[Note: Unfortunately, I was unable to attend Nicholas Mueliner’s recent lecture at Cornell University due to an information session held at the same time. In place of my usual lecture write-up, I will instead discuss the artist and his works based on my conducted research.]
Nicholas Muellner, a world-renown photographer and Associate Professor at Ithaca College, recently presented the body and theories of his latest works at Cornell University during a lecture entitled “Welcome to Club Scenario.”
A writer and artist, Muellner is known for his incredible writings that pair well with his visual books and photographic ventures. One of the sharpest examples of his incredible process is “Re-enactment (winter’s campaign)” (2003). Frigid, abstract winter scenes are photographed and paired with Muellner’s own internal feelings of loneliness and coldness.
As he states: “I have recently spent a good deal of time in a somewhat distant and undeniably colder place. This episode has corresponded with a pervasive feeling of ignorance – in my own life.”
What makes Muellner’s works particularly pleasing both aesthetically and in terms of being worthy of discussion is their transformative quality. Both his writings and his photographs do not merely portray a single subject which can be consumed and understood with a first reading. Instead, the full, collective body of his works – writings and photographs – must be taken into full consideration. The result is a truly dynamic experience that highlights vulnerabilities in the world, our human condition, and the works themselves.
I certainly wish I had had the opportunity to hear Muellner speak this past week as he works in mediums I enjoy and with concepts I can relate well to without much effort.
First image: https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7144/6708982219_340cab2301_z.jpg
Second image: http://nicholasmuellner.com/home/photographs/re-enactment-winters-campaign/