Anthea Hamilton
October 19

Anthea Hamilton presents « Decade of Emotion »

Performance in the Auditorium, seated.

  In resonance with Mike Kelley’s exhibition Ghost and Spirit, the Bourse de Commerce has curated a programme of concerts and performances that address the importance of music in Mike Kelley's work. This programme draws on his influences, close collaborators, and a generation of musicians and performers who have been inspired by his musical explorations, from the life force of Destroy All Monsters to his dummy band Idiot Bliss, conceiving all his tracks live. 

British artist Anthea Hamilton, known for her installations, sculptures, and performances, is premiering Decade of Emotion in the Auditorium at the Bourse de Commerce, the story of a fictional rock group modelled on the progressive rock movement of the 1960s and 70s. 

Inspired by a musical genre that is both old-fashioned and modern, these whimsical yet assertive musicians waver between formalism and eclecticism, poetry and technicality. The music, stage design, and costumes of Decade of Emotion, with their multiple influences, emulate the aesthetics of progressive rock to create a narrative territory of personal histories, ghosts, and confessions. At each moment, the work explores the boundaries between inter-generational reality and the formation of musical taste. 

Decade of Emotion came to Anthea Hamilton in a vision of the open-air inner courtyard at the National Museum of Ethnology in Osaka, designed by Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa (1934-2007), in which reproductions of works of past civilizations are exhibited on a large plinth of ink-coloured stone. In this space, the heaviness of the stone figures evokes minimalist art and ambiguity, gravity and ornamentation, and a constant dialogue of materials and forms. Anthea Hamilton explains: “I wanted to use this image as a model for a progressive rock group, as a sonic and visual exploration, and above all, it allowed me to work for the first time with sound at a large scale.” 

Decade of Emotion resembles the formation of an ephemeral music group, a trajectory of celestial bodies confined to one day, one concert, one album, and just one song.  Together, the band members develop a range of their own gestures, actions, and styles, thereby becoming one with the Auditorium at the Bourse de Commerce. Lying between reality and fiction, Decade of Emotion shows us Anthea Hamilton as she sings, but without hearing her, as well as performers who play, but without understanding them. A decade may suffice to absorb all the emotions they have traversed. 

This performance forms part of the curatorial project Pourquoi Paris? initiated by exhibition curator Julie Boukobza, which will also take place at the Centre Pompidou and the Paris club Tango on this same day.

Artist: Anthea Hamilton 

Curated by: Julie Boukobza

Movement director: Delphine Gaborit 

Performers: Naim Belhaloumi and Alphonse Eklou

Drums: Valentina Magaletti 

Musical supervisor: Andrew McDonnell

With special thanks to kaufmann repetto and Thomas Dane Gallery for their support. 

With special thanks to Herno.

Anthea Hamilton, born in London in 1978, is a British visual artist who graduated from the Royal College of Art and whose work comprises sculpture, installation, film, and performance. Anthea Hamilton’s installations propose a fragmented, alternative reality in which gender roles, sexuality, domestic life, and traditions stemming from different cultures are no longer perceived as established clichés, instead as mobile notions. 

Anthea Hamilton’s recent and upcoming exhibitions include: Paraventi: Folding Screens from the 17th to the 21st centuries, Prada Fondation, Milan; Baroque, Champe La Combe, Biarritz, France (2023); Cold, Cold Heart, kaufmann repetto, Milan (2022); Mash Up, M HKA, Belgium (2022); Primetime, commissioned by the Hayward Gallery, London, England (2022); The Prude, Thomas Dane Gallery, London, England (2019); The New Life, Secession, Vienna, Austria (2018); and The Squash, Tate Britain, London, England (2018). 

Pourquoi Paris? is a curatorial project by exhibition curator Julie Boukobza that began in 2022 with the artist Michael Dean. This year, Pourquoi Paris? has invited British artist Anthea Hamilton. This initiative provides an opportunity to an established, mid-career artist who in most cases has not exhibited very extensively in France to conduct their practice at various sites across Paris for just one week in October, during the Paris+ par Art Basel contemporary art fair. Anthea Hamilton’s project Decade of Emotion will also be performed at the Centre Pompidou on 19 October at 6:30 p.m. on the 5th floor amidst the collections, and it will conclude that same evening with a performance at Paris’ legendary club Tango. 

In resonance with Mike Kelley’s exhibition Ghost and Spirit, the Bourse de Commerce has curated a programme of concerts and performances: 

- On 14 September, American artist Will Benedict presents the musical performance Pandemonium 

- On 14 October, a concert by the Japanese group Marginal Consort

- On 15 October, a concert by the American trio Dick Slessig Combo

- On 20 October, a concert by Sun Ra Arkestra and by American musician KESSWA, with an introductory lecture by French journalist Joseph Ghosn

- On 21 October, Loris Gréaud and Lee Ranaldo present Cortical: Soundtrack for a Monograph

- On 7 February the artist Lily McMenamy will premiere her latest solo theatre piece “A Hole is a Hole” and the singer Bernardino Femminielli presents his concert « pot-pourri »

- On 16 February, on the occasion of the closing of this exhibition, the Bourse de Commerce and New York label Blank Forms are hosting a final evening of performances that combine poetry, noise, and extreme rock music with John Sinclair, Junko, Cannibal, Lizzi Bougatsos & Marc Edwards