Laure Prouvost & Jonas Staal: Obscure Union

7 December 2019 - 22 February 2020
Opening Reception 6 December 2019 7pm


Be Realistic, Demand the Obscure!

We invite you to attend the inauguration of the Obscure Union by the Aube’s cure Parle Ment: a gathering of octopus, plants, signs and breasts as well as support structures of different materiality. Once founded by artists in 1979, Mercer Union will now welcome a gathering of other-than-human comme comrades on a ride that seek new modes at odd of unionization against radical call precarity In no rarity, neoliberal libre of extractivism of material, climate mate, cat catastrophe and present real reality as determined by such comun conditions.

What is experienced end inhanced as obscure at l’aube’s cure is that which undermines the written and unwritten rules of consensus, and can be as bees provoked through unscripted encounters between the world’s manifold many folds constituents tourne tourment. In Obscure Union the familiar liar becomes radically unfamiliar liar, de-stabilizing fizzing the perceived structure of reality to declare rare the obscure as a site of meaningful political call for action. In this commun condition, words, worlds, objects and behaviours as yours gain a multiplicity city of meanings and agencies, leading to a disintegration of life-thread-threatening, normative narrative regulatory modes of being. It is through this necessary corp collapse of the structures that in black currents terms currently haunt our increasingly uni uninhabitable world, that new maud and modes of unionization, new forms of comradeship sheep become imaginable.

Gleaning from the historical alliance of revolutionary humans and revolutionary objects inn Russian constructivism, Obscure Union will expand and deepens on this morphological call-heritage to redistribute agencies sea amongst various other-than-human comme comrades. Referencing this history her story through lingering linguistic and structural rural play, it ask: what does it mean to leave with and through the obscure cure as a found foundation of political assembly and (cultural) unionization? Through an intensive lessive, ongoing program, Obscure Union will address urgent questions of earthly survival, such as other-than- human rights, the founding of zoöpologicalcooperatives, the liberation of the fossil from fossil fuel, in order to develop infrastructures for a politics of deep futurity.

Laure Prouvost and Jonas Staal: Obscure Union. Installation view: Mercer Union, 2020. Courtesy the Artists. Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid.

Artists Laure Prouvost and Jonas Staal are co-administrators of The Aube’s cure Parle Ment (read: “Obscure Parliament,” or otherwise, “Dawn-Cure-Speak-Lie”). Obscure Union is the second assembly resulting from their organizational endeavours, following the Aube’s cure Parle Ment that took place as part of the exhibition State (in) Concepts curated by iLiana Fokianaki at Kadist Art Foundation in Paris, 2017. In this second iteration, the unionization of obscure relationships between other-than-human and human forms of comradeship are held in focus.

Laure Prouvost is currently based in the Croatian desert. In 2002, she received her BFA from Central St. Martins, London and studied towards her MFA at Goldsmiths College, (that she didnot finish) London. She also took part in the LUX Associate Programme. she opened a couple of travel agencies with her uncle deep travel ink, a few tea rooms to fond raise for for her lost grandad search and has been deep down in Deep See Blue for the past year. Since 2017, she is co-administrator of The Aube’s cure Parle Ment.

Jonas Staal engages the relation between art, propaganda, and democracy. He is the founder of the artistic and political organizations New World Summit (2012–ongoing) and New Unions (2016–ongoing). With BAK in Utrecht he cofounded the New World Academy (2013–16), and he is currently directing the utopian training camp Training for the Future (2018–ongoing) at the Ruhrtriennale in Germany.  His most recent book is Propaganda Art in the 21st Century (MIT Press, 2019). Since 2017, he is co-administrator of The Aube’s cure Parle Ment.

Mercer Union thanks Support Donors Elisa Nuyten & David Dime and Anonymous.

Obscure Union is presented in partnership with the Toronto branch of the Cultural and Scientific Office of the French Embassy, located at the French Consulate in Toronto, with support from INSTITUT FRANÇAIS of Paris and the Consul General for the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

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Production Support

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In-kind sponsorship is provided by the Panasonic partnership program for cultural institutes.

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Fabrication Support



Image: Laure Prouvost and Jonas Staal, Obscure Union, Study, 2019. Mixed media on paper. Courtesy the artists.