Turns - Possibilities of Performance

 — Laurent Montaron , Parfums pourpres du soleil des pôles (Ulla von Brandenburg, Julien Discrit, Thomas Dupouy, Olivia Grandperrin, Laurent Montaron), Laëtitia Badaut Haussmann, Marc Hundley, Angelica Mesiti

7th November, 2013 — 21st December, 2013

Press release

The Possibilities of Performance

In his essay on the 1973 novel Crash, Baudrillard gauges J.G. Ballard's potent imagery inducing prose as "truly saturated with an intense initiatory power" acknowledging that the description of something can be even more powerful than the actual thing itself. The human imagination is well equiped to fill in any gap that is absent in descriptive stimuli, and in fact, the human mind almost always adds graphic and heightened details to any part of a story. Similarly, the works presented in 'Turns: The Possibilities of Performance' are suggestive of the actions, formed or unformed, that surround them. This exhibition will focus upon the peripheral aspect of the performance, the before, the after, the potential, the simultaneity and also the offspring of a performative action. The four artists and one collective each expose a certain position upon performative acts, from music, readings, science and the circus and the varied medium of sculpture, sound, printmaking and video.

Prepared Piano for Movers (Haussmann) by Angelica Mesiti takes a historical position and exposes several truths about the present. The work depicts two movers carrying the heaving and fragile instrument up six flights of a narrow staircase. As the men, equipped with harnesses and grips, ascend each floor, one step at a time, the piano resounds in sounds that correspond to the jerk, bumps and leans of the bulking volume that deftly reminds us of its percussive statute. The anti-melody is strange and unsettling as it accentuates its own vulnerability through the displacement it is encountering, and more importantly the muscles and ligaments, flexibility (and inflexibility) of the human body. Acknowledging the accomplishments of the pioneering artist and composer John Cage, by preparing the interior of the piano with items to hammer the strings when knocked, Mesiti accentuates all the relationships of the human body in its urban place, in this case an ornate Haussmann apartment block in central Paris, turning this manual labour into artistic performance. The work has drawn comparisons to Gustave Caillebotte?s 1875 painting, Les Raboteurs de parquet that was earlier refused by the Paris Salon for formally criticising its polite audience by exposing the physically gruelling working class labour mandatory to provide for their privileged lifestyles.

Marc Hundley's artworks provide a window into his most personal performances. These intimate pieces suggest, or in the artists own words 'advertise' events, most often readings or pre-recorded concerts experienced only by himself. His works on paper or as t-shirts, appear as invitations or announcements including the address, time, and some emotive information of a happening. Often advertising events already in the past, Hundley is promoting the simplicity and intimacy of inner-experience, his love of art, music and literature. These events may be lying at home reading Virginia Woolf or listening to a Joni Mitchell song on the stereo. This nostalgic work becomes commemorative, generous and inclusive in its exposure of something so personal, it is employing the functions of graphic design by using democratic printing methods such as stencils, photocopying and silkscreen to archive and evaluate a unique experience.

The work of Laurent Montaron often exposes the intricate functioning of its own medium. In the case of The Invisible Message, 2011 the sculpture consists of the parts of an experiment in communication. The work is a reenactment of the first, allegedly successful, experiment into wireless communication conducted by Mahlon Loomis in 1866 between two mountains fourteen miles apart in Virginia, USA. Like Loomis, Montaron used two kites as a transmitter / receiver system attempting to recreate this crossing, from invisible into the visible, from stasis to electric, from absence into presence, from past to future. Displaced in the gallery The Invisible Message becomes distinctly static, what was once a dramatic performance becomes a study of form and ideas. Originally staged during Performa 2011 in New York City across the East River. An area densely populated with airborne signals, even with every detail specifically rebuilt, it is impossible to know if the recreation of the experiment was a success, and to many ends this is not important except to expose the parts, players and motivations involved in this game that becomes explicit inside an inert system.

Evoking a similar investigation to Montaron but instead the potential energy preceding a performative action, Laëtitia Badaut Haussmann questions what is an object without a function. Underway, figure # 2, 2012 seems to ask "What happened?" or rather "What will happen?". The work in steel and cable may not be obviously recognised as a dismantled training tightrope structure. It is extracted from its natural domain and impeccably rebuilt. With the cable rolled up on the floor and the two frames impassively leaning against the wall the work is suggests the inert nature of formal sculpture, but the potential energy is present, we want to know how or when the seemingly functional frame, a facsimile of it's source material, will be activated, how, when and mainly by whom.

The collective Parfums pourpres du soleil des Pôles at varying times has included the artists Ulla von Brandenburg, Julien Discrit, Thomas Dupouy, Olivia Grandperrin and Laurent Montaron. Collaborating to create the performance work on six separate occasions, including that of the 2009 performance at The Centre Pompidou, Paris, the artwork titled after the group itself can be seen as a type of conversation. The collective create a sound piece with harmonium organs. Listening is a Synaesthetes, those persons with the condition of "seeing sounds" , usually in abstracted shapes and colours. With a broad palette of coloured cards, the Synaesthete reproduces what the music looks like. Varying interpretations ensue.  The performance created by the collective is reproducing this process by elaborating a work in its own right that after many repetitions became a refined piece. During a time at the Villa Medici in Roma, the group had the opportunity to record in the 'Turkish Room', utilising the unique acoustic environment and for the this recording playing Indian harmoniums and a shruti box. In this particular contact, the original work had given birth to a new performance, a stand alone sound piece.

The varied works combined on the occasion of Turns ? The possibilities of performance deliver a perspective on the performative discipline presented as objects and sound that attempt to expose more than the action itself. The gaps are filled with the "initiatory power" enabled by a process of distance and suggestion. Potential and relic provide a periphery of performance as a guide to magnify and expose.





 

Exhibition view
Turns - Possibilities of Performance
7th November, 2013 — 21st December, 2013 , Galerie Allen
Exhibition view
Turns - Possibilities of Performance
7th November, 2013 — 21st December, 2013 , Galerie Allen
Exhibition view
Turns - Possibilities of Performance
7th November, 2013 — 21st December, 2013 , Galerie Allen
Exhibition view
Turns - Possibilities of Performance
7th November, 2013 — 21st December, 2013 , Galerie Allen
Exhibition view
Turns - Possibilities of Performance
7th November, 2013 — 21st December, 2013 , Galerie Allen
Exhibition view
Turns - Possibilities of Performance
7th November, 2013 — 21st December, 2013 , Galerie Allen
Exhibition view
Turns - Possibilities of Performance
7th November, 2013 — 21st December, 2013 , Galerie Allen
Exhibition view
Turns - Possibilities of Performance
7th November, 2013 — 21st December, 2013 , Galerie Allen
Exhibition view
Turns - Possibilities of Performance
7th November, 2013 — 21st December, 2013 , Galerie Allen
Exhibition view
Turns - Possibilities of Performance
7th November, 2013 — 21st December, 2013 , Galerie Allen