Flexible Thoughts / Pensées Flexibles

Drawing on their entomological research and lived experiences of political upheaval, collectif mmmmm present a performance/exhibit that juxtaposes non-human sociality with memories of injustice, magic and human conditioning.

The performance/exhibition has been envisaged in two parts, one at the entomological museum, La Cité des Insectes in Nedde, who hosted their residency, and the other at Treignac Projet. La Cité des Insectes performance was presented during a walk in the woods, the Treignac performance installed in a part of the center’s site still in ruin. During their residency collective mmmmm practiced methods of re-articulating preserved insects with formaldehyde and alcohol. Referencing the work on memory and representations of space by the Renaissance thinker and occultist Robert Fludd, collective mmmmm start their presentation with the architecture of public gathering and its possible re-articulations.

The performance, in five parts, sketches an arc from an opening ritual of communion, where we are invited to eat insects, via insect-inspired programs of movement and exchange, through to direct references to political resistance. A constant thematic throughout the performances is the body of the insect. The insect’s body both in its living form as socially complex with weird capabilities, and its body as object of study, collected, archived, classified; subjected. The insect body appears in various forms, as symbolic exchange, as animal labour, in erotic or menacing relation, but always with an undercurrent that transposes these strange exchanges onto our own political and social frame.

The horrors of despotism, injustice and cruelty haunt components of the insect performances but these are always attenuated by a fragile and unlikely intimacy. Within dark corners, obscure evolutions point to something we can do. A magical sympathy of elements, of microcosms and the whole, of the weird experience of finding yourself other than expected; these all open out from the nearly Kafkaesque scenography of the exhibition to underline the plasticity of relations and thoughts and how they can be otherwise.

collective mmmmm are Adrian Fisher and Luna Montenegro, visual artists researching ideas of the body, consumption, technology and locality, based in London, UK. They work in performance, video, installation, drawing, text and sound

special thanks to Regine & Jim Elliot, La Cité des Insectes and entomologist Frédéric Hauwel