Born in Switzerland, Mathias Schmied manipulates comic books and magazine images to create wall installations, collages and drawings. His works are pop images transformed. Cut-out graffiti and superheroes take on all new representation and meaning through Schmied’s cautious hand and razor blade. The easily recognizable content of Schmied’s found images becomes confused through his dissection. Pages where all real content has been removed feel empty and even somewhat sad. Depicting only what’s left behind from superhero stories feels like the newspaper without the news. We can only begin to guess at what’s going on.
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Although noteworthy for his intellectual freedom, al-Jāḥiẓ often supported government policy in his writings. He was, for example, part of the rationalist Muʿtazilite school of theology supported by the caliph al-Maʾmūn and his successor. When Muʿtazilism was abandoned by the caliph al-Mutawakkil, al-Jāḥiẓ remained in favour by writing essays such as Manāqib at-turk (Eng. trans., “Exploits of the Turks,” in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1915), a discussion of the military qualities of the Turkish soldiers, on whom government policy depended.