© Mounir Fatmi
© Mounir Fatmi


The Missing Show

Live reading with Mounir Fatmi

Le 06 February 2018

Jeu de Paume Paris

As part of the Satellite 11 programme devised by Agnès Violeau under the title “Novlangue,” Jeu de Paume is organising three free performances in the bookstore space.

The Jeu de Paume bookstore is where private space (reading) comes into contact with public space (the exhibition areas, the Tuileries). In 1984, George Orwell’s dystopian novel, the state has instituted a language, Newspeak, in which words for such qualities as honour, justice, morality, democracy, science and religion have simply ceased to exist, having been subsumed within a handful of general cover-all words that smother and kill their meaning. Language is eaten away from within and truncated. The only books are utilitarian ones, technical manuals. The others have gone the way of those “non-useful” words.

At a time when the language of screens is dominant, when language is undergoing a geopolitical mutation and speech-as-spectacle is the new form, what is the role of the book as a medium of public speech? How are today’s artists using the book object as a tool for grasping the real? Can we go from the political to the poetic and open up a poetics of knowledge? The three performers invited to the agora offered by the bookstore will reflect on the book and on language in the digital era, and on their transitive potential in terms of both ideology and individuation.

Mounir Fatmi: “The Missing Show”

In September 2017, Mounir Fatmi was offered an exhibition in New York. He decided not to travel there to prepare and present the project. In two letters, one addressed to his gallerist and the other to us, the artist explained his decision not to travel to the US, and the experience of discovering his own exhibition through social media and the gaze of strangers. Showing the artist to be a political voice, “The Missing Show” reflects on a sharing of authority, at a time when discourse is horizontal.

Mounir Fatmi constructs spaces and games with language. His work addresses the end of dogmas and ideologies, taking a committed approach to all forms of power, whether linguistic, political, economic, philosophical or religious. His work foregrounds the accidents in our world, the hyperdensity of information flows, the dominance of commodification and the absurdities of our society and its lack of vigilance. Fatmi’s work offers an alternative vision of what is around us, refusing the blindness of conventions.

Live reading by Mounir Fatmi in the Jeu de Paume bookstore, Tuesday 6 February, 7.30–8 pm.
Admission free, first come first served.