After Laughter Comes Tears

Mudam Luxembourg – Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean

A performative exhibition in six acts: After Laughter Comes Tears

Curators: Joel Valabrega, Clémentine Proby

Following the success of the experimental platform Mudam Performance Season. The Illusion of the End, a two-week exhibition devoted to performance in contemporary art, Mudam is pleased to announce the second edition entitled Mudam Performance Season II. After Laughter Comes Tears. Titled after the 1964 track ‘After Laughter’ by the American soul singer and songwriter Wendy Rene, this performative exhibition in six acts rests on the tension between comedy and tragedy, on how the seemingly comical can turn out to be a veiled tragedy. This exhibition will analyse anchored notions of normalcy and make visible the limits of the western approach to social and biological norms.

The need for affection and approval is a fixture of human existence. The shape this takes and how it might be fulfilled depends on our environments, at once on a private and a collective scale. The onslaught of catastrophic events we have experienced in the last few years – a pandemic, wars, natural disasters – has accelerated and amplified processes of exclusion and loneliness. Meanwhile, with far-right wing parties gaining significant ground and having once more too strong a voice in European political life, the Xeno as centrepiece of political, social and religious hatred is made painfully clear. After Laughter Comes Tears wants to be an unyielding monument to the stigmatised and misunderstood while questioning the arbitrary notion of care.

The six acts will each address a specific topic linked to hierarchies, exclusions, alienations and normalisations and feature works by a new generation of artists in close dialogue with Mudam Collection, tackling these taboo- contention- inequality-ridden parts of our lives in a play oscillating between irony and drama.

To resist a conventional approach in display, After Laughter Comes Tears will create a space that is the opposite of static, whereby the works will have to be activated to be experienced – in other words, the works only come to life if the audience moves out of the passive role that is too often expected of them in an institutional context. The public will be centre stage in a collective thinking process brought about by a rich public programme.

Location : Mudam Luxembourg - Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean
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Grand-Duc Jean during Luxembourg Art Week

Anna Franceschini, Villa Straylight © DSL Studio
Anna Franceschini, Villa Straylight © DSL Studio