Jean-Luc Moulène and the Protocol of Abstraction
Distributed for Sequence Press
Essay inspired by conversations with the artist Jean-Luc Moulène addressing abstraction as a multifaceted project in the general domain of thought, and as a specific process of artistic experimentation.
The fruit of numerous conversations with the artist Jean-Luc Moulène, Reza Negarestani's essay addresses abstraction as a multi-faceted project in the general domain of thought, and as a specific process of artistic experimentation.
How can abstraction be so apparently ubiquitous in contemporary art, and yet so nebulously defined? “We have all heard of abstraction, but no one has ever seen one….” In Moulène's work, Negarestani discovers a renewal of the constitutive gesture of abstraction, rooted in the dialectic between form (mathematics) and sensible matter (physics). At once sensory, cognitive, and political, the disturbing force of the work compels us to reconnect the parochial art-historical notion of abstraction to a more comprehensive understanding of the term. Perhaps such a “formal cruelty of thought” is capable of “reactivating abstraction as a vector of disjunction and unity of art, philosophy, and science.”
Published by Sequence Press on the occasion of Jean-Luc Moulène's exhibition Torture Concrete, September 7–October 26, 2014, at Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York.