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Tania Mouraud

Tania Mouraud was born in 1942 in Paris, France. Her initial foray into the arts was the auto-da-fe of her paintings (performance in Villejuif, France, 1969). She started to question the mechanism of perception by creating the Initiation Rooms, a series of white-lit sensory environments inviting musicians including Terry Riley and La Monte Young to play their music during the exhibition (Turin, 1971). With Memory of a Non-Existent Seeing (PS1, New York, 1977), Mouraud embraced the analytical tools of conceptualism: "The sentence forms in the mind as a result of grouping separate visual perceptions, and, as such, is never perceived but conceived. Once conceived it declares itself to be: memory of a non-existent seeing." In 1977-78, the City Performance No.1 was one manifestation of a universal form of protest. "NI" means both "neither" and "nor" in French. She had this word displayed in a very graphic black-and-white font on 54 billboards throughout the city of Paris. This was followed by black-and-white wall paintings and wood reliefs of the 1980s, which further engaged the responsibility of the artist, including the Black Power and Black Continent series, both exhibited at the Power Plant in Toronto in 1992. A wall painting now on permanent display at the Centre Pompidou in Paris states: “what you see is what you get" (WYSIWYG, 1989-2007); another at the FRAC Lorraine in Metz asks, "How can you sleep?" (HCYS, 2005). Recently, photography, filming, and sound composition prevailed in Mouraud's work. Her recent digital series Borderland (2008) sign her return to photography, long after the early gelatin silver prints of the Made in Palace series (1981). Her most recent video and sound installations include La Fabrique (2006) created for Tri Postal in Lille, France; Ad Infinitum (2009) for the Chapel choir of the Musee des Beaux-Arts in Nantes, France; Face to Face (2009) for the Musee Bourdelle in Paris; Once upon a Time, projected on the City Hall of Toronto for the Nuit Blanche 2012 From 1976 to 2005, Tania Mouraud was a tenured Professor of Intermedia at Ecole des Beaux-Arts (ERSEP) Tourcoing, France. In 2009, she was appointed to the rank of Chevalier in the Order of Merit by the French Minister of Culture and in 2013 to the rank of Chevalier Of the Legion d'Honneur.


Raphael Cuir Interview by Tania Mouraud

Today, we have perhaps lost sight of the central issues of art criticism. With the weight and importance of the art market, we are expected to believe that we no longer need criticism. In fact it’s entirely the opposite.


The Brooklyn Rail

APRIL 2023

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