Psychic Wounds: Another Idea | Renée Green’s Recent Projects

Edmond Laforest Edmond Laforest, 1988. Detail. Wood and mixed media on canvas
ACT at MIT

“Before the global pandemic broke out, it seemed for a brief moment that we might be on the verge of bidding adieu to the internet, that we once again might be social without the help of digital media, that we might be able to kick our screen addiction. But all that changed with the arrival of COVID 19 and the need (and compulsion) to spend more and more time connecting on-line resumed with urgency. In this rush to re-engage with each other on the internet, we were able to feel comforted from being in touch virtually, yet we have also registered the intense psychological strain of augmenting our quarantined existence with the virtual.”

Mike Schuh & Zachary Cahill, Another Idea, an actual conceptual art exhibition, exhibition statement, 2020

“With the repeated mention of the category of “Other,” another seldom-enunciated and rather hazy and well-sheathed category comes to mind, that of non-otherness, an insistent centralness that assumes itself to be primary and further assumes itself to constitute the norm. About this category we hear very little.”

Renée Green, I Won’t Play Other to Your Same, 1990

While the COVID 19 pandemic continues to disrupt the global flows of movement and everyday life as we knew it, and the United States is overtaken yet again by civic unrest due to its ongoing structural violence, artists and cultural institutions worldwide have attempted to address our current condition, all the while experimenting with new forms of presentation and access to art and thought that might assist us in navigating our fraught present, and forge paths forward to “a different reality.”

Amidst this context, ACT would like to highlight a selection of projects that artist and ACT Prof. Renée Green has been engaged with during these past months; these involve online projects and book exhibitions, as well as physical presentations of her work as humans try to tentatively return to a changed world.

Title: Psychic Wounds: On Art & Trauma

Format: Group exhibition

Location: The Warehouse, Dallas, TX

Dates: February 6-November 20, 2020

Renée Green’s work in the exhibition: Edmond Laforest, 1988. Wood and mixed media on canvas

Other artists in the exhibition: Kai Althoff, Georg Baselitz, Lucio Fontana, General Idea, Robert Gober, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Mona Hatoum, Eva Hesse, William Kentridge, Yayoi Kusama, John Latham, Glenn Ligon, Robert Mapplethorpe, Bruce Nauman, Sigmar Polke, Carol Rama, Gerhard Richter, Mimmo Rotella, Cindy Sherman, Kazuo Shiraga, Kiki Smith, and many others.

From the press release: “Psychic Wounds: On Art & Trauma examines over 60 international artists whose memory of historical trauma has provided them with a unique power to generate works of art. Although there have been important examples of art that address wounding, scarring, and healing throughout the 20th century, the proliferation of violent imagery since World War II has led to new kinds of artworks that marshal consciousness of traumatic events and their cultural processing. These developments in art practice run parallel with the emergence of “trauma studies” in the mid-1980s, which confront the repercussions of psychoanalysis, the Holocaust, global conflict, sexual violence, and race and gender discrimination.”

Title: Post Hoc

Format: Online exhibition

Location: Nick Montfort’s website

Dates: Ongoing

Renée Green’s work in the exhibition: Yellow Melting Like a Firework Petal, from Space Poem #7 (Color Without Objects: Intra-Active May-Words), 2020. 800 px x 610 px JPEG

Other artists and contributors in the exhibition: Agnieszka Kurant, Christian Bök, Fox Harrell, Paul Stephens, and others

Exhibition statement: “Please enjoy Post Hoc, a show I’ve put together with generous contributions from a baker’s dozen artists and eight writers. There was no pre-established theme for Post Hoc, which was prompted by our inability to get to IRL galleries and museums. Artists were simply asked for digital images, any digital image they considered an artwork. (Several works in the show do have other manifestations.) The work in the show is all from 2020. I solicited 1000–1200 character responses to each piece.” Nick Montfort

Title: The Unknown Dimension

Format: Book exhibition

Publisher: Maxwell Graham, Essex Street, New York, NY

Publishing date: May 2020

Renée Green’s work in the publication: Sigetics Color Series: Gertrude Stein, 2011; William Morris, 2011; Gilles Deleuze, 2001; each, letterpress and digital print, 8 ½ x 7 ½ in.

Other artists in the exhibition: Cameron Rowland, Cheyney Thompson, Hans Haacke, Jimmie Durham, Christine Kozlov, Louise Lawler, Maria Eichhorn, Henrik Olesen, John Knight, Park MacArthur, Rosemary Trockel, Sturtevant, Mai-Thu Perret, Yutaka Matsuzawa, and many others.

Exhibition statement: “Much is uncertain and more unknown.

The elements of art that I live for are the objects and the interactions. Not getting much of either in online viewing rooms and pdf previews. There is no dust in an online viewing room. There are no torn pages in a pdf preview.

In the tradition of Eau de Cologne, Continuous Project, Art and Project, Scorched Earth, Avalanche, North Drive Press, and the Whole Earth Catalog, in this moment without a space to go to share the works we love, we will publish an exhibition venue.

The Unknown Dimension shares its title with the longest, possibly most complex, and certainly my favorite, record by Jack Goldstein. It also addresses certain conditions of our context.

Part Conceptual Art Exhibition / Part Mail Order Sales Catalog.” Maxwell Graham

Title: Another Idea, an actual conceptual art exhibition

Format: Online exhibition

Location: Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry, University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill.

Dates: June 1-July 31, 2020

Renée Green’s work in the exhibition: Code: Survey, 2006. Website

Other artists in the exhibition: Victor Burgin, Theaster Gates, Liam Gillick, Susan Hiller, Antoni Miralda, Pope L., and others

From the press release: “Rather than approaching this exhibition as a virtual version of something that might otherwise live offline, Another Idea is devised specifically to question the relationship between the space an artwork occupies and what form(s) that artwork might take; i.e. conceptual art. We have our minds on early Conceptualist and Fluxus practices as well as those of artists from ensuing generations whose work begs the question: if not solely within a singular resulting output, then where is the work? Although much of this work can and does take a form, the connection between the final result and intent of the work remains malleable.”

Title: H or the Audience

Format: Group exhibition

Location: Fri Art, Kunsthalle Fribourg, Switzerland

Dates: June 6-July 5, 2020

Renée Green’s work in the exhibition: Thirty Minutes Out of My Life Six Days a Week, 1996; Camino Road, 1994; Culture Tour, 1994. Each work, video, color, sound

Other artists in the exhibition: AMAK, Betâ, Costanza Candeloro, ENCOR studio, feldermelder, Ivory A Ivy, Axelle Stiefel aka The Operator, Bernhard Zitz, and others

From the press release: “The definition of an audience is slippery. It comes from an ancient constellation of medias, of radio, or television. H or the audience calls for a reflection on the information that brought you here, on the way you consume it, or it consumes you. Which audience counts? The one of your online stream, or the one that joins onsite? Why should an audience be reduced to a number or designed by target keywords? What separates the audience from the listener?”

Title: Global(e) Resistance

Format: Group exhibition

Location: Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris

Dates: July 29, 2020-January 4, 2021

Renée Green’s work in the exhibition: Partially Buried, 1996; Partially Buried Continued, 1997; each, digital film, color, sound; Wavelinks: Activism and Sound, 2002; video, color, sound

Other artists in the exhibition: Georges Adéago, Yto Barrada, Song Dong, Latoya Ruby Frazier, Meschac Gaga, Ibrahim Mahama, Teresa Margolles, Barthélmy Togud, Sue Willianson, Yin Xiuzhen, and many others

From the press release: “This exhibition concentrates on the expression of political protest during decolonization, and the collapse of communist ideologies after 1989, while also addressing current alternative readings of history by way of excavation and recording. It takes as its starting point two seminal works from the 1990s in the Centre Pompidou’s collection: the performance The Couple in the Cage (1993), filmed by Paula Heredia, in which Coco Fusco and Guillermo Gómez-Peña question the ongoing prevalence of colonial stereotypes, and the film Partially Buried (1996), in which Renée Green highlights the role of subjective memory in the writing of history.”

Title: After la vida nueva

Format: Online exhibition

Location: Whitney Museum of American Art, Independent Study Program (ISP); Artists Space, New York, NY

Dates: August 7-31, 2020

Renée Green’s work in the exhibition: Partially Buried, 1996; Partially Buried Continued, 1997; each, digital film, color, sound

Other artists in the exhibition: Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Raúl Zurita, Rummana Hussain, Catalina Parra, Alan Michelson, and Cici Wu