The exhibition explores the contradictory yet creative relationship between the narrative, poetic and analytic potentialities of writing, investigating their wide spectrum of manifestations and their experimental results in the practice of seven international artists, most of them showing in France for the first time. On display: Orla Barry, Michael Dean, Clare Gasson, Falke Pisano, Reto Pulfer, Alexandre Singh, Richard T. Walker. Curated by Francesco Pedraglio.
Guest curator: Francesco Pedraglio in the framework of La Galerie’s annual residency for curators
Orla Barry, Michael Dean, Clare Gasson, Falke Pisano, Reto Pulfer, Alexandre Singh, Richard T. Walker
The exhibition “À corps & à textes” explores the contradictory yet creative relationship between the narrative, poetic and analytic potentialities of writing, investigating their wide spectrum of manifestations and their experimental results in the practice of seven international artists, most of them showing in France for the first time. The conceptual framework of “À corps & à textes” could be described as a fragile equilibrium between coexisting strategies of employing written words as a motor for artistic creation: from an exquisite rarefaction of the art object through subjective narrations to an analytic investigation of language as a medium for regaining the physicality of the work itself. The heterogeneous pieces presented by the artists position themselves between these major attitudes: in the interstices of writing as ‘dematerialising power’ and in the folds of ‘lettering as sculpting’.
The existence of endless poetic shadings, as countless as the narratives used by the artists in recollecting fragments of reality as a basis for their work, can transmute the most subjective everyday account into mythology and the most scrupulous analysis of a text into a physical object. Writing is the fil rouge that connects these extremes, creating a fluid field of encounters for the works on show. This fluidity of meaning is mirrored by the title "À corps & à textes", which underlines the physical nature of the text – as a body in space, a body that occupies space – and, at the same time, concretely plays with the wittiness of a simple linguistic twist.
Clare Gasson’s sound installation and Orla Barry’s video are intimate researches into writing as an imprint of the artist’s subjectivity, while Alexandre Singh’s unprejudiced use of fictional and sci-fi narratives inside complex installations is the catalyst for the creation of his alternative history. Michael Dean’s sculptures are an attentive exploration of the physical and typographic nature of writing, while Falke Pisano’s video is a speculative application of written words as a tool for analysing the conceptual foundation of the art object. Reto Pulfer’s work, with all its elements and their fluid combinations, is a performable mnemonic exercise in images and objects, which then is translatable into readable text, while Richard T. Walker’s open letters to natural elements are a disarming comment on often-false romantic rhetoric through a relational psychology of interior/exterior.
Words are important, and the exhibition analyses the consequences of this assertion through works and ephemera that make written words their functional core. The result is a unique equilibrium of fictional mythologies and conceptual cosmogonies capable of laying bare the reasons behind the artists' need to write, write, write. An integral part of “À corps & à textes” is the accompanying programme of events centred on the oblique relationships between writing and art making. Involving only Paris-based artists, the events are scheduled for different venues from Noisy-le-Sec to Paris, and include screenings, performances and readings (see the programme below).
Communication & publishing
T : +33 (0)1 49 42 67 17
Opening night Saturday 30 May 6-10pm
Press preview 5-6p
The artists will be present
On the evening of the opening, a free shuttle to coincide with Kadist Art Foundation Danh Vo’s opening will leave Paris (at 6:30pm Anvers tube station or at 7:00pm place de la République, Metro République, exit Rue du Temple). Return to Paris: 10:00pm. No reservation required, seating subject to availability.
La Galerie - Contemporary Art Centre
1 rue Jean-Jaures - Noisy-le-Sec
Tuesday to Friday: 2 - 6pm, Saturday: 2 - 7pm