Jill Mulleady: Fight-or-Flight | The New Yorker

Dec 01 2019

Jill Mulleady: Fight-or-Flight at Swiss Institute

Apocalypse looms in “Fight-or-Flight,” this Uruguayan born, Los Angeles-based artist’s exhibition. Its ambitious centerpiece is a surreal allegoric painting, which alludes to Bruegel’s “Land of Cockaigne,” with its satirical depiction of sloth in a land of plenty. In Mulleady’s twilit scene, a dazed giant embodies gluttony (for the Earth’s resources), his body splayed across a fenced-in vista. A length of pipeline on the floor below makes the target of Mulleady’s climate-crisis allegory clear, as does her forbidding installation in the back room, where the glowing inner workings of an A.T.M. are seen through the bars of a bank-vault gate. Upstairs, a suite of colorful woodcuts suggest outsized tarot cards, each of which features a rat demon riding a horse against a city skyline—harbingers of doom.

  • Johanna Fateman

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