The inaugural pop-up of our inaugural zine has happened last Saturday, April 17, 2021 and I'd say it was a success! We set up in the courtyard of the Lexington Art League who fulfilled their mission statement to "create opportunities for Lexington area artists and those who appreciate their work." Seeing as The Muzineum is quite an unknown entity it was an honour for the Art League to host us.
All the artists (except Anonymous and Anonymous) came and brought their friends and families to see their work in this novel context. For many, it was the first public gathering they had gone to since the Pandemic started. In one way, for me at least, it felt completely normal to be gathered around with artists and appreciators alike. But on the other it was completely different — we were masked and yet, simultaneously, unmasked. Over our mouths and noses were the ubiquitous cloth masks, but as we looked into each others eyes, we had become unmasked. It was there we found the knowledge of our collective trauma given to us by the Pandemic: the losses and the sacrifices, the ways in which we failed, and the evidence that we are in the burning ruin of the American Empire and late-stage capitalism. We can see this in each other’s eyes—a knowing because it is a knowledge that we share—and, because of this, we can hold each other together (metaphorically at least!).
With that said, I want to especially thank the contributing Community Creators for reaching into that deep pool of collective knowledge and adding their own specific and intimate experiences. Like ripples of water catching the light, those moments shone brightly against that dark pool only to be taken in again by the depths. I hope The Muzineum helped capture that moment in time: The life-giving oxygenator in Tiffany Duncan's image, the suffocation illustrated by Hannah Moles's sculptures, the triumph of Anonymous's found independence and the tension of dissonance in Paisley Rose's images.
An extra special element of the pop-up
was Hannah Moles's sculptures she had created for the project (but then photographed for the zine). It was an interesting tactile sensation to compare the images of the zine with her work in real life. The soft and home-y textiles in The Fermentation of Stifling Growth (the timber) and Embellish the Bound Suffocation (the ladder) invoked a sense sickeningly-sweet suffocation and restriction. These two pieces cannot stand on their own and must be leaned up against a wall, further illustrating the sensation of precariousness. However, the sculpture Take Care, Give Care (the threaded bricks) invokes the image of red heart's blood flowing between grounded and sturdy structures - a very heartening feeling.
If you missed this pop-up, stay tuned for more coming soon! Order your own copy of the zine on our site or clicking this link.