystopian landscape afloat in a horizonless sea lit by an acidic sky. A bald eagle rides on the body of a headless seagull as a forlorn pig stares out from behind an industrial gate. Dead fish lie belly up, a vulvic cave hovers over an old man and his pet pig, and a desolate, orange-eyed bird appears like a mute oracle. Everything is half-dead or in crisis, except for the tablet that sings with bright pop-up charts and floating numbers.

Other works draw inspiration from the space's origin as a bank and add to the alarm, depicting an industrial pipeline with a deranged mouse, and a mysterious vault in the back of a dark room. Upstairs, four woodcuts portray a crazed rat riding a pair of terrorized horses across an apocalyptic cityscape, reminding the viewer of time's passing and erasures.

Exhibition Jill Mulleady: Fight-or-Flight link
Start date 25 Sep 2019
End date 29 Dec 2019
Presenter Swiss Institute link
Venue 38 St. Marks Place, New York City, NY, USA map
Image Jill Mulleady, A Fantasy of Transcendence and a Preoccupation with Downfall and Ruin, 2019, oil on linen, 138 x 177 inches, courtesy of Swiss Institute

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