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Deviance, performance, resistance.

Possessed is a multidisciplinary exhibition that brings together over 25 international artists. It explores the relationship between resistant or excluded bodies and esoterisms: a means to reappropriate and perform feminist, queer or decolonial identities.

Necromancy and spiritism, divination (astrology, fortune-telling, palmistry), magic and alchemy (spells, potions, elixirs) are among those gestures and rituals whose force springs forth from a body in movement. The occult only acquires meaning through performance. It is banished bodies that seize hold of such acts. The occult is the
science of deviant bodies. It is necessary to be excluded and, in return, to exclude oneself from social, religious or economic norms in order to become a witch or a voodoo priest, to converse with spirits and let oneself be carried away by them. In this sense, the occult sets itself up as resistance against dogma, patriarchy, dominant powers, religions, accepted knowledge systems: in other words, the majority. By its nature, it is that which is hidden and other. It is that which reveals.

Possessed brings together sculpture, video, painting, installation. It is further activated by performances that take place within an architectural scenography designed by Mr. & Mr., and a lighting design by Serge Damon, in which the visitor becomes the main actor of a quasi-cinematographic experience.

The exhibition once more allows MO.CO. to offer direct support to artists through the production of a large number of new works, in particular those of Montpellier-based artists Nicolas Aguirre, Jimmy Richer and Chloé Viton, as well as French and international artists, including Raphaël Barontini, Lewis Hammond, Jean-Baptiste Janisset, Paul Maheke, or Apolonia Sokol.

A full programme of performances, talks and screenings will complete the exhibition. Possessed has a particular resonance with the history of Montpellier, a city known for its history and tradition tied to the Faculty of Medicine, which in 2020 celebrates its 800th anniversary.

A richly illustrated, bilingual catalogue, published by Silvana Editoriale and designed by Atelier Tout va bien, brings together specially commissioned contextual essays and critical texts. An essay by Marianne Derrien adopts a transhistorical approach to discuss magic and expand upon the themes introduced by the exhibition. In addition, a plurality of voices offer a critical analysis of each artist’s work, with texts by Camille Bardin, Margaux Bonopera, Caroline Chabrand, Giulia Civardi, Thomas Conchou, Julie Crenn, Chris Cyrille, Cédric Fauq, Anya Harrison, Caroline Honorien, Eliel Jones, Ingrid Luquet-Gad, Flora Katz, Franklin Melendez, Pedro Morais, Laureen Picaut, Taddeo Reinhardt and Barbara Sirieix.


Artists of the exhibition :

Nicolas Aguirre, Kelly Akashi, Nils Alix-Tabeling, Jean-Marie Appriou, Raphaël Barontini, Sedrick Chisom, Pauline Curnier Jardin, Iain Forsyth et Jane Pollard, Laura Gozlan, Lewis Hammond, M. Mahdi Hamed Hassanzada, Anna Hulačová, Jean-Baptiste Janisset, Joachim Koester, Paul Maheke, Pierre Molinier, Myriam Mihindou, Nandipha Mntambo, Antonio Obá, Jimmy Richer, Apolonia Sokol,Chloé Viton, Dominique White.

Et des performances et œuvres hors les murs de Pierre Huyghe, Latifa Laâbissi, Luara Learth Moreira, PEREZ.

Curators : 

Vincent Honoré, Director of Exhibitions MO.CO., with Caroline Chabrand, Curator MO.CO., and Anya Harrison, Curator MO.CO., assisted by Laureen Picaut, Intern MO.CO.