Mel Bochner @ Galerie Nelson-Freeman, presenting two bodies of new work (both from 2010) Blah Blah Blah, and a new edition of Thesaurus Paintings, the latter of which were exhibited first in 2004. Nelson-Freeman is one of Paris’ more cavernous gallery spaces. This Saturday, my allergies were the worst in recent memory… probably the worst in a decade. So much thunderous and echoing sneezing would’ve been embarrassing had I not actually felt that all the noise when well with the work. Bochner says, “the function of color is to divert the responsibility of a text concerning its meaning.” ergo: color functions to decontextualize the text from itself–or to funk-up the implicit meaning of each word/phrase. I’m not sure I agree that the text is relieved of it’s responsibility-to-self; “Blah Blah Blah” is a neutral phrase avec or sans color. The Thesaurus paintings’ loaded language is neither disarmed or muted; if anything it’s louder and in color. The sneezing certainly complimented the cacophony.
Guillaume Bresson @ Galerie Nathalie Obadia is on view from 29 May to 17 July in Galerie II
Guillame Bresson lives upstairs from my studio here at the Cité. I’m both pleased to know that he might be getting some sleep now that the show has opened & am completely in awe of what he’s managed to accomplish in his short time here. Galerie Obadia is exhibiting Guillaume’s first solo exhibition, and I believe it’s one which merits some rave reviews. Succinctly, Guillaume’s realist-style, sepia or umber toned canvasses depict urban scenes of confrontation between several or many young men. In this series, the artist staged and photographed a loose narrative involving one-on-one confrontations, and what appears to be rival gang confrontations, with a non-descript parking garage space as the back-drop. He uses these photos for reference in his paintings.
He explained at the opening that the subtle difference in hues, from one painting to the next, (from almost neutral gray to umber to a greenish brown) are meant to suggest different chapters in the series–they denote a shift in temporality. In the press release accompanying, it’s noted “his painting is inspired by mythological figures and figures from history (from Poussin to Caravage) whom he revisits in a manner resolutely modern and powerful…”
Guillaume’s work will also be on view at the Palais de Tokyo, in a group show entitled “Dynasty,” opening June 10th.
and finally, One Man’s Mess is Another Man’s Masterpiece @ Bugada & Cargnel includes works by : Wilfrid Almendra, Pierre Bismuth, Etienne Chambaud, Martin Creed, Cyprien Gaillard, Piero Golia, and Zak Kitnik.
continued from “samedi vernissages: part 1″…
with this note: I’ve included a lot of transcribed text, translated to English, in these recent posts because the texts provided, accompanying the exhibitions is spectacular and elucidating. Also, as each of these shows dealt either directly or abstractly with language, and found textual accretions, it seems apt to reference directly their accompanying write-ups.
“Since <<Premier volet d’une SUITE (en cours…sans fin…)>> Pierre Buraglio interrogates himself, with an ironic view and in the genre of Journal: tenderness for his intimateness, fears, childlike solace. At four years old, his mother suddenly finds herself “prisoner” confined in a “tiny place.” The episode is derisory, it felt to him like a tragic mode: “What does one remember?” This Journal drawn and pasted, elevated with colors and written remarks exposes, with great subtleness what must be an autobiography: to deliberate with his past, in the dividing up and the collages of scraps of family souvenirs, of singular, rediscovered, recalled, recounted fragments. Souvenirs attached to the narratives of witnesses/writers (Paul Nizan, deceased 40, Georges Hyvernaud, the prisoner), to those of witnesses/historians (Marc Bloch, citizen and resister). If it’s added there that PB (…) had read, learned, seen, forgotten, rediscovered, refolded, there is comprised among the artists to whom he makes hommage: Otto Dix- painter-combattant, the other war, the grand, Hélion, mario Merz, from one igloo to the other. The catalyst is self-produced in these pages: drawings, photographs, photocopies or manuscripts, sketches, childrens’ scribblings, maps. The citations borrowed from Hubert Lucot offer a key to the interpretation: “It’s a matter of compacting and traversing, of rendering the importance of the moment. It’s necessary to see in him an absolute, to understand from where he comes from and draw from the extensions. (…) I know that I invent today this detail.” Detail of the instant; instant of the detail. One could add an extract from The Skin and the Bones by G. Hyvernaud, a superb lexicon of history which Buraglio makes his own: “Man complicates everything. Whenever the actor, the one who was there blending in, is no longer recognized (to be the actor), one can no longer leave. He muddles up beautiful perspectives with his way of putting details in place, and never in a good place…The history of the historians has no odor.” That of PB yes; beyond the odor, there’s always the scent he provokes.”
“Pierre Buraglio was born in 1939. Date of the birth in times of war. Comedy of war, measures of war. In March 1940, the first food restrictions, classification in the air of the time–the merchandise, as well as the men–maps of rationing. Pierre was a year old, he was entered in the <<category E: Enfants of the two sexes aged less than three years.>> Strange defeat, occupation, 1941, 1942. PB is nonetheless at the age of <<J1: Enfants of the two sexes aged three to six years inclusive.>> The title is imposed on him is J1; it’s the time of an equation: war = to have hunger. One eats ersatz sugar–funny name for saccharine, almost the taste of flytox, ersatz vegetables, these <<rutabaga, topinambour>>, plants that bizarrely, only appear in times of war. To write, not to draw, not to represent, certainly not; a <<grenadine à l’eau>>, some <<crêpes à l’eau.>> Finally one day, when all was over, an <<éclair,>> strikingly of chocolate, a complete page for the representation of the pastry delicacy. Ersatz clothing, simulated stockings and tinted legs, wooden soles. Ersatz human beings, marked like animals, yellow star perceived, that’s not the sun of the drawing. To play war in the the cruel game of war.”
“The little boy has the chance to live in a cocoon, the house constructed by his grand-father, where the artists still lives today. Contrary to so many children in times of war, he lives in a real home, even if it’s only with women: mother, grand-mother, aunts, and a cousin, dearly dedicated in the first part of J1, Pouny. In numerous representations return the balcony, the little garden, a sloped roof. Heritage of constructors, Italian masons, architects, masterpieces. To live is to build and also to make good use of the domestic front, literally that of the house, domus. But the war, her, deconstructs, bruises, rattles the nuclear family, bombards the cities. A bandage on the skull, reinvented head-wound souvenir, war of Apollinaire, the other, the first. Gas. Fuses. A V2 till Maisons-Alfort. There remains nothing but to seek refuge in the cave-home of the house, on the watch of the too large neighbor’s furniture, passive defense in the Parisian East.
“The father, prisoner, far, in Germany, the uncle Emile, with the appetite of an ogre, had to laugh at the name of his group of resistance, Pantagruel. He is arrested, interned at Fresnes. Volume 3 brings us 1944 to 1946: the last attempts of the Nazis and of the Milice, last Jewish children wrested from their mother, last convoys deportedd, the Fort of Charenton undermined and saved by the heroism of Henri François. Associations of sounds, of ideas, of images. the sub-machine guns, the child’s scooter, the elephants of Vincennes. Onomatopoeia: Zazou Zavatta, FIFI, Youpala, Zig-Zig. (A mother is startled by the Americans, her child is knocked down by them; another wound on the head, a trepanation). Liberators in a jeep, men, viral vengeance, women shorn. The heroism of the resisters, also the topos, the black traction–that of Pierrot the Fou, cross of Lorraine as well, the sex, priced or not, the grenades. In the form of penises.”
“Return of the father, for which the Catholic child had prayed; folly of Giotto. End of the prison camp for the builder and new equation: return = reconstruction. In Normandy this time. The beach, the sea, the sky, an historic tour, not a watchtower, La-Haye-du-Puits. Ruins. This is what’s called the tragedies of war. Destruction, the child’s wounded ears, personal metonymy of the world-wide displacements, the buffaloing. And the blockhauses, the bunkes, Remains of the Atlantic wall. The son becomes artist alongside his father who surveys the villages to restore the destroyed houses to life. I would draw the Blokoss. ” (text by Annete Becker)
It was a veritable Parcours culturel et artistique in the 3em Arrondissement, and the neighborhoods of Menilmontain & Belleville this weekend. The troisième proposed “Nomads 2010,” which seemed to be in the spirit of the summer street fair, but in this case it was not so much on the street as it was inside the galleries, boutiques, and bolangeries. My participation was limited to sampling candies, cookies, and hot-cocoa offered by the participating restaurants, to passers-by. What I’d really ventured out of the atelier to see where the Saturday openings in the neighborhood surrounding the Pompidou:
Gallerie Agnes B. : “Bon Séjour,” by Frédéric Bruly Bouabré . Once in a great while you get to see a show like this–one that reminds you why you started down this art-making path in the first place. From the press release, here’s a bit of information about this man:
Hors de tout système, Bouabré nous ramène à l’origine en compilant les transformations poétiques et matérielles du monde. Depuis sa vision du 11 mars 1948, Bouabré a compris que son rôle de poète était de révéler la matière. Bouabré est Nadro, celui qui n’oublie pas. Il est poète, écrivain ; conteur, chercheur, rechercheur, inventeur ; releveur, révélateur ; penseur, religieux, pacifiste ; pédagogue, archiviste, « scientiste » ; dessinateur, artiste ; dernier des encyclopédistes.
Outside of all systems, Bouabré takes us back to the origin, in compiling the poetic and material transformations of the world. Since his vision from the 11th March 1948, Bouabré has understood his role as poet was to elevate the matter. Bouabré is Nadro, one who never forgets. He is a poet, writer, storyteller, researcher, inventor, levitater, revelator, thinker, religious, pacifist, pedagogue, archivist, scientist, drawer, artist, last of the encyclopediasts.
ah…and because I can’t resist, here’s more information about him & his life, translated from agnes b’s website:
born: 1923, lives in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
THE ALPHABET Bété:
To find on the scene of human life a “writing” specifically African, that is my drawing. The alphabet is the incontestable pillar of the human language. It is the crucible wherein lives the memory of man. It is a very effective remedy against forgetting, formidable factor of ignorance. The alphabet works in favor for the conservation of human knowledge. The African must be welcomed in all cultural circles if he nourishes himself deeply on the idea of the foundation of a system specifically African or of the Black world. This here is my own device and it’s why I insist on the presentation of the Alphabet Bété. The Bété is Ivoirien, African and man of the world. This syllabic alphabet is suitable for reproducing all human sounds, it is universal. In 1952, Bruly returned to Bekora, a little village in the Bété country, where one can find a variety of little red and black stones, probably of natural origin, but traditionally considered to be supernatural. These stones are presented in a wide variety of forms and bear “geometric” drawings. Bruly studies them, concluding that they would be the vestige of an ancient writing and applied himself to justifying his opinion.
If these stones had really formed a writing, they must have been able to symbolize a name of a thing or a person. I set myself about naming the stones of diverse forms, beginning with the name of my father Gbeuly. I have de-composed the sounds Gbeu and Ly. Gbeu was a axe and Ly a spear. In observing the stones, it appeared to me that the axe and the spear were rendered on the stones like photos. I drew them in graphic syllables. Since then I have searched the faces of these stones for the equivalences between the signs and the sounds and I then indexed (them), revealing and systematizing nearly 450 syllables and drawings and as many monosyllabic pictograms. This new African Champollion, specifies that he is not the creator, rather the “discoverer” of what he calls the Ivoirien Alphabet. Finally, to prove the immediate interest and universality of his alphabet, he puts it to use, transcribing first the texts of the Bété tradition in their original language, then the stories, poems, pages from encyclopedias, political discourse in French written in his manuscripts. Each day, Bruly writes his thoughts on a chalkboard. Thus, numerous visitors can be initiated in this “specifically” African writing. (text by Magnin & Escudier)
the institute of social hypocrisy’s mission statement begins with :
The Institute of Social Hypocrisy is the Paris based artificial organization that fronts an ongoing collaborative work by the artist Victor Boullet. The Institute of Social Hypocrisy is conducted in the form of a protracted performance piece and its very existence is brought about by inviting participation with others. Each player and event contributes vital information and connections that allow the Institute to progress.
At the exhibition which opened Friday, Turbo Props, I took photos of everything, and posed a hundred questions to the curator. And in the end, they have a ton of photos online & there’s a bit of explanation too. I highly recommend checking it out online or in person. In particular I’m fond of Tobias Madison’s Jackson-Pollock-painted-plants. Apparently the artist sent instructions to the curator (from Zurich to Paris) stating that house-plants were to be obtained, and then painted à la Pollock. I asked what would happen if someone bought them; would the artist repaint the plants, or would the new owner have to, and when leaves fell off, would they still be part of the piece? All this was besides the point. And Arield, who attended the opening, explained to me how he managed to avoid having to apply for the proper paperwork to create his mold of Rodin’s foot; evidently the same bureaucratic system notorious for sending artists wandering in circles (getting papers stamped, faxed, snail-mailed, triple-signed etc) can also be spun on its head, and thus altogether avoided. I won’t go into too much detail here, but basically it was a guerrilla maneuver in broad daylight. … also, check out Used Furniture while you’re here.