“In The Year Of Magical Thinking”, Guarino Werner has staged an unlikely meeting between modern mass media and the occult technique of aura painting. The slides present a number of watercolours the artist has painted for her ‘aura diary’, and which allegedly convey her emotions and state of mind on given days. On the soundtrack she is heard reading headlines from Swedish printed media during the year (such as “Eating disorders in pregnant women are becoming more frequent”, “Cloned monkey opens up for human spare parts,” “Schools spend more of their budgets on security,” and so on). The combination of media discourse and mystical belief portrays individual vulnerability to societal events. At the same time her work produces an unexpected critique of mass media’s mobilizations of affect and desire by rendering the highly determined messages of the newspaper headlines as meaningless as the aura paintings; or, the other way around, making the aura paintings as meaningful as the newspaper headlines.

Lars Bang Larsen