Coworkers at Musée d’art Moderne Paris

by Sarah Rosengarten

at Musée d’art Moderne Paris

This museum is really a French museum, I realize soon. I mean clichés. Like: most don’t know English, every logistical or organizational process is overly complicated and the food is delicious.
I remember from someone’s words that it’s a big group show about the internet.

The entrance stairs are dim lighted, feels like it’s not on purpose, rather like light bulbs are broken.

1st screen wants to introduce you to ASMR, showing the YouTube clips. It’s confusingly shitty quality I don’t understand the contextual or aesthetic purpose of mild pixelation here. The spatial location for this video is weird, bad weird, especially considering the 2nd one right after has better quality.

Picking up the room plan: It’s Nice. Simple and with a good black and white image of a piece by Timur Si-Qin. #hopesup (Later I notice that the artwork on the paper is not part of the exhibition at all → ?)

In the entrance area they put up another ASMR. This time it’s a video by this guy who calls his channel ASMR Paris, on which he offers to make whispery, breathy videos for you.

I think (no Engl. subtitles), he talks about what it is. So, using the effect while explaining the effect in French : Whipped cream with whipped cream on top. If they really wanted to have a video of him I suggest this. (But there are also very good ASMR out there…)

Childishly, I don’t follow the suggested path and turn left to this Glass window (Aquarium 89 Plus — series of personal exhibitions — Jasper Spicero):

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Can I go inside? …… ah no, CLEARLY:

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Ok: Containers, a little TV on legs, then these miniature cars that are connected to other parts of the installation, little black mats, open scissors. Traces of production and process? Documentation of something on that babytv? Seems seriously secretive. I might be missing some references here though. Right in the second when I decide this is not working for me the glass turns opaque as if making itself rare. I interpret → All the mysterious machinery that is working the world, like in a non trespass able milk glass wall room? But also: perhaps Jasper Spicero doesn’t really say much in terms of critique and rather wants you to catch some vibe.

I’m turning into the 1st official room. Some walls are plastered with collage images by Parker Ito:

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And the wall across :

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This sentence really feels super retro.

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The video Pearl Vision by Mark Leckey. The sound is coming down from a speaker in the ceiling. But there is no marking/label for where you are supposed to stand to perfectly grasp the audio. I really do my best, but still feel like I am missing out. Only now that I rewatch it I realize how disastrous the installation is. To hear it well is crucial, but is also – considering the visual fight with Parker – noot a good spot.

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Fremdschämen for the person who had this idea and the other person who likes the idea and for when they come together and talk about what a great idea this is.

Next I find that there is a corner full of artworks by Aude Pariset. Probably four, five, six of her pieces. A basin of cyan colored chlorine based chemical bath, containing a painting in it’s development process. That could be cool if it was not part of what looks like a fan corner. Sometimes it’s true „Weniger ist mehr? – Less is more?” No?

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I don’t think Contemporary Art Daily would want to try on making this look good online.

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This place is dirrrrty. I am realizing I don’t know about how anything works financially.
Is the bank account that is reliable for maintenance of the museum very separate from the one that finances the exhibitions? I remember a more experienced classmate saying to me in my first year at art school: You have to make sure the pieces can breathe well enough. Breathing is more fun in clean and wide spaces right?

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I would really like if someone repaired the monitors for Cecile B. Evans piece. Some non-French might think the black screens are part of it. My dad, looking over my shoulder while I’m writing thought this piece of paper is the piece. “Piece of Paper”.

Entering the Office Box room part, designed by Pin-Up (very annoying to google).
By taking the overall title into account, I figure that it is supposed to look like a contemporary office space. IRL start-up offices try, mostly successfully, not to look as depressing (some even like to go a bit overboard). Mainly the dim light and the crowdedness of the interior is bothering me inside these glass walls as well as the water drinking facilities being dry and stained.

This little office joke is growing on me though:

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Examining one of the parts of an installation that is spread throughout the rooms. The reoccuring plexiglass has the word EELAM emblemed on it. The characters are catchy in its resemblance to stock image corporate logos. I read that the transparent perspex screens are supposed to Instagram filter artworks of Sri Lankan artists’ works, selected/collected by Christopher Kulendran Thomas (thats him) and displayed behind and between the Instaglass. The filter he is referring to could be “Aden”, but it is also just mildly purple plastic glass. I am wondering if it is humorous to use Aden or any of the filters on drawings. And the correlation between the professional studio material and cheesy Instapulation? Is it like a validation of the instagram photography while Drawing is defeating it? Conquering it? Or Drawing being defeated by it all (how it looks like to me). And is there #srilankinstaart?

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I’m now stepping into the Turnhalle of the exhibition/the gym of the coworking space.

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And this work across from it also clearly has the athletic spirit.

I am imagining now how a man with very good hair, briefed by the curator(s), is trying to make this delicious to me:

So here on the left you have an installation made up of two artworks by two different creators (Timur Si-Qin and Clemence de la Tour du Pin & Dorotea Gaweda & Egle Kulbokaite) that literally share the space by supporting each other’s intensity. An effect that is provoked not only by the link that can be made through the objects used, but as well by the formation of the two parallel rows resembling ranks of spectators seats.
Timur Si-Qin is taking on the topic of the consumerist struggle with identifying via self-conscious products and sports brands. The height of the pedestals and the stones inside the nike bags refer to the myth of Sisyphus and the earliest idea of never-ending human hardship.
The collaboration of the three young female writers/artists here is as well an idea of a story made flesh. They inhabit the physical space by basing this work on the fictional character named Agatha Valkyrie Ice….

Towels tend to get me excited (the idea of perfume as well) so I am into that without knowing very much about the girls or Agatha. Also, I think sports gear is v nice after all. I am probably also positively prejudiced by other artworks of Timur Si-Qin. I feel like he is aware of how, so far it has added up to his art, when he pairs with female artists, like he does here.

Then there are many Ryan Trecartin videos in a row. I wonder who curacided the terrible blue wall color behind them. I want to prove again to myself that it is not like U watch one and u have seen them all, but the headphones I try out are broken or way too loud. I make a note to myself to think about this next time I make something with headphones.
In the following room I pass something I decide to pass, mainly because of eggshells hanging down from it:

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I enjoy that Emissary in the Squat of Gods by Ian Cheng has a corridor on it’s own:

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I’m glad about him and his writing and about seeing this right now. I’m glad about the idea of Emissary in the Squat of Gods being a live simulation assaulted by a story and a story assaulted by a live simulation. Gestures and motions in it are stuttering. I think that’s great. It is helpful making it less smooth. But it’s also hinting to the backend of it (algorithms?) and to the complexity of cognitive development and problem solving. Just who said that one projection should be smaller? If it is only about how it looks, I would prefer them the same.
I am not into watching it concentratedly and wholeheartedly for very long. But if I had a living room and my husband would enjoy that I would want to permanently screen it big painting sized, sound on low.
For the video by Rachel Rose in the room around the corner, the size of the projection and it taking up a room feels overrated. Even though usually I am in favour of Big. And the sound is distorted in a way that I believe was not intended. In the description it says „It’s about deathfulness“ (Grateful Death fan vocab?). I enjoy a scene with children running after a peacock. Simple: I like kids and peacocks.

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The corridor around the corner is blocked by a huge round projection screen, sitting in the middle of the hallway like: Here is a portal to a different world, better don’t ignore it: L’air du temps by GCC. When I just heard of them I was not excited. But now I am seeing this (18) here and it is, intentionally or not a means to get back in the moment again. A pleasurable, smooth camera flight, exploring the inside of an 18th century Parisian city apartment. They inserted fitness machines, flatscreens and other tools, machines and gadgets that would be associated with the apt of a contemporary person of the same status. I am excited about a tissue dispenser that is moving as if it had lungs and was breathing. Wall text: „Past and present coexist without spoiling the original context“.

I admit I’m a bit of target of their enchantment. Anyway, I know they have a collective and political approach that I am now okey dokey with to study further.

Too tired for Hito Steyerl’s Video Liquidity Inc. – partially has to do with the beanbags that are put out there to sit on while watching. Bean bags should not be anywhere.
Last room is filled with white computers on sideboards, to watch things on and and in the middle The Island (KEN) by DIS:

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I have liked Dornbracht ever since. They seem the right choice for making an artfurniture, because of being weird and fancy. I would have enjoyed to be around this sexy, silly hybrid in the New Museum when it was still a novelty people wanted to gather around, pet the surface of, bathe in the soft shower rain of and drink from it’s sink. It feels a bit abandoned here, being long passed center of attention. Like warmed up leftovers. Like a fair booth that is being ignored for a more exciting one.
Every one of the computers on the side contains a bunch of videos, like a grouping of about 5 videos for each computer. SO, is this supposed to be a library where each grouping explains a digital age term or just an indirect experience example for the “overwhelmingness” of this world? I am turning into the hermit living in the woods. Tired of looking at things. I can barely hold up my arm to take pics of the listed titles in case I find the time to find the videos online or idk.

The Ed Atkins video at the end I’m forced to ignore, also because I have recently had an overdose of him at Schirn in Frankfurt. He is an artist not to put in the end. I think one should leave an exhibition with a joke.

Last I think about what Coworkers is supposed to mean regarding this “Expo”. Coworking? Somehow I don’t think they have seen each other once nor have put a foot in this museum.
I guess they might have seen each other just not there.

Best wishes to the curators. Good that you can hide behind a collective effort.

by Sarah Rosengarten