Artforum International, Caroline Lillian Schopp on “4×1 = 30”, April 2020

Cover Artforum International April 2020, Vol. 58, No. 8

(…) While Ackroyd, Clement, and Zamojski reflected on the human by displacing it, Julian Turner took a more direct approach. In his installation Schön im Öl (Beautiful in the Oil), 2020, the artist investigated the infrastructures of geopolitics using clever dissonances of scale: Pink Viennese treats from the Aida coffeehouse chain, Swiss Parisienne cigarettes, Italian panettone, plenty of empty German beer cans, and a roll of toilet paper were assembled to create a rough model of the oil refinery near Vienna’s airport. This was, in a certain sense, Anthropocene art, in which the Great Acceleration was not graphed as an increasingly severe asymptote but rather pictured as a series of temporal and above all visual ruptures. In a group of related collages, cutouts of photos of fancy cuisine—from soufflés to herbed scallops—from old magazines were pasted over pictures of the refinery’s chemical-processing units. Turner’s works thus embedded imagery of midcentury prosperity and hospitality—along with the promised pleasure of collective consumption—within its inhospitable industrial excretions, all the while trying to maintain spaces in which the party could keep going on. Bringing together the compelling work of four disparate artists, “4 × 1 = 30” was a thoughtful exhibition that attested to our present environmental precarity, performing a timely, cautionary, and sometimes delightful equation of surplus value.