“& faintly heard (as it sinks, slowly): with The Tenderness of Maggots” Exhibition

Swiss Institute Contemporary Art

poster for “& faintly heard (as it sinks, slowly): with The Tenderness of Maggots” Exhibition

This event has ended.

& faintly heard (as it sinks, slowly): with The Tenderness of Maggots is an exhibition by Studio for Propositional Cinema (founded 2013). Structured as two overlapping plays, the exhibition addresses the intrinsic brutality of the political, societal and physical institutions humans have made for themselves, while suggesting moments of hope in their cracks.

The first play is & faintly heard (as it sinks, slowly):, by Studio for Propositional Cinema, installed in the exhibition space as a wall text, printed documents, and scenographic elements. The play is enacted by the spectator as they read and traverse the space, and contains four monologues by the play’s central characters: A BAND of RATS, A GUST of WIND, A COPPER-GLEANER, and A PANE of GLASS, that are printed in the style of the US Immigration Customs Declaration form, a legal document that must be filled in by all persons entering the country.

The installation concludes with a stage, on which a second play, The Tenderness of Maggots, will be performed throughout the duration of the exhibition. The Tenderness of Maggots is an adaptation of Comte de Lautréamont’s (1846-1870) brutal, proto-Surrealist novel Le Chants de Maldoror, re-edited and re-configured for the stage by Studio for Propositional Cinema. Its script begins with one simple stage direction: “Our revelrous NARRATOR on a stage consisting of six panes of safety glass cracking underfoot (& presented within an increased necessity to examine brutality closely, again).” Throughout the play the narrator unflinchingly unwinds a relentless treatise on the horrific nature of the eternal present.

The Tenderness of Maggots will be performed in collaboration with actors who will appear at intervals throughout the exhibition.

Studio for Propositional Cinema was inaugurated in 2013 with a public call to action. Through language, actions, sounds, and images, through production, publication, exhibition, and fictions, they seek to reconfigure culture from a network of ideological formations into a dialogue of hypothetical gestures. Their activities have taken many forms, including an exhibition space in Düsseldorf, Germany, various publishing projects, sustained collaborations with other artists, as well as exhibitions, realized both individually and together with a loose network of artists and cultural producers. Recent exhibitions were presented at Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz, and MuMoK, Vienna. This is their first exhibition in the U.S. and marks their first in-depth collaboration with Comte de Lautréamont.

Swiss Institute has temporarily relocated to a 5,000 sq ft project space at 102 Franklin Street in Tribeca, where we are presenting programming under the name Swiss In situ. Prior to moving to our new building at 38 St. Marks Place in 2017, exhibitions and public programs are focused on temporary structures – including publishing formats, social experiments and architectural forms – set against the fast-mutating landscape of downtown Manhattan. Expanding upon the success of Swiss Institute’s ONE FOR ALL series, which offered emerging artists a first institutional exhibition in the US, Swiss In situ presents new systems of research and production to New York audiences.



from January 07, 2017 to February 05, 2017

Opening Reception on 2017-01-06 from 18:00 to 20:00

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