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The Gradient



Paper Allocation Agency
From July 1942 to the end of 1944, Marguerite Duras worked in Paris for the state authority that controlled the distribution of paper to publishers in German-occupied France. Acting as a censor, the Paper Allocation Agency (P.A.A.) determined which manuscripts were appropriate for print. Source: Laure Adler and Anne-Marie Glasheen, Marguerite Duras: A Life (Paris: Editions Gallimard, 1998), 101.


Duras’ First Novel
“It was perhaps because Duras held this sensitive position that her own first novel, Les Impudents (which had been turned down by several publishers), was now accepted and received a glowing review from the brilliant collaborationist critic Ramon Fernandez (who also worked for the paper control service and whose wife, Betty, was Duras’ best friend). Duras at least was able to admit it years later: ‘If my first novel finally appeared … it was because I was part of a paper commission (it was during the war). It was bad.’ ” —Edmund White, “In Love with Duras,” review of multiple books authored by Marguerite Duras, New York Review of Books, June 26, 2008.

A: Haegue Yang: Integrity of the Insider: gallery guide for the exhibition. 4-Color process, additional unnecessary scores.

B: PAPER CONTROL: documentation of Yang’s residency Shared Discovery of What We Have and Know Already. Black-and-white, through lulu.com.   Buy   The residency’s sessions are chronicled here.

Design by Emmet Byrne, Ryan Nelson, Abi Chase



PAPER CONTROL was generated from a unique artist-in-residence project with Haegue Yang at the Walker Art Center in the fall of 2009 and winter of 2010. Shared Discovery of What We Have and Know Already began as a conversation on the nature of artist residencies between Yang and then Walker curator Doryun Chong. It evolved into an experiment in which the artist aimed to “domesticize the institution” as an apprentice in the museum. A provocative exploration of her concept of the antagonistic relationship between artists/artworks and institutions, Yang’s project mobilized the Walker to bring together a group of “expert” participants in a skill share and knowledge exchange for a series of seminars that revolved around the artist’s interests and themes in her work. It concluded with a series of public programs centered on the work of the late French writer Marguerite Duras (1914 –1996) and a private theatrical workshop in which Yang staged a production of Duras’ novella The Malady of Death. The texts in this publication are reflections on that series of interactions and an effort to unite the two segments of the residency. This booklet is designed to be nested within the gallery guide for the exhibition Haegue Yang: Integrity of the Insider, which was on view at the Walker from September 24, 2009, through February 28, 2010. Together these two documents can be viewed as a physical manifestation of the conflict in the relationship between artist and institution: the varying needs each has for the other that can’t always be reconciled. The gallery guide—a printed document distributed in the gallery and organized by the exhibition curator—serves as the institutional voice for the presentation and interpretation of an artist’s work. The residency publication—printed on-demand, distributed online, and envisioned with no preconceived directive for its final form—is intended to present a less official position that puts into print the words of the artist as well as those of the project’s participants and organizers. It is necessary to note, though, that while trying to escape the limitations of an institutional publication—a piece that would involve alternative voices and avoid traditional production methods—the residency documentation inevitably remains a product of the museum.

Marguerite Duras’ surprisingly unconflicted attitude regarding her involvement with the Vichy government acts as an interesting parallel to Yang’s exploration of her own complicity with art institutions and their curators, and provides a loose inspiration for the design of this booklet.





Video of the exhibition here. More images here.



Duras and Love
“Going in person to the offices of the Cercle, [Claude Roy] pleaded his cause, implored them to allocate the paper needed for his work. He was received by Marguerite Duras. She asked him about the contents of the manuscript. Roy told her that it contained love poems. She responded by saying that she would do her best, that she would somehow intervene in his favor. Roy obtained satisfaction very quickly, for Duras delivered the required paper to him. Such anecdotes reveal Duras in her moments of dazzling generosity, her unexpected encounters, and the dreamlike situations in which love always has its place, along with utopia.” —Alain Vircondelet, Duras: A Biography (Normal, US: Illinois State University’s Dalkey Archive Press, 1994), 72.


Shared Discovery of What We Have and Know Already took place in two segments. In the September series, the artist worked closely with a small group of participants to investigate critical notions in her work. Over the course of one month, the seminars addressed the relationship between Yang’s abstract forms and the influence of such topics as the history of transnational wartime resistance; the biographies of historical figures Marguerite Duras, Kim San, and Nym Wales; the cinematic and literary work of Duras; the history of abstraction in art; and the plastic arts of carpentry, knitting, and origami. In February 2010, prior to the closing of the exhibition Haegue Yang: Integrity of the Insider, the Walker presented a series of public programs that resulted from Yang’s time at the institution. Working closely with the film/video department, Yang curated a series of films by Duras that were accompanied by a lecture and a public seminar on the author’s theatrical work. In addition to these programs, the final week of the residency included a three-day private workshop during which the artist developed a staged production of a Duras novella. Seminar organized by Andria Hickey and Sarah Peters.

“Knitting” in the FlatPak House, presentations by Charisse Gendron and Isa Gagarin

“On Objects and Abstraction (Part 2)” in the Carpentry Shop, presentation by Walker programs services staff and Haegue Yang

“On Community” in the Barnes Conference Room, guest speakers John Mowitt and Hamza Walker

“On Objects and Abstraction (Part 1)” in the Print Study Room, presentations by Yasmil Raymond and Margaret Pezalla-Granlund

Staged production of Marguerite Duras’ The Malady of Death, directed by Haegue Yang, featuring Jade Gordon



Duras’ Role in Underground Newspapers
While working for the Paper Allocation Agency (P.A.A.) by day, Duras embraced the French Resistance by night, joining the Mouvement National des Prisonniers de Guerre et Déportés (MNPGD; National Movement for Prisoners of War and Deportees), hosting meetings in her apartment, and working for their magazine Libres to create networks between the Resistance and escaped prisoners, deportees, and their families.


Phase 1 Seminars
· Seminar 1: “On Light,” McGuire Theater, presentation by Ben Geffen
· Seminar 2: “On Biography: Marguerite Duras”(Part 1), Cinema/Art Lab, presentations by Anne-Marie Gronhovd, Galen Treuer, and Sears Eldredge
· Seminar 3: “On Resistance and Transnationalism,”Tour Guide Study Room, presentations by Haegue Yang, Paul Solon, and Na-Rae Kim
· Seminar 4: “On Objects and Abstraction”(Part 1), Print Study Room, presentations by Yasmil Raymond and Margaret Pezalla-Granlund
· Seminar 5: “On Community,” Barnes Conference Room, guest speakers John Mowitt and Hamza Walker
· Seminar 6: “Knitting,” FlatPak House, Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, presentations by Charisse Gendron and Isa Gagarin
· Seminar 7: “On Objects and Abstraction” (Part 2), Carpentry Shop, presentation by Walker programs services staff and Haegue Yang
· Seminar 8: “On Biography: Marguerite Duras” (Part 2), Cinema/Tour Guide Study Room, film screening and presentations by Anne-Marie Gronhovd and Joëlle Vitiello
· Seminar 9: “Self-Publishing,” Barnes Conference Room, presentation by Emmet Byrne

Phase 2 Programs
· Theater Workshop: Marguerite Duras’ The Malady of Death, Cinema, directed by Haegue Yang, featuring Jade Gordon
Working with Jade Gordon of the performance collective My Barbarian and the Walker’s theater crew, Yang designed the lighting, staging, video, and sound score during a private three-day theatrical workshop at the Walker.
· Public Seminar: From Page to Stage, Cinema
Sears Eldredge and Anne-Marie Gronhovd presented on Duras’ ideas of theater, and Yang discussed adapting The Malady of Death for theatrical production.
· Mack Lecture: Marcus Steinweg on Duras the Philosopher, Cinema
German philosopher Marcus Steinweg reframed the late French author as a philosopher rather than a writer or filmmaker.
· Film Series: Of Language and Longing: The Films of Marguerite Duras, Cinema
The Truck (Le Camion) and Césarée, introduced by Joëlle Vitiello; India Song, introduced by Anne-Marie Gronhovd; Destroy, She Said (Détuire, dit-elle), introduced by John Mowitt; Nathalie Granger, introduced by Anne-Marie Gronhovd

Seminar Participants:
· Emmet Byrne, design director, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
· Doryun Chong, former visual arts associate, Walker Art Center; curator, department of painting and sculpture, Museum of Modern Art, New York
· Sears Eldredge, professor emeritus, dramatic arts and dance, Macalester College, St. Paul
· Isa Gagarin, visual artist, Minneapolis
· Luisa Garcia, visual artist/industrial designer/scenographer, Minneapolis/New York
· Ben Geffen, events and media specialist, Walker Art Center
· Charisse Gendron, poet and knitter, Minneapolis
· Mohannad Ghawanmeh, teacher/film curator, Minneapolis
· Anne-Marie Gronhovd, professor of French at Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota
· Joseph Imhauser, visual artist, Los Angeles
· Na-Rae Kim, graduate student, English department, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
· John Mowitt, professor of critical theory, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
· Margaret Pezalla-Granlund, artist/curator, Minneapolis
· Yasmil Raymond, former visual arts associate curator, Walker Art Center; curator, Dia Art Foundation, New York
· Paul Solon, retired professor of history, Macalester College, St. Paul
· Galen Treuer, performing artist and founder/director of Live Action Set, Minneapolis
· Joëlle Vitiello, associate professor/department chair, French and Francophone studies, Macalester College, St. Paul
· Hamza Walker, director of education and curator, Renaissance Society, University of Chicago

Walker Program Services Staff
· Bob Brown
· Susan Brown
· Doc Czypinski
· David Dick
· Phil Docken
· Scott Lewis
· Kirk McCall
· Peter Murphy
· Randy Reeves
· Cameron Zebrun

Additional Walker Staff Attendees
· Darsie Alexander, chief curator
· Aaron Anderson, projectionist
· Abigail Anderson, education and community programs assistant
· Dante Carlos, senior designer
· Peter Eleey, visual arts curator
· Courtney Gerber, assistant director, tour programs
· Eric Jones, visitor services specialist
· Adriana Rimpl, teen programs fellow
· Bartholomew Ryan, visual arts curatorial fellow
· Sarah Schultz, director of education and community programs
· Witt Siasoco, teen programs manager
· Camille Washington, visual arts curatorial fellow for diversity in the arts

Seminar Organizers
· Andria Hickey, former visual arts curatorial fellow, Walker Art Center; associate curator, Public Art Fund
· Sarah Peters, former associate director public and interpretive programs, Walker Art Center

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