The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) is pleased to continue its collaboration with contemporary art event MOMENTA Biennale de l’image. For this 17th edition, whose theme is Sensing Nature, the MMFA welcomes Anne Duk Hee Jordan for her first Canadian installation, Intimacy of Strangers (through January 2, 2022), in which this Berlin-based Korean artist considers possible avenues for harmonious coexistence and a “becoming-with” on a damaged planet.
Intimacy of Strangers portends a hybrid future, where terrestrial and aquatic worlds interlace and scenes of complex interspecies cohabitation unfurl. Combining the speculative flips of science fiction with the factual approach of a nature documentary, the installation evokes the diversity and fluidity of existences from a perspective of community and interspecies equity.
The installation is centered on the two-channel video Staying with the Trouble. The title is inspired by the book of the same name by feminist scholar Donna Haraway, who thinks of human and other-than-human lives as inseparably linked. Anne Duk Hee Jordan teases out the planetary connections between monarch butterflies, amphibians, mushrooms and a myriad of other life forms. Some of these are robotic creatures made by the artist. They are both cyborgs and a critique of the quick techno-fixes intended to solve ecological and social crises. The exhibition proposes that we ask what kinds of relations we want to cultivate.
“Jordan imagines a world in which relations between objects and subjects are disrupted, weaving sensual and symbiotic reciprocities into a narrative by exploring the idea of a lasting partnership and commitment among different entities,” Stefanie Hessler, guest curator of the 17th edition of MOMENTA Biennale de l’image, said.
“The MMFA is very proud to collaborate with MOMENTA and showcase the work of Anne Duk Hee Jordan to the public. With Intimacy of Strangers, the artist invites us to observe life on Earth from an unexplored angle and imagine a future for our planet in which different species find new and peaceful ways to cohabitate,” Mary-Dailey Desmarais, Chief Curator, MMFA, said.
About the artist
Born in Korea in 1978, Anne Duk Hee Jordan currently lives in Germany. She builds her practice around the entangled relations between humans and nonhumans. Driven by her fascination with marine life, technology, sexuality, nutrition, and ecology, she creates installations in which organic materials and robotic creatures merge to offer a reflection on sociopolitical issues among the living and nonliving.
Anne Duk Hee Jordan studied at the Akademie der Künste in Berlin and completed her MFA at the Institut für Raumexperimente under the direction of Olafur Eliasson. Her work has been shown in many galleries and museums around the world, including Kunsthaus Hamburg (Germany) and Moderna Museet Malmö (Sweden), as well as at art events such as the Beaufort Triennial of Contemporary Art (Belgium), the Lofoten International Art Festival (Norway), and the Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art (RIBOCA) (Latvia).