Michael Lobel featured in Artforum
Close Contact: Art and the 1918 Flu Pandemic
“There are virtually no monuments or memorials to those who died from influenza in 1918–19, in part because of the contemporaneity of the war, but also because the pandemic seems to have lacked any central organizing visual motifs. Unlike the Great War, the flu offered up no heroic doughboys or angels of victory, nor were there any persevering scientists who could provide a convenient face of the battle against the illness…. And it certainly lacked the kind of molecular renderings that are used to visualize viruses in our own day, specifically that now-ubiquitous spiky globe, like some kind of Koosh ball or knobby dog toy, that, in its scientistic imaging of disease, has become one of the primary visual emblems of Covid-19.”
Image: Edvard Munch, Self-Portrait with the Spanish Flu, 1919, oil on canvas, 59 x 51 5/8”. National Gallery, Oslo.