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The Magma Group seek to examine to what extent Marshall McLuhanâ€™s well known phrase â€˜The Medium is The Messageâ€™ applies to fine art.This is explored in their exhibition of paintings and sculpture at their private view on 7th December at the invitation of Arthouse1 Gallery. McLuhan said â€˜Societies have always been shaped more by the nature ofâ€¦mediaâ€¦than by the content of the communicationâ€™. However The Magma Group â€˜â€¦whilst not denigrating the role of medium in the ultimate work, credit other aspects with having equal inputâ€¦in the transmission of its messageâ€¦â€™ says art writer/critic Anna McNay. She further points out that the group believes â€˜â€¦expressive use of feeling,â€¦â€™ a well developed idea and â€˜â€¦sensitive ..handling of the artistâ€™s mediumâ€™ are all necessary to get the artistâ€™s message across.
McLuhan says â€˜All media work over us completely. They are so pervasiveâ€¦that they leave no part of us untouched,,,The medium is the massageâ€™. McNay feels this re definition or pun on McLuhanâ€™s original phrase is highly appropriate when applied to fine art. She further expounds â€˜the word â€˜magmaâ€™ comes from the Greek â€˜masseinâ€™ meaning â€˜to kneadâ€™. She says, â€˜[The Magma Group] â€¦knead and massage their materials until the message appearsâ€™.
These ideas will be further explored in a symposium on 12th December with guest speakers including Professor Michael Archer, (Goldsmithâ€™s College London), Michael Glover, Art critic Independent, author and poet, and Anna McNay, Assistant Editor Art Quarterly/freelance art writer.
The Magma Group was founded in 2011 and is made up of artists from France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Poland, Russia and the UK, some of whom have shown at the Venice Biennale.