GEO WYEX the Muck Studies Dept.


GEO WYEX the Muck Studies Dept.

September 11 - October 31, 2022

Sunday, September 11th, 6pm

Saturdays and Sundays from September 11th to October 31st or by appointment

OCDChinatown presents Geo Wyex, Muck Studies Dept. 

“Looking for Stars Out of What Stinks” curated by Tavia Nyong’o.

A site-specific installation with performance ephemera and sound will be on view Saturdays and Sundays or by appointment at OCDChinatown, a queer art space located on the second floor of New York Mart, underneath the Manhattan Bridge. Encompassing the multi-year artistic research of the multidisciplinary artist Geo Wyex (b.1984 New York, NY), the Muck Studies Department investigates the black historical memory resident in three bodies of water: the Maas River in Rotterdam, the Mississippi River in Louisiana and Mississippi, and a bathtub in rural South Carolina. Wading into these waters, the Muck Studies Department moves in the legacy of writers such as Ida B. Wells and Upton Sinclair, journalists whose investigations into the putrid underbelly of white supremacy and capitalism were denounced as muck-raking. In dialogue with Black Trans Theory, Conceptual and Fluxus Art, Soil Science, and Poetry, Wyex posits muck as an amalgamation of power, desire, violence, history, study, and sparkle. Through his interventions, OCDChinatown space will be transformed into the temporary office location of a “self-appointed fake city agent” of the Muck Studies Department.

“I move in and out of the voice of Muck Studies Dept.” the artist states, “wading through muck’s dimensional layers — affective, sonic, historical, gendered — as a rife insurgency in the landscape, a para-black transexual man.” With a practice that moves outward from the body, Wyex indexes without granting easy legibility to categories of race, gender, and sexuality.

The interventions of the Muck Studies Department, and the evidence of their ephemera, have taken place in multiple international galleries and museums, including The Western Front (Vancouver, CA); TENT Rotterdam, NL; Deltaworkers Residency, New Orleans, Louisiana; Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven, NL; Oude Kerk, Amsterdam, NL; Galería Hilario Gualgera, CDMX. Geo Wyex has been shown at the New Museum, PS-1 MoMA, and the Studio Museum in Harlem in New York, and his work is in the Dutch National Art Collection. He has won the Dolf Henkes Prize, among other honors.

Geo Wyex is a man of many faces. Over the years we have seen him as Novice Theory, Kitchen Steve, HW Clobba, Corn Chip, Juice CrosxxxSing and now, Muck Studies Dept.. This is the Department you call when you have an icky feeling in your institutional space, and think you want something to make it feel better. Like an underground psychic handyman, Wyex will appear out of the pipes, grates, or vents, bearing his equipment bag. You may regret summoning him. He will poke into the crevices, release pressurized steam or other gasses, and prepare the space for muck study. What is muck? Muck is a paraontological non-substance that inexists between land and water, solid and steam, life and death. What is muck study? It has everything to do, the artist tells us, with the problem of passing as a problem for history. It was not a story to pass on, Toni Morrison warns us. And yet it was, it was. Singing the miscegenation blues, and dancing the amalgamation polka, this history hits where it hurts, startling ghosts out of their shells and leaving behind a broken bottle from which traces of fume still emanate. As an artist of the water’s edge, Wyex is a poet of the muddy shoals. With his latest installation and ongoing research, he is inviting you to circle up and wade into the water along with Adrian Piper, Pope.L, Marquis Bey, Gloria Wekker, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, and many other artists and writers who persistently question the ruses of memory and the comforts of complacency.

— Tavia Nyong’o

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75 East Broadway
New York, NY 10002

Saturdays and Sundays 12-6pm
or by appointment

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