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We Die to Become: Interview with The Ljilja

“Everyone carries a Shadow. And the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.” These are the wise words of the Ljilja, a mysterious Switzerland-based artist. She is referring to Carl Jung’s conception of the Shadow: the unconscious “dark side” of the personality driven by our more unenlightened […]

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Armin Blasbichler’s Taxidermy Designs Critique Consumption

Armin Blasbichler is an artist, architect, and educator whose studio explores designs built on “transgression and chance, conceptually and physically.” When he’s not making cross-shaped coffins and glowing nooses that spray water (both of which contain clever literary allusions), he can be found making works that critique unpleasant cultural trends, such as over-consumption in the […]

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Hideous, Terrible, Magical Body: An Interview with Olivier de Sagazan

In the middle of the movie “Samsara” (2011), a nicely dressed man appears behind a desk. He quickly begins plastering his face with clay and paint, building thick layers with feverish intensity. Within two minutes, his head is transformed into a grotesque death mask, which he impales and tears open, only to rebuild and destroy […]

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Death and Morality in Macabre Paintings by Kikyz1313

Kikyz1313 is a Mexican artist who confronts the viewer with discomforting representations of “the abject.” As developed by Julia Kristeva, the abject is a term that refers to the more unpleasant details of our earthly existences, such as excrement, disease, death, and decay—all of the natural processes that erode our sense of human superiority and […]

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Terrible, Beautiful Life: 10 Movies That Will Provoke Existential Angst

Perhaps you’re not the type of movie-watcher who likes to sit in front of the TV with snacks and a loved one, ready to laugh and feel good about life. Perhaps you’re the type who wants to be filled with existential dread, hugging yourself as you weep softly over how terrifying it is to be […]