Could the apocalypse be sublime?

Fluorine sunsets, metallic northern lights and the flares emanated by "the shoulder of Orion" evoke the context of an “Ultra Contemporary Landscape”: a new series of works by Sali Muller presented in her first solo show at The Flat - Massimo Carasi gallery in Milan.

So, could the apocalypse really be sublime? Today we already admire pink sunsets and the romantic landscapes they create with amazement and misplaced bliss, failing to realize that their incredible frequency is in fact caused by ever-increasing levels of smog, which hovers in the air, omnipresent at any latitude.

With her futuristic-sci-fi-apocalyptic scenes, the Luxemburg-based artist pushes us to the frontiers of the imagination. Through these liquid landscapes, Muller emerges from the self-interrogation and reflective state to which she has accustomed us, projecting her gaze onto the environment and Ultra-Contemporary scenarios.

Focusing on the landscape that surrounds us, she approaches the photographic medium with the experimental charge that has always distinguished her work. In fact, her constant search for new techniques and innovative materials are the driving force behind the conceptual artist’s rapid evolution and considerable production in recent years.

The works “Down the Rabbit Hole” and “Der Moment in dem sich alles dreht“ welcome us with their alienating energy. Once again Muller experiments with dichroic sheets, using them to surprise and confuse her audience, fusing the dimensions of time and space to generate a sense of disorientation that leads us into a futuristic, sci-fi world.

The exhibition moves from a series of iconic mirror objects already exhibited at the gallery in previous shows (for example, "If walls could talk", "Life on Tralfamadore") to photographic works printed on brushed aluminum.

The images appear to change according to the light or the position of the observer: creating what are literally metallic landscapes.

Just as "noble", the metallic base (Silver) of the three new "antique mirrors" is transformed into an ultra-contemporary surface thanks to the application of special varnishes, whose oil-slick coloring is inspired by the colorful trail of oil dispersed in the environment. In fact, the titles of the individual works reveal their link with oil tankers and offshore platforms that have caused environmental disasters.

The world that the artist imagines is not the dark, gloomy realm in which the story of Blade Runner unfolds: there are no androids, only reflected images of what we are all contributing to. No solar wind blows in Sali Muller’s Ultra-Contemporary auroras, there, we find only the deathly mirage of civilization.

(Daniela Barbieri)