“Art of Living (i.e. : Goodbye, Blue Monday)” at Galerie Valentin, Paris
This exhibition is an adaptation. Or rather, this exhibition is a pretext. A pretext for talking about other things, and when we speak of “things,” we mean all the objects of our lives. Objects with which we have lived, objects that we have observed, which become food for thought, used and reinjected—like the material part of the world—into works of art. We might summarize it in this way, with an existential explanation of raw materialism borrowed from the preamble to Breakfast of Champions by the American author Kurt Vonnegut.1
Drawings by the famous author—member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Institute for Arts and Letters—were originally included in the text. It is interesting to point out that his work deals with simple themes and makes references to genres that are often deemed “minor,” such as science fiction (although we ought to really speak of surrealism). It has always been, however, an attempt to raise the level of the debate through events drawn from everyday life, as abstract and excessive as they may be.
“My drawing of a rattle snake, for instance. They’ll have no trouble recognizing it as a rattle snake and saying to themselves, «rattle snake ».”2
The author thus poses a simple, obvious aphorism that conceals an instrumental point of view on life as a free eld in which one has to grab all the things making us up as if they were a residual portrait of ourselves.
At its start, the project proposed to bring into the gallery space pieces of either lived or mental life, and to put together a show in which the works would be made up of objects from reality. These offer the viewer a certain imagination and hence an open semantic feld, presenting us with a “list” by George Perec, the author of Things: A Story of the Sixties. Through a proposition just as straightforward and objective as it is possible, “Art of Living” would like to illustrate people’s life stories through their objects, that is, Material Beings. In a word, in the show there are objects that we have “experienced,” and which are henceforth part of a work of art. Referring again to Vonnegut’s drawing, we can say that things (what is left of our lives), even recontextualized, are not necessarily imbued with another meaning. Constituting works of art, they become once again a “back to zero” in cyclical, closed time. Just like when one says sarcastically at each and every start of a new week, predictable all the same, “Goodbye blue Monday.”
This show grew out of a conversation between Philippe and Frédérique Valentin and the artist Luca Francesconi. As part of this project, Francesconi is also presenting a series of interviews on the theme of the object.
1 Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions, or Goodbye Blue Monday (New York: Delacorte Press, 1973).
2 Kurt Vonnegut, La Colazione dei Campioni, Italian translation: Attilio Veraldi, Italy: Eleuthera, 1999
The exhibition is part of ” New Waves,” a joint initiative of the Palais de Tokyo and the Comité Professionnel des Galeries d’Art. Young curators selected by an international jury propose a look on the art of our time at the Palais de Tokyo and in 31 galleries.
With Lupo Borgonovo, Luca Francesconi, Sonia Kacem, Emanuele Marcuccio, Katja Novitskova, Timur Si-Qin, Anicka Yi
until 27 July 2013
Timur Si Qin, Bow on stripper poles, 2012
Katja Novitskova, Shapeshifter 1, 2013
Katja Novitskova, Shapeshifter 2, 2013
Katja Novitskova, Shapeshifter 2, 2013
Sonia Kacem, Ensemble de petites sculptures sur sol (9 éléments), 2013
Anicka Yi, Your Face Tomorrow, 2013
Emanuele Marcuccio, Untitled (desk), 2013
Emanuele Marcuccio, Untitled (It?s like buying a book because you like the cover), 2013
Lupo Borgonovo, Jellywit (Cookie) – 100 years, 2013
Lupo Borgonovo, Yelloween (Kagiso), 2013