“What permits us to like each other and the earth we inhabit is that we and it are impermanent,” Cage as soon as wrote. “We obsolesce. Life’s eternal. People aren’t. A mushroom lasts just for a really brief time.” This line was anthologized, together with a lot of Cage’s work on mushrooms, in “John Cage: A Mycological Foray,” an artwork ebook revealed final 12 months. As a companion, its writer, Atelier Éditions, additionally compiled a boxed set of playing cards entitled “Each Mushroom Is a Good Mushroom,” pairing Cage’s personal recipes with authentic artwork. A number of of the accompanying works are by Ma, from her “Mushrooms & Associates 2.” One, a composed portrait of 4 kinds of mushroom (Amanita pantherina, Hypholoma fasciculare, Amanita muscaria, and Coprinus comatus) organized atop a table-like double Hemipholiota populnea, tells a complete story in a single body. The mushrooms (which Ma foraged from a Soviet-era smash in Berlin’s Grunewald forest) lean and twist expressively. Regardless of the artificiality of the association, the scene feels in some way candid, a snapshot of a personal second—mushrooms in mid-argument, or mid-song.


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