Push Me Pull You

Solo Exhibit
Modernism Gallery
San Francisco, CA
Nov 8   Dec 22, 2018

ALEXANDMUSHI: Push Me Pull You exhibit opening night at Modernism.
San Francisco, California. 2018.

Three years ago San Francisco bay area artists’ Alex Nichols and Mushi Wooseong James set out on journey of collaboration. What they discovered is that a dynamic tension is core to forging a connection with another person. This tension exists between the desire to be seen and the terror of revealing ourselves. 

ALEXANDMUSHI’s exhibition at Modernism presents the ongoing work in their collaboration: Portable Studio, Chair Conversations, Still Conversations, Two Chairs, and The Dictionary. Each work is a seemingly playful exercise of connection and communication. Behind each of these images is the nakedness required by each individual attempting to know another person.

Art attracts us only by what it reveals of our most secret self. —Jean-Luc Godard

The goal is to better understand humanity. The rule is transparency. Being as transparent as possible is critical. To begin to know someone we have to know ourselves. The practice of collaboration between two artists is the work of knowing the ‘other’ as a road to knowing the ‘self’.


ALEXANDMUSHI: Push Me Pull You exhibit, Modernism, 2018.

Each project, starting with their first, Portable Studio—two strangers in a box with no talking and no touching—begins with a question. How do we communicate without words, or when you are not in the same country, or with words that we define differently? How do we share ourselves? How do we create a space of safety to share?

ALEXANDMUSHI: Push Me Pull You exhibit, The Portable Studio.

In the daily practice of collaboration, there is a constant push and pull in meeting minds. The Dictionary project answers the question of how we define words differently. Black phones on pedestals are lined up. Lifting the receiver the listener discovers the words defined personally by each artist and the history each word carries in their experience.

ALEXANDMUSHI: Push Me Pull You Exhibit, The Dictionary

ALEXANDMUSHI in this exhibit share the practice of communicating. How can we create meaningful connections? Two chairs are silently pulled over hills and through fields of mist. Mushi grabs Alex’s chair, Alex pulls the chair back. In the absurdity of these actions each artist learns their own boundaries and each others’. Play and humor are essential to the practice of collaboration because what is at stake is the terror of our own being.

ALEXANDMUSHI: Push Me Pull You Exhibit, Two Chairs.

Opening Night

Photos courtesy of Modernism.

Portable Studio on site at Modernism