Mousse #55

Mousse #55

Mousse Magazine

Samson Young, So You Are Old By the TimeYou Reach the Island, 2016. Video shooting documentation, BMW Art Journey – Art Basel Hong Kong, 2016. Courtesy: the artist and Edouard Malingue Gallery, Hong Kong. Photo: © Dennis Man Wing Leung.
October 4, 2016

October–November 2016
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In this issue: Samson Young; essays by Hendrik Folkerts, Michael Taussig, Benjamin Thorel, and Tim Griffin; Rayyane Tabet in conversation with Haegue Yang; Laura McLean-Ferris on empathy and the confessional; round-table on materialist history of exhibitions; Kishio Suga by Stuart Munro; Andrew Berardini on flowers and art; artificial creativity by John Menick; Lawrence Lek with Cécile B. Evans; Kasper Bosmans; and more.

Samson Young is a sound artist and composer from Hong Kong. Here he explains to Hans Ulrich Obrist his interests, ranging from the politics behind classical Western music writing systems and the collective unit represented by orchestras, to the possible relations between sounds and warfare (sound as a weapon, or explosions as vehicles of overwhelming information), to the recording, notation, and sketching of bells as artifacts that define limits and can unite or separate communities and individuals.

The books A Cup of Rage by Raduan Nassar and The Malady of Death by Marguerite Duras provide a conceptual backdrop for Haegue Yang and Rayyane Tabet to confront ideas of diasporic communities, their shared interest in narratives deriving from literature, and their respective artistic practices.

John Menick, in his second installment of “Move 37,” starts from a test conducted in Bell Laboratories in which participants were asked to distinguish a painting by Piet Mondrian from a drawing made by an IBM 7094 in order to investigate artificial intelligence, randomness, and creativity.

This chat-like conversation a deux between Lawrence Lek and Cécile B. Evans covers Nao robot body language, Australia, site specificity, a flooded Kunst-Werke, a fictional copy sometimes living longer than the original, and the Chinese Eiffel Tower.

Rochelle Goldberg organizes sculptural environments starting from living, ephemeral, and synthetic materials, from crude oil and chia seeds to ceramic and steel. Win McCarthy stages his installations using organic matter as well as vinyl, Hydrocal, resin, and acetate. These similarities could make one think that their practices are close. But are they?

Tim Griffin, in turning to the final section of his interdisciplinary “Geography” trilogy, sees in a letter from Ralph Lemon to Bruce Nauman an illuminating point of departure for discussions of exhibition making today, and our speculations on its possible future.

Hendrik Folkerts analyzes the increasing commixture of visual art with choreographic and theatrical practices, which have often been regarded as a strictly institutional matter, extending the question of how the stage—as an essentially theatrical element—affects the apparatus of exhibition display.

Benjamin Thorel discusses independent and artist-run spaces: how they challenge expectations by giving importance to forms of sociality that open up untold possibilities, and play a critical role in redefining the art world’s showing, seeing, and talking.

The Australian anthropologist Michael Taussig discusses the meaning of “showing showing” in art: from a time in which it was defined by magic and religion as the material manifestation of a larger purpose; through Marcel Duchamp producing an exhibition in which the act of showing was just as important as the art on display; to Joseph Beuys’s ritual contexts; up through the current state of sterile “objecthood.”

Filipa Ramos discusses the aims, concepts, and frameworks of Theater, Garden, Bestiary, a research laboratory hosted at ECAL and led by Tristan Garcia and Vincent Normand, which is radically shaking the foundational and institutional apparatus of the exhibition as a format.

Nice To Meet You:

Caroline Dumalin talks with Kasper Bosmans in his third-floor studio at WIELS, where he recently began a six-month residency. Bosmans discusses his uses of cultural matter and memories that were once common and close to home. He systematically abstracts and arranges the acquired knowledge into figurative “legends,” composed of both encyclopedic facts and mythological anecdotes.

Model-turned-painter Eliza Douglas recounts to Eileen Myles her decision to leave New York for Europe and start a new life afresh in the arts after a long period of being too afraid to fulfill that lifelong dream. The field of painting—because of its inherent constraints—has come to fit the overwhelming possibilities of her rebirth.

Stuart Munro introduces the work of Kishio Suga, a Japanese sculptor and installation artist and a founding member of Mono-ha, who has major exhibitions happening this fall: Situations at Pirelli HangarBicocca in Milan and A New Order (alongside Karla Black) at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh.

In a notable and surprising essay, Andrew Berardini provides a historical excursus on flowers and art, with a bonus appendix dedicated to some of the most-loved blooms.

The current interest in empathy and narcissism comes from a fascination with the terms of the self, and regard or disregard for the selves of others, witnessed in a return to the politics of identity and in the empathetic failures that have arisen in response. To address the theme of the confessional, Laura McLean-Ferris draws from Leslie Jamison’s essay collection The Empathy Exams and Ellen Cantor’s multi-venue collaborative retrospective in New York.

Sophia Al-Maria has been a fixture of the contemporary art world for a while now; her idea of Gulf Futurism even entered mainstream pop culture media as challenging received bi-dimensional images of the Middle East. In this conversation with Omar Kholeif she discusses feminism, growing up in Washington state in the 1990s, and the dangers of time travel.

Hiwa K likes anecdotes. Stories narrated by his family, his friends, and people he meets are at the center of his artistic production, as well as the foundations of his comments in this conversation with Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung about flamenco, his critique of professionalized art education and canonized art history, and his preference for informal, horizontal methods of learning and teaching.

Cauleen Smith is an interdisciplinary artist operating with multiple materials and modes, including installation environments, referencing mid-20th century experimental film. She draws from devices originating in science fiction to deploy a conversation with the representation of black women in Western cinema as radical others, and to address the dislocated relationship with ideas of belonging to a “homeland.” A conversation with Carolyn Lazard.

Liam Gillick,The Winter Ambiguity (2016). The first in a series of posters created by artists, commissioned for Mousse by Stefan Kalmár.*

*Available in the international edition and for subscription only.

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October 4, 2016

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