Gentle Dust

25 August 2016

And so, gently the dust will fall, upon the carelessly wrapped paintings. And gently the colours on the canvas, they will fade away. Images of soup cans, guns and flowers, they will fade away. And gentle dust will fall upon the seamless glass vitrines, scattered pedestals, high security cameras. Gentle dust, upon the long forgotten sculptures, abandoned in the corners of the wide quiet cubes.

Jupiter Woods is pleased to present Gentle Dust, a new collective project initiated by artist Dorine van Meel and co-curated with independent curator and arts writer Rianna Jade Parker. Jointly they have invited a number of artists, writers and musicians to come together for one evening, to poetically imagine and stage the desertion of the "museum of modern art” through performative readings and live music. This first instalment of Gentle Dust includes spoken contributions from Rianna Jade Parker, Isaac Kariuki, Imani Robinson and Caspar Jade Heinemann, original music by Sami El-Enany, a new video by Dorine van Meel, along with voice-overs to the video by Emma Bennett and Holly Pester. After this first instalment the project will travel to Berlin and Amsterdam with new contributions by a number of other artists and writers.

The project is understood as the beginning of a dialogue, in which we, as a multiplicity of young art practitioners foreground the stories, perspectives and questions that have a special urgency to us in this time of crisis. Rather than wait for the institutions to open their doors to us, we want to make our voices heard in the here and now. The museum of modern art is understood in this project as a symbol, historically and presently linked to the colonial matrix of power, and therefore to the violent history of coloniality. As an institute, these types of museums have been able to define art discourse and the art canon, excluding a vast amount of artists and practices while presenting themselves as "global".

The live performances will respond to the question of how, as artists, we can disengage from the narratives that are told and taught by these museums. How we can disengage from the images and stories that have informed many of us, modern western subjects. If we understand that to disengage means to lose, to unlearn, what could be lost then, when we try to break with these histories? Is there anything we can take with us? And where are we moving towards if we now understand “progress” to be a colonial concept, used to break up the world in first, second and third categories? Together we will imagine and stage not only the disengagement from these narratives, but also we will try to create a non-normative space that is open to a multiplicity of stories, histories, languages, cultures, voices and sounds.

Gentle Dust is kindly supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Mondriaan Fund and Arts Council England.