Les commissaires anonymes

Material contingencies

Material contingencies

Material contingencies presents contemporary notions of “object” and “objecthood” and how they may or may not materialise. An exhibition with The History of Design and Curatorial Studies MA of Parsons School Paris.

With works by Forensic Architecture, Francis Alÿs, Laëtitia Badaut Haussmann, Quentin Lazzareschi, Emilie Moutsis, Lawrence Weiner, Ana Maria Gallego.



We live in an age of contradictory relationship with materiality. The avant-gardes of the 1960s-1970s have expanded the field of art to include conceptual and immaterial practices ; meanwhile, digital technologies have developed in a seemingly dematerialised realm of networks and interfaces. At the same time, digital economies have a social and environmental impact that is anything but immaterial. We also cannot ignore today’s renewed interest in crafts and materiality in the arts, and how this reveals a need to reclaim the authenticity of an embodied experience.

Ruchanan Patarapanich, Multirec, 2019, Laëtitia Badaut-Haussmann Aussi loin mes yeux, 2016 ©A.Boulay Ruchanan Patarapanich, Multirec, 2019, Laëtitia Badaut-Haussmann Aussi loin mes yeux, 2016 ©A.Boulay -
©Les commissaires anonymes ©Les commissaires anonymes -

Where materiality had previously described the physical, tangible and concrete world of objects, we chose to explore shifting and blurring boundaries to consider a range of potential material forms :

an aquarium TV containing fish that do not require feeding, drops of concrete percolating through a coffee machine, electromagnetic waves appearing like a swarm of fireflies—and of course floors, walls, smells, air drafts, our bodies, your bodies.

Material Contingencies attempts to create zones through an assemblage of objects that radiate feelings, reactions and emotions. Each of these objects has a presence—a manner through which they appear to us in the world. This presence may eventually disappear into thin air. This is the strange contingency of material things.

With the amazing team of curators : Lama Alissa, Pamela Arellano, Jennifer Briasco, Reynaldo Gomez, Renée Hong, Nicolette Kabitsis, Sif Lindblad, Ruchanan Patarapanish & Jorge Torrens.

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Emilie Moutsis, Tu aimeras ton prochain putain de merde, 2018 and Laëtitia Badaut-Haussmann, L’Amour est plus froid que la mort n°6, 2017
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Quentin Lazzareschi Hors-champ, 2018 and Lawrence Weiner Opus 15, 1968
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Laëtitia Badaut-Haussmann, Il Boom, 2018 and Salvador Dalí Portrait de Madame Harrison (Mona Bismarck), 1943 (replica)
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Richard Vijgen, Architecture of Radio, 2016
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Reynaldo Gomez & Renée Hong, Batshit Coffee, 2019
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Forensic Architecture 77SQM_9:26MIN, 2017
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Forensic Architecture 77SQM_9:26MIN, 2017
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Francis Alÿs The Silence of Ani, 2015
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Opening ©Anael Boulay
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Ana Maria Lagos Gallego, Mutación Nocturna, 2016
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Material contingencies curators team
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