Jill Magid

Technology of Enchantment

8 November 2023

The content of the discussion is to unpack a conceit Cuahtemoc Medina has posited about Magid’s work. He wrote, “In fact, unlike most forms of artistic production, to a great extent the content of the work consists less of images, objects or artifacts, than of the exchanges conveyed, proposed or forced by means of your practice of negotiation and seduction. Despite their complexity and their centrality to the work, objects are means for affecting, transforming and questioning those relationships. They are transactional objects whose value depends on the significance of their circulation.” The seminar will explore multiple artworks, including recent series like Out-Game Flowers and Homage RGB that use technology as a medium.

Required Reading:

1. Jill’s film The Proposal, 2018, 83 min.

2. Chapter by Cuauhtemoc Medina in F MUAC book

3. Alfred Gell, “Vogel’s Net: Traps as Artworks and Artworks as Traps” 

Jill Magid is an American artist, writer, and filmmaker. Magid’s work is deeply ingrained in her lived experience, exploring and blurring the boundaries between art and life. Through her performance-based practice, Magid has initiated intimate relations with a number of organizations and structures of authority. She explores the emotional, philosophical, and legal tensions between the individual and ‘protective’ institutions, such as intelligence agencies or the police. To work alongside or within large organizations, Magid makes use of institutional quirks, systemic loopholes that allow her to make contact with people ‘on the inside’. Her work tends to be characterized by the dynamics of seduction, the resulting narratives often taking the form of a love story. It is typical of Magid’s practice that she follows the rules of engagement with an institution to the letter – sometimes to the point of absurdity.

Solo exhibitions include The Renaissance Society, Chicago; Tate Modern, London; Dia Bridgehampton; Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City; San Francisco Art Institute; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Berkeley Museum of Art, California; Tate Liverpool; and the Security and Intelligence Agency of the Netherlands. Her first feature-length film The Proposal (2018), commissioned by Field of Vision and distributed in the U.S. by Oscilloscope Laboratories, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and received numerous prestigious festival awards. Her work is included the collections of the Centre Pompidou, CNAP, Whitney Museum of American Art, Fundacion Jumex, the Guggenheim Museum, the Walker Art Center, and the United States Mint, among others. Magid is the recipient of a 2021 Guggenheim Fellowship, a 2021 VIA Art Fund Grant, 2020 Creative Time Artist Commission, and the 2017 Calder Prize.