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Mousse 71
Frosting Middle Age: Gina Fischli

While watching a beauty pageant on television, Mark Greif saw the camera addressing the young women contestants about their favorite reliefs from schoolwork and pageantry. “What were their hobbies? Many listed ‘eating.’ I suppose you could hear ‘eating,’ not ‘cooking,’ as a victory for feminist equality. It’s not housework.”1 The array of cake sculptures by young artist Gina Fischli in the last FIAC booth of the London gallery Soft Opening suggested a comparable but different competition, a fight not between beauties but between mothers, ambitiously parading their efforts at matriarchal birthday-party dominance—in either case, food as spectacle of leisure or rivalry or both, pointing to the pathetic connections between beauty tournaments, competitive parenting, TV cooking battles, and the survival of the fittest artist.

Courtesy: the artist and Soft Opening, London. Photo: Theo Christelis
Mousse 71
Tears of a Foreman

Vertical integration of subsidiaries was a hallmark of an era in which the automobile and its appendages of debt, production line, and worker were cornerstones. This was before Toyota-ism’s outflanking of Detroit with a subcontracted and more flexible regime. But by the millennium, General Motors had also shifted from making automobiles to assembling and marketing them. Within a logistically liberated geography, a renewed frontier opened for uneven development. It is this “maelstrom of perpetual disintegration” that we peer into like a snow globe in American Factory (2019).

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