Art Exhibition: “Mondialité”

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Late Cuban artist Wifredo Lam is among the artists included in the exhibition entitled “Mondialité,” featuring visual artworks and spaces, documentary film, songs, dramaturgical structures, and archival material. The exhibition, which “aims to bring visitors into contact with Édouard Glissant’s thought,” and is realized with the collaboration and support of Sylvie Sema Glissant and the Institut du Tout-Monde, I am surprised that there are not more Caribbean artists represented in the exhibition. The related book—Mondialité, or the archipelagos of Edouard Glissant—includes an essay by Patrick Chamoiseau.

The exhibition, curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Asad Raza, opened on April 19 and is on view until August 27 at Villa Empain of the Boghossian Foundation. Villa Empain-Centre for art and dialogue between the cultures of the East and the West, is located at 67 Avenue Franklin Roosevelt in Brussels, Belgium. 

Artists include Adonis, Valerio Adami, Etel Adnan, Sophia Al Maria, Kader Attia, Miquel Barceló, Alighiero Boetti, Daniel Boyd, Edith Dekyndt, Manthia Diawara, Simone Fattal, Geneviève Gallego, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Koo Jeong A, Wifredo Lam, Ranjana Leyendecker, Roberto Matta, Steve McQueen, Otolith Group, Philippe Parreno, Walter Price, Raqs Media Collective, Adrián Villar Rojas, Antonio Segui, and Sylvie Sema.

Description: Mondialité focuses on Edouard Glissant and his inspiring call for a global dialogue that does not erase local cultures. In our current moment, there is much to remind one of the international debates swirling around cosmopolitanism at the beginning of the 20th century. Today, homogenizing forces are leading to extinctions, both through environmental degradation and the disappearance of cultural phenomena, yet at the same time, to refuse the forces of globalization risks returning to dangerous forms of neo-localism and neo-nationalism. Returning to a key creative thinker of our time, the exhibition proposes the importance of a nuanced version of global dialogue, now more than ever.

Mondialité will feature visual artworks and environments, documentary film and songs, dramaturgical structures and archival material. Building on the experimental exhibitions that Obrist curated and Raza co-created dramaturgies for, Solaris Chronicles and A stroll through a fun palace, the exhibition will unfold in time as well as expand across space. Mondialité aims to bring visitors into contact with Glissant’s thought and the urgency of returning to its terrain, a relational form of perceiving and thinking. It will take place at a site with multiple histories, the Villa Empain. An Art Deco manse built in 1932 by Louis Empain, occupied by German forces during WWII, the Villa served as a Soviet embassy in the 1960s, a television station in the 1980s, and a squat that hosted a Mike Kelley show in the 1990s, before being transformed into a center for art and dialogue between East and West, as home to the Boghossian Foundation.

For the book Mondialité; or the archipelagos of Edouard Glissant, artists and thinkers contribute texts, excerpts and images to a commonplace book that explores key Glissantian concepts such as pensée du tremblement, créolisation, and opacité. The book includes writing by Sophia Al-Maria, K. Anthony Appiah, Philippe Artières, Patrick Chamoiseau, Manthia Diawara, Bruno Latour, Fred Moten, Molly Nesbit, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Asad Raza, Sappho, Justin E.H. Smith, and Gayatri Spivak. [. . .]

For more information, see http://www.villaempain.com/en/exhibitions/imaginary-frontiers-2/mondialite/

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