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Jill Magid: A Preamble to a Postscript

Jill Magid, I Can 
Burn Your Face, 
2008, detail. All 
images courtesy
the artist; LABOR,
 Mexico City; Until
 Then, Paris; and RaebervonStenglin, Zürich
Mihnea Mircan traces an amorous and ambivalent form of critique through Jill Magid’s complex institutional entanglements. As I left Jill Magid’s show ‘Authority to Remove’ at Tate Modern, London, one of its phrases in particular continued to resonate in my mind. 1 The formulation ‘the body of the book’ occurred twice in an exchange of letters between interlocutors with equal rights, it seemed, in determining the contents of the exhibition. It first appeared in a note sent by Magid to the AIVD (Algemene Inlichtingen en Veiligheidsdienst, or Dutch General Intelligence and Security Service) — a document handwritten to mimic the mechanical rigidity of a typewriter. The note asked permission from the AIVD to present the project, which they had commissioned, and was punctuated by faintly amorous inflections, as if its request overlapped with symbolically mending a painful separation, or recuperating a memory from a shattered relation.