Bad Juju at New Galerie

Artists: Madison Bycroft, Mathis Collins, Mikolaj Sobczak

Exhibition title: Bad Juju

A project by: EXO EXO (Antoine Donzeaud and Elisa Rigoulet)

Venue: New Galerie, Paris, France

Date: June 7 – 14, 2018

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artists, Exo Exo, Paris and New Galerie, Paris

“Juju’s” roots lie somewhere between ritual and witchcraft. The term used by Europeans to refer to traditional West African religious practices is actually an expression from white settlers which loosely and indifferently denotes a range of cultural practices. While “Juju” refers more specifically to objects and amulets, by cause and effect it also hints at African voodoo in general. “Juju” is a talisman, a totem. It is about the belief in an energy, a magic surrounding us, and through its appropriation in popular culture – a vibe – be it good or bad.

However, energy cannot be evaluated separately, it is first of all a connection, an exchange of flows, a context, a moment. For energy to be bad, one first has to consider it, feel it, experience it. For this exhibition, creation is considered by means of the collective experience, the artist as a poetic and political figure. In the same vein as in classical mythology – extraordinary creatures, vampires, seabed monsters, clowns – Mathis Collins, Madison Bycroft and Mikolaj Sobczak confront the modern mythologies of social spaces, community territories, workplaces. The cafes of the Parisian avant-gardes of the 19th century, the historical and political struggles of the queer movement in Poland or the office of the human resources for molluscs are more or less beneficial incarnations for social exchange.

What takes precedence here is the political and empathic body, as an actor, as a performer, as a stage director, as an anthropomorphic and modern creature and a new transgender species. Bad Juju tells the story of the failure of authoritarianism with regards to the capacity of humanly mutation, our ability to adapt, to evolve, to translate from one language to another, to produce collectively. Administrative impotence faces an “invertebrate” body, transvestite, liberated, that think of itself in a new economy of exchanges.

Bad Juju, 2018, exhibition view, New Galerie, Paris

Bad Juju, 2018, exhibition view, New Galerie, Paris

Bad Juju, 2018, exhibition view, New Galerie, Paris

Bad Juju, 2018, exhibition view, New Galerie, Paris

Bad Juju, 2018, exhibition view, New Galerie, Paris

Bad Juju, 2018, exhibition view, New Galerie, Paris

Bad Juju, 2018, exhibition view, New Galerie, Paris

Bad Juju, 2018, exhibition view, New Galerie, Paris

Bad Juju, 2018, exhibition view, New Galerie, Paris

Bad Juju, 2018, exhibition view, New Galerie, Paris

Bad Juju, 2018, exhibition view, New Galerie, Paris

Bad Juju, 2018, exhibition view, New Galerie, Paris

Bad Juju, 2018, exhibition view, New Galerie, Paris

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