Cover Image for the exhibition Woven In Vegetal Fabric: On Plant Becoming
curated by ©Charles Rouleau

Entry #8 26.01.2022


Charles Rouleau

In the second chapter of his video piece Nightlife [1], the artist Cyprien Gaillard presents footage of non-native trees in Hollywood that appear to be dancing to a looping sample of the chorus of Alton Ellis’s Black Man’s World. These trees are the “the inhabitants of the margins that give the city its character”. [2] Even though the whole piece presents a disparate assemblage of ideas not all linked to the question of plants, this chapter invites the beholder to ponder upon the marginal place of plants through the process of anthropomorphization. These plants are commingled within urban spaces and entangled within the human architecture. When Timothy Morton writes, “Hasn’t what is called ‘landscape architecture’ always really been a clumsy dance of humans and nonhumans in whose medium the building appears, like a crystal inside a chemical solution?” [3], Gaillard’s work inspires another set of questions: which music are they dancing to? What makes plants groove?

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Lettering by Lobbby24

Mnemozine, together with head curator Nadina Faljic, curated Sticky Flames/ Bodies, Objects and Affects, an exhibition exploring questions of the body through a variety of lenses. With works by Alexandre Caretti, Bruno Oliveira, Darja Linder, Ksenia Khmelnitskaya and Joni Maus.
On view at Casino Display from 12.11 - 05.12.2021.

Curator’s Note:

In truth, “my body” indicates a possession,
not a property. In other words, an appropriation
without legitimation. I possess my
body, I treat it as I wish, I exercise a jus uti
et abutendi over it. It, however, in its own
turn, possesses me: it pulls or holds me
back, offends me, stops me, pushes me,
pushes me away. We’re both possessed,
a pair of demonic dancers.

Jean-Luc Nancy

I do not believe in the absence of form
or in a possible beyond of form any more
than I believe in transcendence or the absence
of negativity. Form is the metamorphisable
but immovable barrier of thought.

Catherine Malabou
Plasticity at the Dusk of Writing

A membrane extends, stretching,
building tension, releasing and relieving
itself. It tears and aches, moves inward
(where to?) and breaks out (where
from?), spiralling, spluttering into
a room as if it was intimacy itself
that was nervously introducing itself.
It is perpetual movement. Flickering.
Altering poses and positions, swinging,
stumbling, seeking balance in order
to confront – itself.
Vacillating, incessantly, amid everything
that is or could be possible, matter stays
unstable. Deforming, transforming, it
takes shape and takes place among and
along what otherwise would have no form.

There it separates. Into an in-between,
a gap.

An abyss, an opening, an orifice, where
the preconception of the corporeal is
sucked in, moistened, moulded, discarded
into a sticky cesspool.
Where takes place not an encounter
between bodies and other bodies,
not between the body and the other of
the body but where the shape of a wholly
other body might become tangible.
A point of contact, perhaps, where
the body might finally have a chance
to reformulate itself.


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