...excepté peut-être une constellation

220 jours
11 rue Louise Weiss 75013 Paris, une exposition en deux parties, janvier - février
This is an ongoing show about how the space or place is moving around. A one-eyed-view that consequently has no depth is pictured twice. There is a nomadic, ambulant video that was previously shown at La promesse de l’écran. You can’t cross out or deface this space here anymore, you are only able to make it absent or pristine. There is an impression of the globe on the floor. If this writing sounds hidden or arcane, so is this exhibition that will last 220 days. It is kind of mapping of what we don’t-know (together), but by showing how the place or space moves it prompts us to see that we already-know, what we sense we don’t (know). It’s like there is very little understanding but perception is fast. see http://www.220jours.blogspot.com
Geoff Lowe
image Aurélien Froment Pour en Finir Avec la Profondeur de Champ 2008


Christian Marclay

Federation Square, Melbourne, Nov 2007 – Feb 2008
curated by Emma Lavigne, Cité de la Musique Paris
Cultural games follow rules that always allow for moments of freedom. Canny game-players sometimes use their artistic licence to reconfigure the rules. ACMI’s Replay: Marclay, a monographic exhibition of ten video works and some additional screenings and sound recordings by US/Swiss-raised Christian Marclay, shows us an artist using the rules of one game to play another.

He appears to follow the art game’s rules exceptionally. Whether Marclay’s objects are records, fluxus relics, or excerpts from old films become banal through repetition and the passing of years, in work after work we see the now sterilised remainders of deadened culture being reinvigorated in some way – percussed, sampled, mixed, refigured, disfigured, rhythmicised, made contrapuntal. Since Marclay tends to treat his raw material rather generically (the filmic contexts of his samples and the individual sound recordings he employs seem largely irrelevant to the work), this cultural reincarnation occurs most successfully in his work at a conceptual level, as idea or strategy. And as it happens, revitalising the moribund is one of the key strategies of the contemporary art game as it’s been played for the last few decades.

But when Marclay attempts to realise this strategy, he enters another game with other rules. It’s possible that the rhythmic stodginess of Crossfire (2007) as a percussion work (for sampled cinema gun-shooting) was partly due to poor playback synchronisation (elsewhere, only two of Gestures’ [1999] four audio channels were playing). With Video Quartet (2002), however, Marclay’s limitations within his chosen genre, the string quartet, were obvious. Stringing sonic and visual gestures together simply according to likeness and repeating samples across different screens in place of standard musical development, Marclay eventually effects a climactic amassing of sound and visual signs of tension (the strongest being the tearing of the curtain from Psycho) that is directionless and achieves nothing. Reigniting and remobilising the riches of reified culture has been an explicit objective of many composers – Berg, Cage, Mahler, Berio, Zorn, Rihm, Kagel, even the late Beethoven. Ignoring their moves, Marclay merely remoulds his remnants of the past into already redundant forms.
Huw Hallam
image Guitar Drag 2000, video projection 14 minutes

interview with Mierle Laderman Ukeles

During 2007 Paris based critic Bénédicte Ramade interviewed Mierle Laderman Ukeles. Ukeles has been artist in residence at the New York City Sanitation Department since 1977, devoting her entire career to thinking about garbage, recycling and ecology and the endless, invisible labor of keeping everything clean.

Mierle Laderman Ukeles: I had a huge long education in art, in international relations, the very best cause that you can find. But nobody, NOBODY, ever taught any culture of maintenance because it was not in the culture, it was excluded from the culture. You do all these repetitive works, not for yourself but works for the others. It has to do with not pursuing your own freedom but when you’re a maintenance worker, it doesn’t matter about your freedom, it matters about the person, or the city, or the building, or the anything, the institution, or even the planet itself.
click here to read the interview
imageHartford Wash: Washing, Tracks, Maintenance: Inside and Hartford Wash: Washing, Tracks, Maintenance: Outside, image and some introductory words lifted from a Women's Media Centre publication by Regina Cornwell


Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin