I can listen to Magali Duzant talk all day. Animated and expressive, each story she tells colorfully unravels with gestures from her lithe arms and hands, arches of her eyebrows, and curling corners of her mouth. It’s wonderful to me that as such an accomplished multidisciplinary artist she’s able to maintain her deliciously quick and occasionally self-deprecating sense of humor.
Though she received her MFA in Photography and Related Media at Parsons The New School for Design, Magali is currently interested in “the transcendence of time and space, the act and faith of looking and searching, desire and longing.” She experiments with light, like with her Golden Hours: Live Streaming Sunset, a project featured in the Queens International which involved cameras set up in eight cities all over the world streaming footage of what would become a perpetually setting sun. She also recently completed a sculptural installation at the Brooklyn Infusion Center of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center called A Certain Angle / A Shape In The Sun, which involved a sculpture series reflecting and refracting light around the windows of the space.
When I visit her at her studio, she is now working on an upcoming commission from Bike NYC that involves video and bike rides across the boroughs, a mural for BRIC Arts Media based on Walt Whitman’s poem “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry,” and an installation for FLUX Factory’s upcoming exhibition centered around language. Earlier this year she was invited to exhibit her work at Arts Suzhou in China and will be heading to Italy in August to study astronomy with monks in Italy. Not to mention she has exhibited all over New York and the far reaches of the globe, like the aforementioned China, as well as Russia, New Zealand, Denmark, and Australia. She is also currently an adjunct professor at the School of Visual Arts.
I remain utterly in awe of her talent, intelligence, and hustle, but am also delighted that every so often she will also regale me with stories of Mets games gone awry and that we can watch "RuPaul’s Drag Race" together while eating baguette with cheese and drinking the ginger beer she brought to my house.
Today in her studio we eat danishes and she makes coffee with a kettle she plugs into the wall and a French press. Her installation from Memorial Sloan Kettering is now hung on her wall and as light comes in through the south-facing window it casts an amalgam of rainbows across the space. She tells stories and I laugh and laugh. She tells me about her work and I listen and listen intently, fascinated.
Magali recently discovered there is a park not too far from her studio, past graffiti and industrial spaces. We go for a quick constitutional, and there happens to be a small skate park amongst the greenery. My camera is aimed at Magali and she deadpans, “Ah yes, a portrait of the artist staring at shirtless skateboarders,” cracking a smile and then moving on.
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