Kotama Bouabane, We’ll get there fast and then we’ll take it slow – Robert Anderson

[Spring-Summer 2018]

Kotama Bouabane. Exhibition view, photo: Claudie Mailhot-Trottier / VU

Kotama Bouabane. Exhibition view, photo: Claudie Mailhot-Trottier / VU

VU Photo, Quebec City
October 27–December 3, 2017

By Robert Anderson

[Excerpt]
If you think the title of Laotian-born, Canadian-raised artist Kotama Bouabane’s recent show at VU, We’ll get there fast and then we’ll take it slow, sounds suspiciously like a lyric from a bad pop song, you’d be right. The title is from the song “Kokomo” by the Beach Boys. By the time of this late-career hit, about an imaginary tropical paradise, the group of middle-aged musicians had long become a pastiche of the youthful, idealistic, American culture that spawned it. Bouabane references the song as part of a critique on the institutionalization of “official culture,” while acknowledging, as an artist, his inevitable complicity in the construction of Western discourse. The failure of discourse to represent identity and culture outside of the homogeneous dominant ideology is foregrounded in his discursive strategy. His subversive and discursive weapon to challenge this ideology: a coconut…

 
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