Art Labor in collaboration with Joan Jonas

Excerpt from “the guide” ,publication accompanied the 57th Carnegie International 2018

We wanted to work with people, not just the art world, says Arlette Quynh-Anh Tran of Art Labor. The people Art Labor worked with on this installation – which is modeled on a Vietnamese “hammock cafe” – include coffee growers in Vietnam’s Central Highlands (the second-biggest global producer after Brazil), members of that country’s indigenous community, family, friends, and the American artist Joan Jonas. A Hammock cafe is basically a truck stop. You are a long-distance driver. Immerse yourself in robusta, the look, the lore, the smell, and even the taste. Then get back on the road.

Introduced by French colonists, coffee was industrialized by the Vietnamese, who take theirs with condensed milk. "Our coffee is sweet, but the history is bitter." And so is the bean. Art Labor compares robusta to a tireless beast and haunting ghost in colonial and scientific chronicles. While high-quality arabica dominates popular imagination and taste, high-octane robusta is the commodity of instant coffee and the filler that gives expresso its froth. When Art labor visited Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s herbarium, little robusta was to be found. 

Botanical drawings float overhead in the form of kites painted by Joan Jonas. The kites here were made by Tung’s father, among others, from bamboo and Dó paper (used in traditional woodblock printing), in the shape of animals and fairies from Jrai and Viet folklore. Jonas, a pioneering video and performance artist, turns drawing into a conjuring act – here bringing figments of jungle life and myth to light.

Botanical drawings float overhead in the form of kites painted by Joan Jonas. The kites here were made by Tung’s father, among others, from bamboo and Dó paper (used in traditional woodblock printing), in the shape of animals and fairies from Jrai and Viet folklore. Jonas, a pioneering video and performance artist, turns drawing into a conjuring act – here bringing figments of jungle life and myth to light.

 

DATE

Oct 13, 2018–Mar 25, 2019

LOCATION

Carnegie Museum of Art
4400 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

 

Joan Jonas

Draw on the wind, 2018

Hand painted kites

Dimension variable

Art Labor

Art Labor Hammock Café 
Coffee service during Carnegie International 57th edition 
11am-1pm everyday (except Tuesday) at Heinz Galleries, Carnegie Museum of Art

Vietnamese Robusta coffee service

Dimension variable

Ground , 2018

Coffee powder, found iron roofings, coffee tree trunks, glue, Various dimensions 

Even the ear is cracked, 2018 

Sound