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Mimosa Echard

Born 1986 in Alès (France)

Lives and works in Paris (France)

 

"Myxomycetes resemble robust, mysterious, undifferentiated life forms whose familiarity with the past and the future allows them to cope equally well with the breakdown of our social structures and of the environment; and to dream up, as a confused, glutinous accretion, the forms taken by technology." – Mimosa Echard, 2020

 

Tales from the Plasmodium Network comes in the wake of Mimosa Echard's residency at the Villa Kujoyama in Kyoto in 2019. The first of its kind, this project is structured around mushrooms and myxomycetes, strange organisms occupying a unique place in the life sciences and in a whole series of ecological, futurist and post-apocalyptic realms of the imagination. Setting out to explore the distinctive relationships myxomycetes suggest between humans, nature, and the environment, Echard begins by creating a video game designed to act as the matrix for the exhibition as a whole. The construction of the game hinges on the myxomycetes, which have the particularity of functioning by analogy, the way computers do. In association with developer Andréa Sardin, Echard is working on a series of algorithms aimed at making this proximity tangible, together with the project's collaborative, multi-species character. The video game will unfold as an interactive stroll interspersed with film scenes, coming across as a potential space for deconstruction and emancipation of the genre. Using myxomycetes, then, the task is to address the game over and above considerations of genre and show how it can enable each of us to embody different forms of existence to the point where they intertwine: "Mimosa Echard’s practice is ecstatic and torrential: bodies liquefy, come together and pleasurably unfurl upon a world whose oppressive norms persist in relentless reproduction of the same lie.1"

This practice involves the collecting and gleaning of materials both natural (flowers, medicinal plants, insects, spider webs…) and manufactured (jewellery, clothes, medicines, personal items…). She then brings them together to trigger interaction, proceeding by contamination, creating a gratifying association between living and non-living systems, and in this way exploring the intermediate stages between natural and artificial worlds. Her mix of Pop culture and earthy materiality embraces a broad diversity of processes and media, with the resultant creations simultaneously intimating their own destruction and their return to an earlier evolutionary phase. In this they are retracing a potentially futurist, non-linear, protean form of archaeology. As art critic Julie Ackermann has put it, "Mimosa Echard is a biologist with no inhibitions. Or, rather, a witch, understood as a political, feminist, ecological figure, rejecting the capitalist system and its domination of the body and nature.2"

This solo exhibition by Mimosa Echard, the first on this scale in her career, is the fruit of a long collaboration with the Palais de Tokyo. After an earlier solo show as part of the Modules Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent (2013), she took part in the group exhibitions Le rêve des formes ("The Dream of Forms", 2016) and Futur, ancien, fugitif ("Future, Former, Fugitive", 2019, with the collective fanzine Turpentine).

 

Curator: Daria de Beauvais

 

 

1 Romain Noël, "Pop Love Apocalypse – Encounters with Mimosa Echard", Klima, October 2019, p. 203 (revised translation).

Julie Ackermann, "Mimosa Echard, la sorcellerie du vivant ", Beaux-arts Magazine, January 2018.

Exhibition

From June, 2022