Bemis Center For Contemporary Arts

Liv Schulman: The Gobernment

Opening date to be announced soon.

In a concerted effort to help slow the spread of COVID-19, Bemis Center galleries are temporarily closed and upcoming public programs have been postponed. New dates for upcoming programs will be announced as soon as possible here and via email and social media on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Liv Schulman; Le Goubernement [The Gobernment] (still), 2019; Video; Courtesy of the artist; © ADAGP 2019.

Curated by Sylvie Fortin, Bemis Curator-in-Residence

Liv Schulman: The Gobernment (2019) is a multi-episode video installation that imagines the work and destiny of unconventional and often forgotten women artists who lived in Paris between 1910 and 1980. In the process, The Gobernment ventures beyond the mere critique of phallocentrism to playfully redress the history of 20th-century art. It weaves together lived alternatives that defy the dictates of rationality, reverence, and linear history. The work’s intentional titular misspelling enacts a productive refusal, inscribing difference at the center of authority.

Liv Schulman; Le Goubernement [The Gobernment], 2019 (installation detail), Villa Vassilieff, Paris; Dimensions variable; Courtesy of the artist; Photo: © Aurélien Mole.

A radically reconfigured gallery with no single entry point or sequence of works, no hierarchy, no center or periphery, welcomes visitors. Architectural interventions, sculptural objects, and theatrical props jostle with six moving-image channels, opening up a space that mobilizes all of our faculties. This augmented experience offers a glimpse into a different, more egalitarian world, where power is offset by self-determination, diverse knowledge, sensuality, imagination, and becoming.

Liv Schulman; Le Goubernement [The Gobernment] (detail of still), 2019; Video; Courtesy of the artist; © ADAGP 2019.

In the videos, seven actresses—Eden Tinto-Collins, Agathe Paysan, Catherine Hargreaves, Chloe Giraud, Manuela Guevara, Viviana Méndez Moya (Curtis Putralk), and Nicole Mersey—play over forty-five female-identifying artists. Roles are fluid. Different actresses take turns playing an artist/character, accentuating different dimensions of her life and work. An actress may also play several roles simultaneously, layering life-stories and aesthetic pursuits. Identities circulate, evolve, and sometimes dissolve, echoing the circulation of social, political, and psychological constructs at the heart of the artist’s practice. Real stories, anecdotes, and fictions interweave and shuffle temporalities into a provocatively uncertain present of collective becoming.

Neither a realistic film, a period fiction nor a rational history, The Gobernment is a fictional historical revision that turns words, speech, and images into fluid characters emancipated from phallocratic discourse.

Liv Schulman; Le Goubernement [The Gobernment] (still), 2019; Video; Courtesy of the artist;
© ADAGP 2019.

This exhibition and a survey of Liv Schulman’s video work accompany The New Inflation, a new performance in three episodes, granting Bemis’s visitors unprecedented access to the artist’s accomplishments and creative process. This tripartite project is the first North American presentation of work by Paris-based Argentinian artist Liv Schulman, winner of the 20th edition of the prestigious Fondation d’entreprise Ricard Prize (2018).

Liv Schulman focuses on the ability of language to affect a body. Through her filmed fictions, theatrical performances, lectures, and novelistic writing, she creates characters and collectives who utter logorrheic speeches, interchangeable ghosts ventriloquized by disarticulated monologues, borrowing from the vocabulary of art, liberal economics, Marxist critical theory, or psychotherapy, trying to recreate affects in the economy under which we live. The main resources for her work are the different translations and adaptations of language through the instrumental use of a body. Free from its receiver, detached from its speaker, delivered in inhospitable situations, Schulman tries to see if language allows for a reorganization of a system.

Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts
724 South 12th Street
Omaha, NE 68102
Admission and Parking: FREE
Phone:: 402.341.7130