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Michaela Melián, Lunapark, 2012, slide projector, record player, slide, glass objects, motor, particle board, stretcher frame with rear projection foil, with sound, 106 1/4 x 47 1/4 x 76 3/4".

Michaela Melián

Galerie Barbara Gross

Michaela Melián, Lunapark, 2012, slide projector, record player, slide, glass objects, motor, particle board, stretcher frame with rear projection foil, with sound, 106 1/4 x 47 1/4 x 76 3/4".

If anything is clear today about the era of modernism, it’s that it was divided against itself. The utopias of the avant-gardes now seem contaminated by their totalitarian leanings, while Fascist and Nazi art and architecture can seem shockingly modern—and not just from a purely technical standpoint. The simple dichotomy between good and evil, modern and antimodern, is no longer credible. So how can a politically critical visual artist who also feels committed to a (Habermasian) project of modernity, as Michaela Melián surely does, deal with her ambivalence?

This dilemma is crucial to Melián’s recent works, in which she develops her own expressive language of form that in its very fragility enables her to approach these questions closely. After being invited to present her work at Aktualisierungsraum (Space for Actualization), an exhibition site in Hamburg curated by Nina

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