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Contact Tracing

Online Collection Screening Programme

Contact Tracing brings together video works from Mudam’s collection to reflect on our powerful ambivalence to ‘contact’ engendered by the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as our increased awareness of the boundaries that protect and restrict us from proximity and presence. In our current global context, contact is the genesis of infection and necessitates its opposite: isolation. At the one-year mark of confinement and social distancing measures, our collective concern oscillated between possible infection and probable alienation. While this shifting conception of the dangers embedded in moments of contact has been heightened, the works in Contact Tracing demonstrate the ways that artists have consistently felt along the boundaries of contiguity—seeking to expose the crowding together and pulling apart of how we live together, alone and in the world. As philosopher and physicist Karen Barad reminds us: even at a molecular level, contact is an ambivalent event. Because touch is enabled by opposing molecular magnets (or “electro-magnetic repulsion”), contact is actually a process of pushing away.

Contact Tracing is conceived in line with Mudam’s aim to make contemporary art accessible, even when Covid-19-related restrictions inhibit musem visits. The works featured in Contact Tracing demonstrate the diverse nature of Mudam’s collection of international video art, spanning formal experiments, documentation of actions and narrative composition. Inspired by similar online video screening programmes presented by institutions and platforms such as the New Museum, Centre Pompidou, Smithsonian Museums, Performa and many others, Contact Tracing will be available as a playlist of videos for viewers to watch on the Mudam website. The exhibition will be accompanied by a curatorial essay.

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Valérie Mréjen, "Portraits filmés 2", 2003

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Marie Cool Fabio Balducci, "Untitled (4 feuilles de papier, table (180 x 100 cm))", 2006

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Jack Goldstein, "White Dove", 1975

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Helena Almeida, "A Experiencia do Lugar II", 2004

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Wael Shawky, "The Cave (Istanbul)", 2004

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Su-Mei Tse, "L'écho", 2003

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David Zink Yi, "La Cumbia", 1999

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Mark Lewis, "Spadina: Reverse Dolly, Zoom", 2005

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Eva Koťátková, "A Visit at Home", 2009

Credits

Location:
Online Gallery
Curated by:
  • Lauren Wetmore, Curatorial Reasearch Fellow
    with Joel Valabrega, Curator of Performance and Public Programmes

Works by:
  • Helena Almeida
    Marie Cool Fabio Balducci
    Jack Goldstein
    João Maria
    Gusmão and Pedro Paiva
    Eva Kot’átková
    Mark Lewis
    Valérie Mréjen
    Pedro G. Romero with Israel Galván
    Julika Rudelius
    Wael Shawky
    Su-Mei Tse
    Raphaël Zarka
    David Zink-Yi