Involved: Lotte Arndt, Pauline M'barek, Edwin Deen, Bie Michels, Alice De Mont, Marjolijn Dijkman, Kristof Van Gestel, Dimitri Vangrunderbeek, Maarten Vanden Eynde.
Performing Objects experiments with objects and their possibilities to act as an interactive performer towards its users or audience. The project is process oriented and creates moments of (critical) reflection concerning our embodiment and relation to the objects surrounding us, moments of creation, collective exploration during site visits and meetings with invited guests.
During a two day group visit to Paris we visited several exhibitions in the city and met with curator Lotte Arndt and artist Candice Lin to discuss their exhibition project 'A Hard White Body' at Bétonsalon and it's relation to the project Performing Objects.
"With A Hard White Body, Candice Lin weaves together two stories that do not seem to allow for an obvious connection. At first glance, the black American writer and social critic James Baldwin (1924–1987), and Jeanne Baret (1740–1807), French botanist and first woman to have sailed around the globe, appear to share only their initials. Lin unites these two characters who, despite two centuries of distance, lived out desires that were allowed through displacement from their native lands. They navigated queer and racialized gender presentations that were projected upon them and that at times they embraced.
In her installation, Candice Lin produces a bedroom made of unfired porcelain, inspired by James Baldwin’s novel Giovanni’s Room, that she moistens with a distillation of piss, water from the Seine and medicinal plants perhaps used by Jeanne Baret. Porcelain, this hard white body, evokes purity, whiteness and resistance to cracking or staining. An Orientalist object of desire, it was later used as a bacteriological filter.
Lin mixes porcelain and pungent liquids, invoking histories of exoticism, virology and global trade, and raising the question of a racialized language. She stages processes of contamination between organic and inorganic materials, creating an unstable sculptural ecosystem that requires constant caretaking. Visitors are invited to physically participate." - Bétonsalon