In the current moment, there is much to remind one of the international debates swirling around cosmopolitanism at the beginning of the 20th century. This is not the first historical phase of globalization but the third or fourth; presumably, however, it is one of globalization’s more extreme and violent phases.
Today, homogenizing forces are leading to extinctions, both through environmental degradation and the disappearance of cultural phenomena. Yet, to refuse these forces is to risk returning to dangerous forms of neo-localism and neo-nationalism. Returning to Édouard Glissant as a key creative thinker of our time, the exhibition proposes the urgent importance of his concept of mondialité: a global dialogue that, as opposed to globalization, starts from local difference rather than erasing it. Within Glissant’s philosophical development, mondialité, like its antecedents the chaos-monde and the tout-monde, furthers the attempt to think of relation as a constitutive aspect of community.
The exhibition Mondialité will feature visual artworks and environments, documentary film and songs, dramaturgical structures and archival material. The exhibition also assembles parts of Glissant’s own unrealized project, the Musée du Tout-Monde. Building on the experimental exhibitions Solaris Chronicles and A stroll through a fun palace, curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist with dramaturgies co-created by Asad Raza, Mondialité aims to bring visitors into contact with the terrain of Glissant’s thought and its relational form of perceiving and thinking. It takes place at a site with multiple histories, the Villa Empain. An Art Deco manse built in 1932 by Louis Empain, and occupied by German forces during WWII, the Villa served as a Soviet embassy in the 1960s, a television station in the 1980s, and a squat that hosted a Mike Kelley show in the 1990s, before being transformed into a center for art and dialogue between East and West, as home to the Boghossian Foundation. Mondialité is realized with the support of the Institut du Tout-Monde.
Artists: Adonis, Valerio Adami, Etel Adnan, Sophia Al-Maria, Kader Attia, Miquel Barcelo, Alighiero Boetti, Daniel Boyd, Edith Dekyndt, Manthia Diawara, Simone Fattal, Geneviève Gallego, Sylvie Glissant, Koo Jeong A, Wifredo Lam, Ranjana Leyendecker, Roberto Matta, Steve McQueen, Otolith Group, Walter Price, Raqs Media Collective, Adrián Villar Rojas, and Antonio Segui.
Curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Asad Raza.
For the book Mondialité; or the archipelagos of Edouard Glissant, artists and thinkers contribute texts, excerpts and images to an exploration of key Glissantian concepts such as pensee du tremblement, creolization, and opacité, inspired by La Terre Le Feu L’eau et Les Vents, Glissant’s own poetic anthology. Edited by Obrist and Raza, Mondialité; or the archipelagos of Edouard Glissant includes writing by Sophia Al-Maria, K. Anthony Appiah, Philippe Artières, Patrick Chamoiseau, Manthia Diawara, Bruno Latour, Fred Moten, Molly Nesbit, Raqs Media Collective, Justin E.H. Smith, and Gayatri Spivak. It is published by Skira and the Boghossian Foundation.
A live program will accompany the exhibition and book, featuring choreographic and discursive events and inaugurated by a day of interviews and performances hosted by Obrist and Raza at the Boghossian Foundation, beginning at 3pm on April 18, 2017. The ongoing program will include: atopia, Monira Al Qadiri, Nicolas Becker, Jacques Coursil, Andrew Hardwidge, Nikima Jagudajev, Justin Kennedy, Will Rawls, Eszter Salamon, Mårten Spångberg, and Elisabeth Sutherland.
The Boghossian Foundation was created in 1992 by Robert Boghossian and his sons, Jean and Albert, Lebanese jewelers of Armenian origin. The Foundation realizes social and educational projects around the world. In 2010, it opened to the public Brussels’ historic Art Deco masterwork, the Villa Empain, as a center for art and dialogue between East and West. Since January 2016, its team has been led by Ralph Boghossian, General Director Louma Salamé and Artistic Director Asad Raza.
Opening day of interviews and performances: April 18, 3pm
Boghossian Foundation – Villa Empain
Avenue Franklin Roosevelt 67
B – 1050 Brussels
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