Jean-Luc Moulène: Torture Concrete
26 Aug 2014

JLM.jpg Jean-Luc Moulène
Torture Concrete

September 7 – October 26, 2014
Opening reception: Sunday, September 7, 6-8 PM
Miguel Abreu Gallery
88 Eldridge Street / 36 Orchard Street
New York, NY 10002
212.995.1774 ,

“Anyone who does not recognize and embrace the formal cruelty of thought is not fit for the labor of abstraction. Anyone who is not suited to the labor of abstraction cannot liberate thought from its idleness and from its oppressive determination by its own present image i.e. what it is or what it is supposed to be. […]
The greatest merit of Moulène’s work is that he is perhaps the only living artist whose entire project is systematically devoted to changing the transformative dimension of thought by manipulating and disturbing the general configuration of its structure – that is, the relation between its tendencies and local instantiations. For him, the task of art is rediscovered not in its ostensible autonomy but in its singular power to rearrange and destabilize the configurational relations between parameters of thought, parameters of imagination and material constraints that structure and parameterize the cognitive edifice. It is this configurational instability that allows for the transition of thought to a new stage by widening its scope of synthesis (i.e. the differentiation and integration of thought). However, the evolving task of art can never be entirely approached from within art itself as a particular mode of thought, but only in the context of the general structure of thought that makes such a task possible and renders it consequential in terms of the role it plays for the transformation of thought. This is where, by approaching the task of art in terms of the self-transformative capacities and opportunities of thought – its propensity to systematically be cruel to itself, to violently rise above what determines it – Moulène makes two consequential moves: Firstly, he attempts to redefine the consequentiality of art in terms of what makes the task of art possible and legitimizes such a task within a much broader context. Secondly, by approaching the designated task of art by way of the general configuration that enables such a task (i.e. the positive destabilizing-stabilizing loop through which thought finds new answers to perennial questions of ‘what to think’ and ‘what to do’), Moulène seeks to outline new objectives for art and to revise its task.
The entire task of thought is to redefine its functional roles and cumulatively liberate itself from the grip of any external cause that determines it and any telos that limits its functional ascension. A local field of thought – be it art or philosophy – that does not reinvent its task in order to adapt to this general goal has no justification whatsoever for its existence. Just as biological evolution has no tolerance for the lack of functional adaptation, the functional evolution of thought has no patience for a mode of thought that refuses to rise to the status of the noetic structure that supports it. A specific mode of thought that does not raise itself to the general status of thought is obsolete and will be weeded out by the very thought that once enabled it.” (Torture Concrete: Jean-Luc Moulène and the protocol of abstraction)