Nour Mobarak

Logistique Elastique

Organized by Anya Komar

March 27 — May 8, 2021
36 Orchard Street

Miguel Abreu Gallery is pleased to announce the opening, on Saturday, March 27th, of Nour Mobarak’s Logistique Elastique, her first one-person exhibition in New York. The show will be held at our 36 Orchard Street location.

An exercise in giving form to death and decomposition, Nour Mobarak’s Reproductive Logistics and Sphere Studies are made with saprophytic mycelia, a kind of fungi that thrives on dead and toxic matter. She fed the works with wood pellets and other materials to cultivate the growth of organic networks. Mushrooms, their fruiting bodies, wreath the surfaces of the Sphere Studies. Mobarak is drawn to this lifeform for its resilience and pervasive qualities of creation and decreation: for instance, fungi being the first organism to appear after the Chernobyl disaster, or its role in the BP oil clean-up. These moments of adversity can trigger the mushroom to shift from self-replication to sexual reproduction.

Reproductive Logistics is a prêt à livrer work composed to fit the parameters of a found shipping crate and ready for delivery. Rendering a speculative spreadsheet of the artist’s potential impregnators, ex-lovers are color-coded and organized chronologically along the Y-axis. Mobarak deposited their DNA-carrying material, such as sperm and hair, into a bed of mycelium to feed her artwork. Addressing the circumstances of reproduction—both artistic and biological—the artist painted a self-portrait using the same color palette on the surface of the fungi, which was metabolized by the mycelium.

The artist sometimes intervened in the process of the work’s procreation—she killed some of the mushrooms or stopped their growth in certain areas by spraying rubbing alcohol on them. Mobarak’s exercise in the life administration of fungi’s consumption and reproductive labor reflects on contemporary biopolitics and logistics such as IVF, abortion, egg freezing, and fertile window time management.

Composed as an accompaniment to the Sphere Studies, a five-channel sound work, Subterranean Bounce (Exposed), is amplified from the ground, creating a sonic circuit of spheres bouncing and rolling between speakers.

Nour Mobarak (b. 1985, Cairo, Egypt) lives and works in Los Angeles. Her works are currently on view at KIM? Contemporary Art Centre (Riga, 2021) and have been shown at Hakuna Matata Sculpture Garden (Los Angeles, 2020), Museum of Contemporary Art (San Diego, 2020), Miguel Abreu Gallery (2019), Cubitt Gallery (London, 2019), and Rodeo Gallery (London, 2017). Her performances have taken place at the Museum of Contemporary Art (San Diego, 2020), the Hammer Museum (Los Angeles, 2019), LAXART (Los Angeles, 2019), Miguel Abreu Gallery (New York, 2019), Potts Gallery (Los Angeles, 2018), Stadslimeit (Antwerp, 2016), and Cambridge University (Cambridge, 2010), among others. She was invited to the inaugural Field Workshop: Artist in Residence program at the ICA Los Angeles (Spring 2021).

 Her music has been released by Recital (Los Angeles), Cafe Oto’s TakuRoku (London) and Ultra Eczema (Antwerp), and is included in the Whitney Museum Library’s Special Collections. Her poetry and other writing has appeared in Triple Canopy, F.R. David, The Claudius App, and the Salzburg Review, among others. Her first catalog Sphere Studies and Subterranean Bounce was published in 2021 by Recital (Los Angeles).