02 n°65 mar/avr/mai 2013
02 n°65 mar/avr/mai 2013
  • Prix facial : gratuit

  • Parution : n°65 de mar/avr/mai 2013

  • Périodicité : trimestriel

  • Editeur : Association Zoo galerie

  • Format : (210 x 297) mm

  • Nombre de pages : 84

  • Taille du fichier PDF : 11,6 Mo

  • Dans ce numéro : dossier Los Angeles... Mark Hagen, Ali Subotnick, Sterling Ruby, Marc-Olivier Wahler.

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38 A lot of them unhesitatingly mentioned Lost, while at the same time regretting that the series has not found a formal connection with that amazing entanglement of space-time layers which it offers. So the exhibition came into being from this desire to find this formal connection, a sort of missing link which might have managed to hoist the series onto another level. This said, the exhibition is neither a transposition nor an adaptation of the series (and, what’s more, I must admit that I haven’t managed to finish the third season). For me, an exhibition is constructed on the basis of a place, a context, an architecture to be used. So, yes, because Los Angeles has no centre, it has definitely played a part in the conception of this project. But it is above all the place which has its significance, this hill in the middle of Hollywood, this kind of isle on which Frank Lloyd Wright built an unbelievable project. The Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, or LAMAG, was built in the 1950s and in its early years housed exhibitions of Matisse and Leonardo da Vinci. It was southern California’s most important art centre before the advent of such institutions as the LACMA–the Los Angeles County Museum of Art–and the Hammer Museum. This is possibly also what explains the large number of doors in the exhibition : we realize that they play a symbolic part within the concept (like a physical separation between two spaces, but also like a transition between totally different ambiences). But this seems to go well beyond this aspect. These doors have a very powerful presence. It would seem that these objects inspire you in a particular way ? As far as Robert Overby is concerned, I had been keen to show his work for a long time. To start with I’d planned to show a series of three doors made of concrete, but this turned out not to be possible for technical reasons. The presence of Oscar Tuazon’s piece is the result of a discussion with the artist. So saying, I never said to myself : « Hey, let’s put some doors in the show, that’ll be a reference to the thing that’s central in the series Lost ». When an exhibition is being worked out, things take shape without any prior intention on the basis of place, context, and the relationship which the works weave between themselves. It is only once the exhibition isup that more evident (or should we say more narrative) links become visible. You say in your text published in the catalogue for « Lost (in LA) » that the language of contemporary art, like all specific languages, prevents us from having an « objective » understanding of the subject of art and of what permits « normal » objects to acquire the status of art object. For you, it’s the passage through another field of creation and thought which makes it possible to better define these issues, better understand what makes art, and identify the phenomena (above all linguistic) which make this association possible. Do you have to know how to lose yourself and forget your linguistic reflexes, the better to find your bearings ? Actually, I’m very interested in the way a work of art functions ontologically, which is based on a seemingly Interview Marc-Olivier Wahler very simple principle : to see something as a work of art, you have to accept that an ordinary object can disappear before your eyes and reappear in an instant as an aesthetic object. This glassin front of me is capable of disappearing as a simple glass and re-appearing as a work of art. How can we describe this transfiguration, this magic moment that comes about from the disappearance and instant re-appearance of an object ? As we all know, attempts to answer this question have exercised many generations of artists and philosophers, not forgetting a legitimately doubtful public looking at a work, which, visually speaking, nothing sets apart from an ordinary object. We can note that other artistic arenas broach this question in a much simpler way. Let’s take a film like Blade Runner, for example : no visual criterion makes it possible to distinguish a human being from a replicant. Only a psychological test (the Voight- Kampf test) enables the blade-runner to unmask the replicant, thanks, in particular to language games. Even if the blade-runner has no 100% reliable objective criterion, he understands that he is in the presence of a replicant. In art we are always confronted with a problem when it is a matter of precisely defining the shift of an ordinary object to an aesthetic object. We have many criteria, we have many conditions, but we do not reach anything clear. In Blade Runner, what we took for a human being suddenly becomes an android robot. Here the shift is altogether normal, any kid can see the difference. So why is this distinction, which is quite normal in film, for example, so difficult in art ? The question of language is essential here. In the first place, we have to ask ourselves what language we are speaking in. It is interesting to note that people have rarely asked such a question in the art world. To explain something, people have recourse to a specialist, to the art historian or to the critic, and they ask the expert to come with his intellectual and linguistic baggage, in order to explain what is at stake. Now (as has been emphasized by the philosopher John Welchman, a great specialist, incidentally, in the work of Mike Kelley), a thinker like John Searle, who has thought a great deal about the meaning of the institution–in its economic, political, artistic and other forms (and in this sense the art world does fairly and squarely constitute an institution)–, has aptly established that all institutions are defined by language. John Searle raises an essential question : is it possible to talk about an institution using a language which has been developed by that institution ? Is it possible to talk about exhibitions with the language drawnup by those very people who are concerned with exhibitions ? We know that, in the sciences, this problem was solved long ago. To talk about a science, it is necessary to develop a language which is not programmedby its area of knowledge. In art, however, as is clear to see, the language we use is totally programmedfrom within. Or, to paraphrase the philosopher John Welchman, instead of analyzing works by presupposing language, we would do better to analyze the role of language in the making of works. Whence this idea, when the conception of exhibitions is involved, of talking about everything except contemporary art. Otherwise put,
'4 Julien Prévieux What shall we do next ?, 2011. Overhead projector and media player. Courtesy Galerie Jousse Entreprise. ■ Stephan Balkenhol Man Standing on His Head, 2002. Bois de wawa, peinture/Wawa wood, paint. Courtesy Blake Byrne Collection, Los Angeles. Robert Kinmont My Favorite Dirt Roads, 1969-2008. 17 tirages argentiques, édition de 8/17 sliver gelatin prints, edition of 8. Courtesy Galerie RaebervonStenglin, Zurich, and Gallery Alexander and Bonin, New York. Toutes les images/All images : Vue de l'exposition/Installation view « LOST (in LA) » Photo : FLAX (France Los Angeles Exchange). 39 of pinpointing, outside the art world, in various areas of knowledge, ways of making, ways of seeing, and reading grids, which help to explain what is at stake. If this reading grid is satisfactory it is then possible to try and transfer it into the art world, and see how it sheds light on the challenges which artists are striving to meet. In other words, it is important to find linguistic elements outside the art world, in order, subsequently, to explain what may happen, with these new elements. This also implies that to talk about contemporary art, we are going to talk about everything except contemporary art, and that it is through the sidelines, through these new linguistic elements, that we will talk indirectly about the challenges posed by art. So these are things which preoccupy you in your exhibitions, from Paris to Los Angeles… Do you think you have better managed to apply them in « Lost (in LA) », or at the very least have you made them more explicit at the Barnsdall Art Center than at the Palais de Tokyo ? At the Palais de Tokyo I was able to deal with those preoccupations through a programme, meaning a composition of exhibitions weaving links between them. It involved writing a narrative system that unfolded over a five-year period, and questioned the challenges of what is visible : what happens when you highlight the excesses of visibility and question the boundaries of the visible ? What happens when you go beyond what’s visible, and work with the electro-magnetic waves which escape from the light spectrum ? And last of all what happens when you venture beyond the electro-magnetic spectrum ? You disappear. And that, consequently, marked the end of the narrative developed at the Palais de Tokyo, a narrative that’s calledupon to have a sequel, because any disappearance calls for a re-appearance. With « LOST (in LA) », the narrative structure is different, because it is a matter of an exhibition which is not part and parcel of a broader programme. But by developing narrative arcs and reference systems in association with a TV series which is itself organized around different layers of time, and by asserting an altogether pataphysical determination to find a missing formal link within these different layers, an exhibition, for me, represents another way of broaching these preoccupations which we’re talking about here. Their application is perhaps more explicit for visitors, because we stay in a classic time-frame determined by the length of the visit to the show, unlike the time-frame of a programme that unfolds over several years. For me, what is involved each time is ushering in conditions suitable for testing these preoccupations. – 02 n°65 Printemps 2013



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