mounir fatmi
Beijing Today Art Museum, Beijing

BRIC-á-brac The Jumble of Growth, 2016

BRIC-à-brac:The Jumble of Growth

Beijing Today Art Museum

2016.12.10 -- 2017.03.22

Curators: Huang Du, Gerardo Mosquera


This exhibition for Today Art Museum’s third Documents aims to explore the process of global economic, social and cultural transformations that the boom of emerging market economies has introduced. It will try to examine various ways in which art has participated in or reacted to some of the transitions involved, and to their effects on culture, society and the individual.

The French expression bric-à-brac is broadly employed to mean jumble, odds and ends, or an uneven group of things, with a certain undertone of confusion. The first word of this idiom coincides by chance with the acronym BRIC – Brazil (7th world economy), Russia (13th), India (6th) and China (2nd) –, launched in 2001 by economist Jim O'Neill to discuss the major global economic role played by these four countries. Despite their current slowdown, the BRICs are the largest emerging market economies in the world, and account for more than 25% of the world's land area and more than 40% of its population. The acronym has come into widespread use to epitomize a historic process that is taking place: the dramatic increase of global economic power of the developing world, which has come to play a leading international role in the post-Cold War era.

This shift is a decisive outcome of globalization that is reshaping the world and therefore having a planetary impact not only in economy, but also in politics, society, the environment, culture and life. It is changing the way in which modernity and colonialism have structured the world. Traditional divisions between First and Third Worlds have exploded, giving way to a mixed, more decentralized distribution of roles. The new situation not only involves the BRIC countries, but many other emerging economies in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Even though some of these economies are suffering the general constraints in today’s world economy, they have changed the global status quo – and its chart of power – forever, and continue to transform it.

Large market economies are emerging from critical situations of underdevelopment in countries that have undergone economic growth accompanied by fast, uneven modernizations. The classical historical scheme of enlightenment, development and modernization has not been the route for the former Third World to grow: it experiences unorthodox processes full of contrasts of every kind. Many of these societies are postcolonial ones that have been already dealing with inequalities, ambiguities and hybridizations inherent to the postcolonial condition.

While macro-economies grow, infrastructures are build, modernization and internationalization advance, massive irregular urbanization spreads (two thirds of the world’s urban population live now in emerging and underdeveloped countries), and global power relations change, sharp contrasts prevail in society. Serious income discrepancies in many of these nations aggravate their low per-capita income levels, in spite of PIB’s growth. All these processes amount for drastic social inequalities that foster crime and political instability. Such problems add to the coexistence of different historical times (concomitance of modern, feudal and even tribal stages), frictions between swiftly imposed modernization and traditional life, metamorphic cultural mutations entailed in massive demographic displacements from traditional rural environments to cities, use of high-tech facilities within pre-modern contexts, as well as many other contrasts.

However, a very fruitful rise in the size of the middle class is taking place. Even if still low, personal income has increased over previous averages, improving the life standards of millions of people, although critical poverty remains. Environmental degradation and pollution have accompanied vertiginous industrialization and unregulated, wild capitalism. Lack of modern infrastructures and widespread corruption are also affecting a more systematic growth in many of these countries. Simultaneously, some effects of modernization have brought new possibilities and are being instrumental for the new transformations. People have massive access to the Internet, mobile telephony and real time communication, something that has opened previously unthinkable possibilities for broad information and knowledge. The large populations of the BRICs and related countries have now more money to spend and have configured a gigantic market, with all the pros and cons that this conveys. Education and health are improving, and a new energy has aroused among people, especially in Asia, while emerging countries are playing an increasingly powerful role in global politics. To summarize, a bric-à-brac of disparate situations and processes manifests in very vibrant societies and cultures going through economic mutations based on quantity more than in quality and social coherence.

Following the pun in its title, the show looks into the “BRIC” (and not only into the BRIC countries) as epitome of huge quantitative transformations that are changing the world, focusing on the “à-brac” of the qualitative complexities that economic growth have unchained in the “living” society of emerging countries. Art has the power to delve in depth into social and cultural matters by virtue of its particular tropological approach, which allows artworks to deal with the intricacies of society. Art is able to present, in a lively and enlightening manner, the human aspects, the subjectivities, the cultural predicaments that macro-economy’s numbers cannot reveal.

My curation will explore the economic, social and cultural contrasts and contradictions inherent to the general processes outlined above. I am proposing artists who do not address these issues in a direct or sociological way, but who react to, express, or discuss them using the tropological power of art, creating profound insights to these contemporary problems. The selection includes well-known artists together with up-and-coming ones, since the criteria for choosing them was mainly based on how their works respond to the theme in a critical and provocative way, as well as their excellence and contemporary character.

My selection gathers not only artists who directly refer to the contrasts of swift modernization in the new rising market economies, but also others who create metaphors that can be applied to illuminate these contemporary problems that affect us all around the world. Therefore, it includes artists from the BRIC and other emerging countries, and artists from any other country that can create or have created works that contribute to the show’s goals. The selection looks equally for artists who tackle social problems and for others who are more oriented toward subjectivities, or who connote the exhibition’s general theme in an indirect way. The intention is not to curate an exhibition of straight social comment but a subtle one, which can express and illuminate the complexities involved with great artistic and aesthetic impact.


Artists :

AES+F, Chot Delat, Cinthia Marcelle, Cristina Lucas, Donna Conlon & Jonathan Harker, Fernando Sánchez Castillo, Francesco Clemente,Gonzalo Díaz Cuevas, Jamal Penjweny, Kendell Geers, Marcela Armas, Marcos Ramirez Erre, Marepe, Meiro Koizumi, Mounir Fatmi, Praneet Soi, Sascha Phole, Simryn Gill, Subodh Gupta, Tony Brown, Thomas Hirschhorn, Wilfredo Prieto, Wim Delvoye, Young-hae Chang Heavy Industr

Expositions personnelles I Solo shows (selection)
Ceysson & Bénétière 2019Wilde Gallery 2019CDAN Museum 2018
Göteborgs Konsthall 2018Art Front Gallery 2017Officine dell'Immagine 2017
Galerie De Multiples 2017Analix Forever Gallery 2017Jane Lombard Gallery 2017
Galerie Delacroix 2017Goodman Gallery 2017Lawrie Shabibi 2017
Analix Forever Gallery 2017Maisons des Arts du Grütli 2017ADN Platform 2016
Keitelman Gallery 2016Labanque 2016MMP+ 2016
MAMCO 2015MIAMIBUS 2015Analix Forever 2015
CCC Tours 2014ADN Galeria 2014ADN Platform 2014
Analix Forever 2014Yvon Lambert 2014Museum Kunst Palast 2013
Keitelman Gallery 2013Paradise Row 2013Institut Français de Casablanca 2013
Galerie Fatma Jellal 2013Analix Forever 2013Goodman Gallery 2012
Shoshana Wayne Gallery 2012 Lombard-Fried Projects 2012Galerie Conrads 2011
Fondazione Collegio San Carlo 2011Galerie Hussenot 2011AKBank Sanat 2011
Galerie Hussenot 2010Galerie Conrads 2009FRAC Alsace 2009
Galerie Delacroix IFM 2008Creux de l'enfer 2008Galerie Ferdinand van Dieten 2007
Musée national Pablo Picasso 2007Shoshana Wayne Gallery 2007La maison rouge 2007
Lombard Freid projects 2007Bank galerie 2006CAC d'Istres 2005
Espace des arts Colomiers 2004 CAC Le Parvis 2004Migros museum 2003
Biennales & Triennales I Biennials, Triennials (selection)
13eme Biennale de Dakar 20187th Echigo Tsumari Art Triennale 20181er Biennale de Rabat 2018
57th Venice Biennale 20177eme Biennale d'Architecture de Shenzhen 201711eme Biennale de Bamako 2017
15eme Biennale d'art contemporain Alios! 2017Biennale Poznan 2016Setouchi Triennale 2016
10èmes Rencontres de Bamako 20155th Thessaloniki Biennale 201516th Media art Biennale Wro 2015
1st Trio Biennale, Rio de Janeiro 20152nd Bodrum Biennial 2015Fotofest Biennial 2014
5th Auckland Triennial 201310th Dakar Biennial 2012 White House Biennial 2013
Manif d'Art 6 20123rd Thessaloniki Biennial 201111th Lyon Biennial 2011
54th Venice Biennial 2011XIIth Cairo Biennial 20101st Mediterranean Biennial of Haifa 2010
Port Izmir 2, international triennial of contemporary art 20108th Dakar Biennial 2010Biennale Cuvée 2010
Xth Lyon Biennial 2009Art Tel Aviv 20098èmes Rencontres de Bamako 2009
1st Brussels Biennial 2008Pontevedra Biennial 200824th Biennial Memorial of Nadezda Petrovic 2007
1st Luanda Triennial 2007 52th Venice Biennial 20078th Sharjah Biennial 2007
2nd Seville Biennial 2006 Gwangju biennial 2004 7th Dakar Biennial 2006
4th Dakar Biennial 20007th Biennal Art Media 1999
Expositions collectives I Group shows (selection)
Maison Populaire 2019Bedford Gallery 2019 Evliyagil Museum 2019
Jane Lombard 2019James Cohan 2019Mathaf 2018
MACAAL 2018Fondation Boghossian 2018Sammlung Philara 2018
Nasher Museum of Art 2018Ellen Noël Art Museum 2018Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea 2018
MOCAK 2018Bozar Center for fine arts 2018Philharmonie de Paris 2018
The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery 2018Goodman Gallery 2018Institut Français de Saint Louis 2018
Pensacola Museum of Art 2018 Von der Heydt-Kunsthalle 2018Gifu Museum 2017
Huntsville Museum of Art 2017Bandjoun Station 2017Institut des Cultures d’Islam 2017
Bellevue Arts Museum 2017Mudac 2017Primo Marella Gallery 2017
Goodman Gallery 2017MACAAL 2017Museum De Wieger 2017
Conrads Gallery 2017Galerie Ceysson & Bénétière 2017Keitelman Gallery 2017
Musée du Pays de Hanau 2017Château de Servières 2017CEAA 2017
Fondazione Fotografia Modena 2017H&R Block Artspace 2017Bedford Gallery 2016
Beijing Today Art Museum 2016Hôtel des Arts 2016Museum of Old and New Art 2016
Labanque 2016Les Photaumnales 2016Al Maaden 2016
Kunsthalle Faust 2016Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain de Strasbourg 2016Archives Nationales 2016
Bardo National Museum 2016Arles 2016Musée d'Art Moderne de Troyes 2016
Rotor 2016Goodman Gallery 2016Musée Bartholdi 2016
Institut d’Art Contemporain 2016Santander Art Gallery 2016Brandts & Viborg Kunsthal 2016
Fondazione VIDEOINSIGHT 2015A Tale of a Tub 2015Contemporary Istanbul 2015
ADMAF 2015Goodman Gallery 2015Keitelman Gallery 2015
Galeria Municipal do Porto 2015Fabra i Coats 2015AMOCA 2015
Monastère Royal de Brou 2015CAC La Traverse 2015FRAC Franche-Comté 2015
ZKM 2015The National Library 2015Station 2015
La FabriC - Fondation Salomon 2015Van Abbemuseum 2015The Brooklyn Museum 2015
MMP+ 2015Sharjah Museum 2015Kamel Lazaar Foundation 2015
Sextant & + 2015Gwangju Museum of Art 2014QAGOMA 2014
N.B.K. 2014CAyT Centro de Arte y Technologia 2014Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery 2014
Station 2014Institut du Monde Arabe 2014Art Gallery of Western Australia 2014
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art 2014Palais de Tokyo 2014L'art dans les chapelles 2013
MAD Museum 2013Marseille - Provence 2013V&A Museum 2013
30 ans des FRAC 2013MAC Marseille 2013MAXXI 2013
Museu de Arte Moderna de Salvador de Bahia 2012Institut du Monde Arabe 2012Edge of Arabia 2012
Apexart 2012B.P.S. 22 2012Dorsky Gallery 2012
International Center of Graphic Arts 2012Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art 2011Fondation Blachère 2011
Brooklyn Museum 2011Dublin Contemporary 2011Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts 2011
Museum on the Seam 2011Tri Postal Lille 2011Meeting Point 6 2011
The New School 2010Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil 2010Fondazione Fotografia Modena 2010
Aargauer Kunsthaus 2010KAdE 2010Kunst Museum Bochum 2010
Moscow museum of modern art 2010Art Gallery of Ontario 2010Fondation Gulbenkian 2009
Centro de Arte de Santa Monica 2009Beirut Art Center 2009Salina Art Center 2009
Kunstverein Medienturm Ilz 2008Te Papa museum 2008Studio Museum Harlem 2008
Haus der Kunst 2008Centre Pompidou 2008CAAM 2008
Centro de Arte de Santa Monica 2008Johannesburg Art Gallery 2007CAC Le Parvis 2006
CAPC musée d'art contemporain 2006Bank Galerie 2006Les Abattoirs 2006
Moderna museet 2006Mori art museum 2006Wereldmuseum 2005
Centre Pompidou 2005The Stenersen Museum 2005Saw gallery 2005
Konstmuseum 2005Hayward Gallery 2005Museum Kunst Palast 2004
Tri Postal Lille 20042nd international contemporary art meeting 2003Espacio C 2002
O.N.A. Foundation 1999CAC Castres 1999Musée des beaux-arts de Dôle 1999
Musée des arts décoratifs 1999  
interventions publiques I public space projects (selection)
metavilla 2015Collateral Project to the 12th Havana Biennial 2015Prison Qara Meknès 2015
Art Paris 2015Analix Forever 2014Sculpture Beach Art Dubai 2012
Le Printemps de Septembre 2012Narracje 4 2012Ivry 2010
FIAC Tuileries 2010 Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt 2004