The New Inflation

The New Inflation. Installation view at gallery Anne Barrault, Paris. Wooden pannels, ceramics, polimeric clay, resin, textiles. 2022.

Ph: Aurelien Mole.

The New Inflation

9 April – 22 May 2022

Liv Schulman

Gallery Anne Barrault is happy to present Liv Schulman’s first solo show. In summer 2021, Liv Schulman made a film with amateur actresses and actors in Omaha in Nebraska. The New Inflation is both a film work and an installation with ceramics, puppets, chairs and wood.

“Inflation is for me an economic and affective account, specific to a country. This economic phenomenon governs the Argentinean way of life. It is intrinsically linked with the relationship of the country with the debt and the United States. I can say that inflation is our national madness, it is quite fierce. It creates a complex way of thinking, with its own consequences in time, and its own narrative of our history and of our future” .
Liv Schulman

Dear Liv,

I send you this mail to let you know I am not sure I am able to write the press release about your exhibition The New Inflation at gallery Anne Barrault. I do understand that the deadline for the text was 10 days ago.

I am really sorry to let you down. We have just discussed the phenomenon, the extreme volatility of promises. My attention is distracted, projects pile up, as well as hindrances. We have talked about the way the difficulties we may meet shape our projects, how the invitation, production and exhibition contexts are as important as the art piece itself, how we must learn and relearn to make works differently in a faulty and hostile environment. You like it when I speak of our faulty and hostile milieu, and I like it when you say: “That’s it!”

However I have noted a few things, and thought about possibilities for your text. Here they are, if you wish to pass them on to someone who would take over the mission (if it is not already too late). It is the least, but also the best I can do. The talk we had together was intense. I did love the way you talked about the film, the exhibition, the genesis of the project, its transformation, the 2001 economic crisis in Argentina, imperialism, colonialism, peso and dollar, inflation, red lining, the Duke of Orleans and his 1721 titles for the future, dying Omaha art center, Warren Buffet who finances the area with cows and soya, endless cancelled flights, the ignored queer love story, the fact you thought of having a residence in Chicago and not in Omaha and making a performance and not a film, social injustice, the black holes among us when we discuss organ transplants, the expanding universe at the root of the Big Bang, and the privatization of every thing. It was an expanding conversation, an inflation of information, ideas, and details, everything was perfectly connected, it was clear, I should have recorded it!

Here are random notes:
The FOMO and FIMO puppets must definitely be mentioned, never mind the spoilers! Fear Of Missing Out and Fear In Moving On (by the way, are you sure it is correct in English?). They haunt me, I think they are the key of the film, or the escape route?
Don’t forget to describe the space of the gallery, the floor covered with large wooden boards with holes, the gallery windows obstructed with plywood, which reminds one of the time of the shops protecting themselves from the yellow vests demonstrations. The fact that the film can be seen from the street through the holes in the plywood. I wonder if a film is not better seen, when you have to get over an obstacle to see it; you concentrate on it. Is it the idea of the holes? Attention in dispersion. The clothes have also holes. You talked of pieces lacking understanding in the work, which create new narratives, didn’t you?

I think it is worth mentioning the story of the Twin Peaks credit titles, how Angelo Badalamenti composed the credits music by adding notes or a group of notes as Lynch described the scenes to him, and how Sylvie Fortin, the curator of the Bemis Art Center, did the same by gradually adding elements to the proposition; a performance; in three acts; on economy, with local actresses and actors, and how you accepted each addition and completed the score.

I quite like the list of the film actresses and actors and the characters:)I do not have the list of the actors, but I have that of the characters: Myneeds, Rockbottom, Flaw, Wrong, Best Intentions.

It is I in this list. It is a composite model of myself, the score of my difficulties, my inability, my desires, and eventually the fact I have left you stranded. Apparently, you had foreseen it! These characters cohabit in the film, as they cohabit in us, because you compose a complex and diverse experience rather than a one-dimensional and normative one.

That’s it!

I am really sorry, you know.



*Phoenix Atala is  a queer Franco-Maroccan artist. After being the third member of “le Grand Magasin” in the 2000s,  he continues, semi solo, with his activities of experimental deconstruction by making films, video games and performances. Since 2019 he teaches at “ebabx and is in residence at “Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers” for the project “Défaillance Critique”.

Liv Schulman
The New Inflation, 2021
Video 4k