Cherish is happy to present Luna Mahoux’s first solo exhibition Logobi J.T.M. featuring works by Debbie Alagen.
The exhibition is a tribute to Logobi, a dance (then became a cultural movement), that originated in Ivory Coast. The dance routines are usually humorous, from miming being handcuffed to portraying bird flu symptoms. Logobi went from being an Ivorian local dance to a working class Black French youth craze in Paris’ banlieues in the late 2000s and early 2010’s. Dancers would join groups and perform in subway stations, shopping malls, and even on the street. They were establishing a club ethos at a time when clubs were rejecting them and youth centers were either bankrupt or closed due to austerity. In a culture where colorblindness and assimilationism are institutionalized, these displays of African joy were acts of resistance.
In her new body of work, Luna Mahoux draws upon the economy of poor images. She uses screenshots from YouTube videos, cell phones cameras as well as TikToks to fight against capitalist assimilative gluttonyin a cybernetic world in which every move and sound as well as bodies producing them are instantly assimilated in new tropes. The contemporary hierarchy of images is based not only on sharpness, but most importantly on resolution: the more you see, the more you are seen. In the words of Hito Steyerl in her 2008 text In Defense of the Poor Image, the poor image has the power to ‘construct anonymous global networks just as it creates a shared history’.
In the case of Logobi, rappers and underground afro-diasporic electronic artists took cues and visual attributes of the movement in their tracks or music videos. In one of the two videos, Mahoux interviews key figures of Logobi who tell us about the birth and rise of the movement in France and its influence on other Black communities and how this phenomenon was projected onto social media as we can see with Mahoux’s second video, a collection of TikTok dances.
Against the cultural pathology of forgetting, Luna Mahoux’s works are interpreted as traces preserved in cybernetic strata of digitized meanings. What is unearthed must be more «real» and more «true» than all that was accumulated since then, to construct the present. In that sense, Debbie Alagen’s sculptures mimicking fossilized movements act as a physical witness of a forgotten cultural flow.
Like archaeologists, Luna Mahoux and Debbie Alagen are interested in exposing concealed knowledge and movements, penetrating and dwelling in times other than the present and investigating its influence in our social, cultural and political realities, thus making the invisible visible.
Cherish and the artist would like to specially thank Christelle Oyiri, Yann Mwad, Lucie Pavy, Elmelek and Dylan.
With the support of Fondation Nestlé pour l’Art.