Jo Meisner, an emerging artist based in Sydney, will have a new exhibition in Paris spanning photography, installation and sculptural assemblage probing contemporary notions of identity. The crowd and the Individual are two concepts that she returns to as subjects in her work, which has variously focused on the cultural and social impact of forced migration and the fabric of the individual psyche. Her work aligns itself with the history of figurative painting as well as the traditions of street photography and the history of textile manufacture. The ordinary scene of a crowd in transit is a repeated motif in her work, which is characterized by the representation of anonymous figures observed from the rear and side view. From the context of the crowd, individuals are isolated and replaced by mirrors, shadows and tactile reliefs; in this way the figure becomes a surrogate for psychological introspection and self-identification which could be read as a means of oblique self-portraiture. Jo Meisner, “Identity” November 7-11, MR80 Gallery, 80 rue de Turenne, 75004 Paris
Sophie Pedder discusses her new book “Revolution Francaise: Emmanuel Macron and the Quest to Reinvent a Nation” October 23, 7:30PM at the American Library, 10, rue General Camou, Paris 75007
Daniel Trilling discusses his second book“Lights In The Distance: Exile and Refuge at the Borders of Europe,” an unflinching look at the refugee crisis and its geopolitical causes October 30, 7PM, Shakespeare and Company, 37, rue de la Bucherie, Paris 75005.
Laurence Scott, discusses his latest book “Picnic Comma Lightning: In Search of a New Reality.” October 18, 7PM Cognitive science proposes that we have evolved to build mental maps of the world not according to its physical nature, but according to what allows us to thrive. In other words, our individual and collective realities are fictions – carefully constructed to enable us to maintain our particular perspectives. It used to be that our fictions were rooted to reasonably solid things: to people, places and memories. Today, in an age of online personas, alternative truths, constant surveillance and an increasingly hysterical news cycle, our realities are becoming more vulnerable than ever before. Ours is now a zoomed-in perspective, where the backstage is centre stage. We are both camera-person and subject, with new powers and new weaknesses. Our personal and political spheres are dangerously merging. How will the form and grammar of our feelings have to change in this overexposed environment? Should any of our stories remain secret? How are these phenomena changing the way we live? How do we maintain a sense of reality in an increasingly fantastical world? Picnic Comma Lightning is an innovative examination of the nature of identity in the twenty-first century, one that explores the key ethical, political and neurological forces contouring our inner selves, but also the old influences of grief and desire, memory and imagination. Laurence Scott is a writer, broadcaster, and academic. He is the author of “The Four-Dimensional Human: Ways of Being in the Digital World.”