Prologue - Tongue on tongue / nos salives dans ton oreille

 — Mason Kimber, Naomi Lulendo, Ibrahim Mahama, Gabriele Rendina Cattani, Garance Wullschleger

5th December, 2019 — 21st December, 2019

Press release

‘Tongue on Tongue, nos salives dans ton oreille’ was born out of the following questions : what if we allowed ourselves to conceive the future? What future/s and what language/s would write them? What system/s of exchange could we (re)invent to trace the paths of our common future to bring about new ways of being, together ?

More and more, the probability of dystopic futures weighs heavy upon us. Never before have ecosystemic concerns been felt on such a global scale. Terms such as eco-anxiety, eco-paralysis or solastalgia – the state of powerlessness and distress caused by the upheaval of an ecosystem – proliferate. The future has become debilitating. Yet, it is neither a fact nor a fatality, “the single, predictable, fixed future that the trend modelling proposes does not actually exist. Instead, what is out there is a multitude of possible futures (...). Knowing this means we have the power to imagine and create the futures that we choose (...).”As such, it might be said that the future does not exist except as a consequence of decisions and actions in the present – here the present is no longer tense, but itself a compositional tool. Performance, as it manifests in the exhibition, is the rewriting of the future in the present and is revealed as much through social, political and economic bodies as those of flesh and sweat, reiteratively defining object and subject relations. Performance, as an artistic language, a language of composition, of the real and of speculation, is anchored in the contemporary yet operates outside of linear chronologies. It allows the creation and encounter of multiple bodies, slipping through the interstices of individual and collective narratives in order to revise the foundations of a society under construction. The writing of the future therefore plays out in the here and now, through sheer strength of will and of imagination.
‘Tongue on tongue’ speaks to the meeting of bodies and languages. The exhibition traces the social dimension of linguistic exchange as well as surpassing the frame of verbal language – or lect – as predominant mode of interaction between human beings. Central operator of all social processes, language serves to name, represent and perform as "mediator in the formation of objects; it is, in a sense, the perfect mediator, the most important and valuable instrument in the quest and construction of a true world of objects" and of relations. Presented in both art spaces and public space, the works of invited artists propose a moment and place to re-conceive futurities collectively based upon a radical recomposition of the present. The works suggest diverse points of view on current modes and systems of exchange, formulating hypotheses which interrogate our presence as well as positions of agency and authorship in the world. Far from privileging one register of language over another, the exhibition articulates different forms of languages as performative tools to imagine new formations of collectivity, solidarity, emancipation, and engagement. Through performance, of varying temporalities, evolutive and interactive installation, the artists explore diverse contemporaneities, their logics and relations, corrupting and deviating from them as an invitation to (re)take possession of the future – neither utopia or dystopia but decidedly plural. From words anchored deep inside the body, to the use of social space, technological tools, alterity, biological and social spheres and everyday life, these are elements which can be seen as languages revealing our ways of thinking, being and acting. The exhibition gives body to language, as much as it conceives of it as itself an active body, modelled by the social, and its relationship to the Other, always-already steeped in the corporal, nos salives dans ton oreille.

[1]Jennifer M. Gidley, The Future: A Very Short Introduction, (Hampshire: Oxford University Press, 2017), p.2.
[2]E. Cassirer, « Le langage et la construction du monde des objets », Essais sur le langage (Paris : Minuit, 1969), pp. 44-45.

prologue is a curatorial platform initiated in 2018. The association supports the presentation of contemporary artworks with the ambition of reinforcing the place of performance as an artistic medium but also as a social tool, that allows the building of collective actions and narratives. Its actions take the form of a series of living projects, driven by their own temporalities and which unfold in art spaces as much as in public spaces.