Muck Studies Dept Archive-That-Matters (ATM)
Solo exhibition, Performance
Saturday 16 October 2021, 10 am – 3 pm
Saturday 13 November 2021, 11 am – 4 pm
Saturday 18 December 2021, 11 am – 4 pm
Abdijplein Middelburg (Map)
Geo Wyeth has been 'looking for stars, out of what stinks' in their creation of the installation, performance and video project Muck Studies Dept. (2017 – ongoing). This aggregated research body takes the arduous (and oft-times absurd) task of remapping and unearthing the deeply embedded colonial histories of land, water, air, and the self. Blending personal stories with folklore and speculative narrative, Muck Studies Dept. approaches the qualities of a composite identity with roots in black and queer histories with a mixture of deadpan sincerity and grating humor.
Over its five-year run, the vehicle employed for this research project, a green van, has been a vessel for videos, radio transmissions, performances and screenings. Equipped with a short throw projector, an FM radio transmitter, and a heavy sound system, among other components, this dense and ambitious mobile installation was a time capsule that allows visitors to revisit previous experiments, as well as a site for future performances and happenings. The installation was activated by a performance by the artist.
Geo Wyeth brings the installation to life with a performance on the Abdijplein in Middelburg.
In this performance there is a central figure who is intent on doing the wading-work. He poems about gas coming up from the bottom and stinking up the air, or riffs about the idea of the bottom – about touching the bottom – as a practice of liberation. This figure is interested in encounters and in accounting for what cannot be accounted for. For example, the violence of anti-blackness cannot be accounted for because it’s so vast; it touches everything – like history, it is imminent.
Quote from interview with Geo Wyeth for Flash Art.
Acknowledgements by the artist
I would like to thank co-collaborator Jay Tan, whose technical, structural, and creative expertise made this project altogether possible.
Thanks co-collaborator Simon Lindell for building and design of structural supports.
Thanks to co-collaborator Leonardiansyah Allenda for help with the dashboard and the mud-mixture.
Thank you to co-collaborator Tomi Hillsee for technical support.
Thank you to wizard co-collabroator Kees Reedijk for electronics.
A big thank you to artists Constantina Zavitsanos, Mehranah Atashi, Kevin Beasley, Anna Betbeze, Brandon King, and Every Ocean Hughes. Our conversations and convergences over the last years have deeply informed the ethos of this work. I am extremely grateful for your presence in the world.
Thank you to Iris Ferrer, for believing in the project and providing much-needed logistical support.
Thank you to Louisiana-based environmental consultant, activist, and soil chemist Wilma Subra, whose voice is sampled from a 2019 series of interviews I conducted while on a residency with Mondriaan Fond’s “Deltaworkers” in New Orleans.
And lastly, a note on the van:
The van has been a longtime site of collaboration with Rotterdam-based artist Jay Tan. We have been using the van (named Roxsilde, or Roxy for short) for various collaborative projects since 2016, including for our well-documented “Cinema Enima” project, when we transformed the van into a publicly accessible outdoor movie theater. The van has been heavily used by many friends and community members for various projects, artistic and otherwise. Their presence is felt. Thank you Jay, and thank you Roxy!
The exhibition of Geo Whyeth was the first of three exhibitions part of a collaboration with the Hartwig Art Production | Collection Fund.
The Hartwig Art Production | Collection Fund was established in 2020 and is part of the Hartwig Art Foundation. Every year, the fund supports a group of artists in creating new and ambitious work. The works of art are eventually purchased by the Hartwig Art Foundation and donated to the Netherlands Collection. For 2021-2022, the Hartwig Art Foundation collaborates with five art spaces in the Netherlands to present work by the 15 artists that have been supported with a grant in 2020: Kunstinstituut Melly (Rotterdam), Stroom (Den Haag), Oude Kerk (Amsterdam), Casco Art Institute (Utrecht) and Vleeshal in Middelburg.
As part of a collaboration with the Hartwig Art Production | Collection Fund, Vleeshal showed new works of three artists at various surprising satellite locations in the city of Middelburg.
Other Hartwig Projects
In 2015 Vleeshal kicked of its Nomadic Program, as an extension of its existing exhibition program in Middelburg. In its Nomadic Program Vleeshal goes on tour, organising exhibitions and other events in collaboration with venues in the Netherlands and abroad, such as Art Rotterdam, Amsterdam Art Weekend, the Spring Performance Festival, WIELS Art Book Fair, Brussels and Poppositions, Brussels.