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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

 

The exhibition Sporal (1) comes in the wake of Mimosa Echard's residency at the Villa Kujoyama in Kyoto (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 with developer Andréa Sardin a video game designed to act as the matrix for the exhibition.

The construction of the game hinges on the myxomycetes, which have the particularity of possessing 721 sexual types. The video game, a collaborative and multi-species project, 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 how the game 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." (2)

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 a new 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." (3)

This personal exhibition by Mimosa Echard, the first on this scale in her career, is the fruit of a long collaboration with 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 The Dream of Forms (2016) and Future, Former, Fugitive (2019, with the collective fanzine Turpentine).

 

Curator: Daria de Beauvais

(1) Sporal: in botany, relating to spore, reproductive cell of most cryptogamous plants and some protozoa (Encyclopædia Universalis Online).

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

(3) Julie Ackermann, "MimosaEchard, la sorcellerie du vivant ", Beaux-arts Magazine, January 2018.

Exhibition

Spring 2022