Mod is a carpet printed with stills taken from a video of a lecture that Jacques Lacan gave in 1972 at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium. There, a confrontation took place when a young model in the audience interrupted the lecture with his Marxist musings and spilled water from the glass lecture jar on top of the French psychoanalyst's papers.
Reimagined in the bold, color block aesthetic of Jean-Luc Godard's 1967 film La Chinoise, the work also includes echoes of the 1966 film recording for Nancy Sinatra's hit single, "These Boots are Made for Walkin'", in which Sinatra and a bevy of Mod, minidress-wearing back-up dancers prance in front of displays of red flags, similar to those waved by students in La Chinoise.
Here, as visitors walk all over the apparitional appearances of these figures, staining the carpet with their steps just as the agitator from the lecture spilled liquid. Are you ready boots?
The Seward Park Library was a key location in Party Girl, the 1995 comedy-drama film starring Parker Posey as the fashionable Mary, a free-spirited downtown party girl who begins working as a library clerk, where she masters the Dewey Decimal System and utilizes library science skills to find meaning and direction in her life. The character of Party Girl is important in Colmegna's practice, and the artist has even remade the movie's poster with herself in the leading role. Following the work's inclusion in a 2020 exhibition at Swiss Institute,
Colmegna donated Mod to the Seward Public Library, where it summons the spirits who crash into literary environments.
Image: Victoria Colmegna, Mod, 2020. Dye-sublimation printed carpet. 48 x 192 inches
Commissioned by Swiss Institute, New York.