Jason Dodge materialises a solo show within Mudam group exhibition

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Jason Dodge materialises a solo show within Mudam group exhibition
View of the exhibition Jason Dodge. Tomorrow, I walked to a dark black star, 04.05 — 08.09.2024, Mudam Luxembourg © Photo: Aurélien Mole | Mudam Luxembourg.

LUXEMBOURG.- In the context of the group exhibition A Model, Jason Dodge (b. 1969, Newtown, Pennsylvania) has been invited to conceive an epilogue. Tomorrow, I walked to a dark black star will materialise as a solo show within this group exhibition.

Mudam Director Bettina Steinbrügge comments: ‘In his work, Jason Dodge plays with perception, what we expect to see and what we don’t see – in the museum and in our world. At Mudam, he saw the main body of the group show A Model as a huge universe and with his Epilogue, he sought to end with a small, poetic gesture. He assembles waste found around Mudam and Luxembourg and things that are not valued as art and throws into the galleries what people throw away. You can best appreciate this Epilogue if you really look closely – then it is quite poetic. For Jason, who founded a poetry publishing house, poetry is close to contemporary art because it does the same: you have certain objects and words and then you have to fill in the gaps – the poetry is filling in the gaps – and so is Jason’s art. It’s a way of thinking about coherence and inviting the audiences to fill in the gap with their own ideas.’

An epilogue is understood as a speech or piece of text added at the end of a play or book, often making a brief statement about what happens to the characters after the play or book is finished. The exhibition, as epilogue, becomes at once medium–object–subject, working together to tap into how we perceive things, and subsequently transform them. This unusual way of mounting an exhibition of an artist’s work within an existing exhibition becomes an exploration of the potentials of both a group show and a solo show while disturbing and expanding the ideas of both.

Jason Dodge is interested in the landscape that we see and the landscape of our lives, what we have and what we think, who we connect to and who we distance ourselves from – the things that comprise this work come directly from the landscape we have made together. Think of a pocket emptied out on any day, the traces of a part of us can be seen in bits of paper, some coins, a ticket for something, some dust, proof you were here, proof you were living.

The elements and traces that comprise Dodge’s work remind us that bodies and minds are not displaced from each other. Just as our bodies are part of other systems and organisms and connected to other bodies. Dodge enacts a shared experience in which cause and effect, touching and letting go, are a circular event. These familiar, at times marginal, remains become strange to us through the artist’s gestures. This exhibition Tomorrow, I walked to a dark black star takes on the language contained in existing things and how we transform them over and over.

For the artist, things exist, always in the present tense. While we can trace our relationship to something we can recognise, we can never know its complete story. The title Tomorrow, I walked to a dark black star, a line from a poem by Alfred Starr Hamilton (b. 1914 – 2015, Montclair, New Jersey), is also a found element in the epilogue. The gap in syntax between the future and the past tense highlights the artist’s ability to trouble fixed entities.

In addition to the Epilogue, Dodge has edited the exhibition catalogue of A Model, commissioning Mudam Director Bettina Steinbrügge to write an essay and the graphic designer Julie Peeters to design it.

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