Foreignments an exhibition by Moran Been-noon, Curated by Sara Muthi
February 22 - April 30 2021
Acculturation is commonly deemed successful when it results in a person or groups’ competence of the predominant language, rituals and values of a culture. Acculturation is not necessarily intentional or directed by the migrants or hosts, but an inevitable process, impossible to avert. The LAB Gallery presents 'Foreignments' a summary of this process through praxis without conclusion. Drawing on her post-migration living, the artist Moran Been-noon thinks about ‘physical roots’ as a condition for belonging, and terminologies like ‘native’ as unattainable properties which are assumed be desired but often unnecessary. This work leans into the understanding that the process of acculturation doesn't necessarily end in a state of belonging.
Been-noon uses the physicality of pronunciation, repeating words again and again while studying the shape of the speakers mouth, jaw and neck as they enunciate to demonstrate the laborious nature of acculturation. This highlights the strenuous process of engaging with a second or third language. Simultaneously she is working to understand the cultural and political impact this mechanism has on everyday life. This exhaustion is shared by the extensive personal archive that is maintained when living as a migrant, particularly in the attempt to become naturalised citizen, through documents, stamps and forms.
Maintaining 'Foreignments' as a process through praxis without conclusion, the work lends itself to various manifestations in virtual and physical space. In partnership with the LAB Gallery to rethink methods of digital dissemination, 'Foreignments: a working title' manifests as an interactive Webapp. The three channel video is activated by touch, allowing users to play more than one video at a time, alluding to the ‘tentacular’ quality of acculturation itself.
'Foreignments' was commissioned by Sara Muthi and was kindly funded by Fingal County Council.
Moran Been-noon is a Dublin-based visual artist and independent curator. Her artwork predominantly includes moving image installations, with a subject matter focus on political identity and post-migration living. Recent work involves exploring physical manipulations of voice, skin, and landscapes, and examines our desire to belong as well as questions of foreignness. Included in this theme is her work as part of Landing Collective, where she collaborates with a dance artist to respond to everyday post-migration life in the form of visuals and movement. Her project 'How To Belong' is included in a Basic Space Dublin group exhibition, titled 'On Belonging', curated by Diana Bamimeke, opening in February 2021 at The Library Project space in Temple Bar.
Sara Muthi, b.1996 in Transylvania, Romania, is a Dublin based performance curator, writer and teaching assistant in the department of Philosophy at Trinity College Dublin. She is a NCAD graduate currently undertaking a MPhil in Philosophy. Recent projects include 'POST-DANCE' (2019) commissioned for the Project Arts Centre developed during her INCUBATE residency at Draíocht. As managing editor of inaction.ie she commissions critical writing on Irish performance art while developing events such as 'Anticipation: Actualisation' (2018) at the NCAD Gallery.