A collaboration between two artists: Alex Nichols and Mushi Wooseong James
ALEXANDMUSHI are ‘artists as anthropologists’. Using art systems to isolate different forms of verbal and nonverbal languages across multiple cultures they examine the unifying core forms of communication and connection.
Mushi and Alex met on the streets. Alex, a San Francisco native, who had recently been evicted from her art studio was sitting at an Indian Restaurant’s outside table writing. Mushi, who is of Korean descent and grew up in the United Kingdom, was in Sausalito for an artist residency, and wandered by. They met via a single Japanese sentence written on a page in Alex’s journal. Mushi walked by and recognised the hiragana characters and stopped. An entire collaboration began from a single sentence:
If you look at us, as collaborators, we span different generations, languages, cultures, and genders. We learn about the ‘other’ through intimate dialogue and we use art to unravel what is inexplicable. Understanding our differences is merely the starting point of our collaboration. We practice working together over time. We understand that there are many truths. Through transparency and clarity we are able to share perspectives and expand our vision.
Our working practice combines these three beliefs:
-An idea must be experienced to become one’s own.
-The questions we ask define our lives: what did we not ask?
-Only the greatest of all idealists have the ability to overcome reality.
“Nichols and James aren’t merely observing the world and taking pictures. No. They’re manipulating it a bit, directing it, orchestrating it. They’re participating in a kind of make-believe that is both ordinary and magical — but it’s a dream state that’s much more Jean-Luc Godard than Walt Disney. Pretensions get jettisoned. The people in focus are unmasked, even if they’re doing their best to “look the part.” -Jonathan Curiel