The Yerkish Language (working title)

© Joeri Thiry, STUK - House for Dance, Image & Sound

The Yerkish Language (working title)

Julien Prévieux

This residency will be the first steps of the creation of a new performance planned to be played during the festival Playground in 2017. The Yerkish Language is an artificial language invented in the 70s and developed to work with primates and teach them how to communicate using keyboards and lexigrams. It serves as a starting point of a performance mixing reinterpretations of crucial famous non-human learner’s experiments. Artificial language, maze, hands counting systems, machine learning are as many “tools” we can consider as scores to be performed. The learning process could then be seen as a choreography of its own kind.


Julien Prévieux is a French visual artist making performances, films and other works showcased in museums in France and abroad. Work, management, economics, politics, control systems, state-of-the-art technologies and the culture industry are the many ‘worlds’ that Julien Prévieux’s activities involve. As in the Lettres de non-motivation [Letters of Non-Application] that he has been sending out to employers regularly since 2004 – in which he responds to newspaper advertisements and details his reasons for not applying for the jobs in question – his work often appropriates the vocabulary, mechanisms and modus operandi of the sectors by which it is informed, the better to highlight their dogmas, excesses and, when all is said and done, their vacuousness. By shrewdly adopting the stance of an individual facing whole swathes of society that are, in many respects, dehumanised, Prévieux develops a strategy of counterproductivity, or what the philosopher Elie During called, in a recent essay about the artist’s praxis, ‘counter-employment’.

Julien Prévieux has had solo exhibitions at Blackwood Gallery (Toronto), Centre Pompidou (Paris), RISD Museum (Providence), FRAC Basse-Normandie (Caen), Synagogue de Delme Art Center, Domaine de Kerguennec Art Center (Bignan), among others, and was included in the 10th International Istanbul Biennale and the 2015 Lyon Biennale. His work has been included in group exhibitions at DiverseWorks (Houston), Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin), Witte de With (Rotterdam), the Museum of Contemporary Art (Santa Barbara), and Kunstverein Hannover. Prévieux received the Prix Marcel Duchamp 2014 and is represented by Galerie Jousse Entreprise, Paris.


STUK Soetezaal
Mon 26 Jun 2017 - Wed 5 Jul 2017.

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