born 1981, The Hague, the Netherlands
lives in London
Magali Reus’s work gives voice to industrial materials and more-than-human actors. For her recent photographic series Knaves, developed during the Covid-19 pandemic, Reus worked with an array of mushrooms. She documents these with a magnified intensity, bestowing each fungus with the intimacy of a portrait. Shot against a backdrop of organic plant matter and synthetic T-shirts, the images juxtapose a sense of wonder for the natural world with fragments of typography that speak of another, man-made universe of design, commerce, and dissemination. The precise sculptural framing of the photographs is inseparable from the larger meaning of the work. Her images stand as anthropomorphic assemblages of small things that are part of larger, living, expanded systems of communication.
Within FRONT 2022, these works suggest how the aesthetic joy of art making, including an attention to craft, might help to bridge differences between beings and modes. Situated between sculpture and photography, with a high-degree of sensitivity for both materials and images, Reus’s work represents a form of communion with these humble, powerful creatures, essential to Earth’s ecosystems.
This program is supported as part of the Dutch Culture USA program by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York.