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the +1 museum by any other name is a constantly evolving project from MoT+++ that exhibits single artworks in unpredictable locations, for a minimum of one year. evoking the politics of site-specificity and duration, +1 museum artworks use the idiosyncrasies of setting and extended experience of their presence, to create intimate and ongoing conversations with their audiences. its goal to provide a porous platform that amplifies the voices of lesser-heard artists in the global cultural discourse.
by taking the name of the museum, the project questions the role and form of institutions in society, the rise of the exhibition as event, and challenges the standard format of a two-month show period that is now ubiquitous globally. as an alternative, the museum’s artworks are considered carefully and critically in relation to the history and character of each selected place, and encouraged to stay exhibited for as long as possible. as the museum grows worldwide, it creates multiple entry points for exploring the representation and interpretation of art—finding its strength in being simultaneously everywhere and nowhere. it works outside of conventional settings to reject the traditions of the institution and its art, and instead seeks its audiences beyond these accepted boundaries.
the +1 museum uses artworks to pose the question of the role of such institutions in society, asking us to look at the power structures that determine arts funding and exhibition content in an increasingly homogenised global art world. it acts in a series of minor curatorial gestures to make an impact on the major scale. these gestures are a challenge to audiences to open themselves to art that doesn’t rely on the spectacle of the museum, as well as ask museums the pertinent question of why they feature particular artists, reaching for de-colonial approach to museum curating. originating from Vietnam and spreading globally, the +1 museum aims to invert current infrastructural power structures that still operate within a colonialist legacy, impacting the future cultural discourse of contemporary art, and ensuring artists - and their art - are not limited to a singular context. the project acts in public and semi-public spaces, across borders and economic divides, to rewrite cultural narratives that often restrict artists from peripheries, such as Vietnam, to a limited national identity, or exclude them from the dominant art historical narrative entirely. by working on a small-scale in low-cost locations that the +1 museum is able to act at a global level as a facilitator of cultural exchange. each placement of an artwork a collaborative act with artists that challenges the confining borders of nationhood, and uses artworks to question current inequalities and the future state of our shared global sphere.
to mark the conception of the +1 museum by any other name in September 2017, MoT+++ founder and collective member Cam Xanh hid a single match within a former Viet Huong factory, in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam. the Viet Huong company is one of the biggest exporters from Vietnam, whose manufactured scents and flavours can be found throughout the world. it was later converted into the international art residency A. Farm in 2018, where a history of scent and flavour exportation is reimagined in the cross-pollination of art and ideas between residents from all over the world.
image: single match in matchbox hidden at former Viet Huong factory, Ho Chi MInh City (Saigon), Vietnam, September 2017
the +1 museum by any other name seeks to continue uniting artworks in an expanded network of locations. as a concept it is resilient as an organic form that can grow and shrink depending on circumstances: conceptually as big as the whole world, physically as small as one artwork. the project not only invites collaborations from artists and space locations, but also solicits funds from a variety of public and private sources to provide an alternative infrastructure for artists to enter the global art world. it is only once we succeed in fostering opportunities for dialogues, that the conversation can then turn to the future expansion of the contemporary vanguard, both on a local and global scale.
established in 2015, MoT+++ is an artist-run contemporary art space in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam. it hosts an ever-growing series of exhibitions, performances, presentations, workshops, sound events and residencies from international and locally-based artists. it takes a fluid and responsive approach to programming that prioritises artists, and acknowledges the creative process as often non-linear and divergent. it collaborates with artists to help them push the boundaries of their practice, together investigating the gallery site as a ‘+1 nice place for experimentation’.
additional +1s are added as the space continues to grow and develop its artistic and collaborative practices.
+1 contemporary space
+1 nice place for experimentation
+1 museum by any other name
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