Mar 09 2015
Conversation | Artist Mai-Thu Perret with Curator Fabrice Stroun
Mon | 7 pm
Mai-Thu Perret is known for her multidisciplinary, installation-based practice that combines feminist politics with literary texts, homemade crafts and 20th century avant-garde aesthetics. Primary inspiration for Perret’s work stems from her fictional narrative The Crystal Frontier, which the artist has been writing since 1999. This ongoing story follows a group of women who, in an attempt to escape capitalism and patriarchal convention, form a commune called New Ponderosa Year Zero in the remote desert of Southwestern New Mexico.
The language of feminism is only one of numerous voices Perret invokes within her body of work. Constructivism, Marxism, theater, Bauhaus design, nature, the occult, Eastern religions, Art Nouveau, and geometric abstraction are among the diverse subjects that are referenced. Her continually expanding narrative and installations generate a space for Perret to engage these different histories and explore how objects function within and influence the social systems they inhabit.
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Mai Thu Perret was born in Geneva and studied at Cambridge University and the Whitney Independent Study Program, New York. She has been awarded both the 2011 Zurich Art Prize and le Prix Culturel Manor (2011) and took part in ILLUMInations (curated by Bice Curiger) at the 54th Venice Biennale. In 2016, Mai-Thu Perret will be the subject of a solo exhibition at the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas. Curating has played an important role in her practice since its inception. Among the shows she has organized Voids: A Retrospective (Centre Pompidou, Paris and Kunsthalle Bern, with John Armleder, Mathieu Copeland, Gustav Metzger and Clive Philpot).
Fabrice Stroun, who lives and works in Switzerland, has co-curated with Mai-Thu Perret close to twenty exhibitions, including a two-year program at Forde, Espace d’Art Contemporain, L’Usine (Geneva), as well as shows at Circuit (Lausanne), Galerie Francesca Pia (Bern), the 2002 National Expo (Murten, with Johannes Gachnang and Daniel Baumann), and 27 Canal (New York, with Carissa Rodriguez and Daniel Baumann). Together they organized Valentin Carron’s first solo exhibition, Saison Morte, in 2000.