The exhibition Bastardie is built around the practices of slangs, jargons, and other language experiments as laboratories for aesthetic and social positions. The group exhibition at KADIST proposes the following question: how are ways of speaking in constant productive relationships with forms of doing as well as looking?


Bastardie revolves around what we might call bastard language practices, which intrinsically bear a relationship of contamination and counter-filiation, of dilatation and derivation, of threat and creation—disrupting in turn the social order that a hegemonic language represents and polices. These are language practices that contaminate, disturb, bastardize and soil the “cleanliness” of official languages, thereby expanding the space of enunciation and of collective agency as a result.


The title is a loan from and a tribute to the work of Alice Becker-ho, a linguist who has long examined the inheritance of Roma lexicons to French, while linking these contributions to an element of social danger or the so-called “dangerous classes”. A member of the Situationist International, Becker-ho’s work reflects the rich exchanges, multiple interests and influences, as well as the traffics and contraband on the part of cultural and artistic movements on the slang of those threatening classes; or, to use the title of his work, what it means to inherit in bastardy.


Under the sign of this exploration, various actions, accents, ballads, gestures and punctuations will be grouped in the form of a series of events and an exhibition. Convened collectively, the program will take place over three consecutive events hosting the proposals by choreographer Simon Asencio (June 15) on the collective writing and listening of jargon ballads; by artist Pedro G. Romero (June 22) on the heritages and filiations of flamenco languages; and artist and curator Fatma Cheffi (June 29) on trap and rap experimentations from a decolonial lens. An exhibition gathering devices, KADIST collection pieces, and other invited artworks will provide a scenography to dialogue with the events, absorbing the residues and traces left behind by each activation under the form of a spatial palimpsest.


Bastardie continues and further expands the investigation driving A Convening of Civic Poets—presented in late 2023 at KADIST Paris— into the capacity and performativity of certain linguistic practices of rehearsing and advancing tactics of social enunciation, cultural imagination, and collective (re)definition. Different interpretations of this inquiry are materialized through our programmes and collaborations, constituting together a cycle of research and programming on how ways of naming and expressing ourselves prefigure new ways of living together.

Artists: Clara Amaral, Luz Arcas, Simon Asencio, Cécile Canut, Fatma Cheffi, Diaty Diallo, Garine Gokceyan, Nicoline van Harskamp, Danièle Huillet & Jean-Marie Straub, soto labor, Pickle Bar, Perrate, Pedro G. Romero, sabrina soyer, Cecilia Vicuña, and others.


Exhibition from June 7 to 30, 2024.

KADIST Paris. 19bis/21 rue des Trois Frères, 75018 Paris

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