Artist Haegue Yang had been studying the writings and life of Marguerite Duras for several years and is deeply moved by the complexity and incongruities of Duras’s life. In 2010, Yang published a Korean translation of The Malady of Death, which Duras authored as a book with the suggestion that it might be developed for theater or film. Yang is currently pursuing a staging of the work. For this Proposition, the artist opened with some ideas around the pursuit of staging The Malady of Death as well as her current thinking on Duras. On the following day, Yang shared a screening of Robert Wilson’s The Malady of Death followed by discussion.
Propositions is a public forum that explores ideas in development. Inspired by the scientific method of hypothesis, research, and synthesis, each two-day seminar explores a topic of current investigation in an invited speaker’s own artistic or intellectual practice. Over the course of a seminar session, these developing ideas are presented to the public, responded to, “researched,” and discussed to propel the ideas forward in unique ways.
The structure of Propositions is as follows:
Friday, 7:00 PM – Initial proposition and lecture
Saturday, 12:00 PM – Guest speaker responds, followed by a lunch break
Saturday, 3:00 PM – Discussion
One Friday evening per month, an invited artist or cultural thinker will present on an idea in process—the hypothesis—as the seminar topic. This initial presentation introduces the seminar leader’s current thinking on a concept or idea as well as unresolved questions that remain. The next day, starting at noon, an “expert” lecture, screening, performance, or activity presents new perspectives or specific knowledge, followed by a lunch break. In an afternoon discussion, hypothesis, research, and public dialogue converge in an informal working session in the fifth-floor Museum as Hub space at the New Museum.
Propositions is part of the Museum as Hub initiative, a laboratory for art and ideas realized through a partnership of five international arts organizations that includes Insa Art Space, Seoul; the Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City; the Townhouse Gallery of Contemporary Art, Cairo; and the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven. The initiative seeks to support art activities and experimentation; explore artistic, curatorial, and institutional practice; and serve as an important resource for the public to learn about contemporary art from around the world.