“WORK HERE!” says John from Cincinnati (in the TV series bearing his name), striking his heart with his clenched fist and looking his interlocutor straight in the eyes. This is the gesture I’m looking for in the works in this exhibition–or at least its directness, its intention and its intensity. A gesture that situates the starting point of the work in the heart. The heart is not necessarily love; more simply, perhaps, it is the place where an intimate relationship between the artist and his work can be located, a relationship underpinned by a form of inner experience and stated in the first person. I’m looking for manifestations of the author’s presence on the physical, emotional and discursive levels: signs of his involvement, indications of a close relationship–one which can even be too close, impeding critical distance and sometimes generating a sense of exclusion on the part of the person facing the work: the spectator. While the works are testimony to the artist’s involvement and display an affective charge, what place do they leave for the viewer? Does not approaching works through the prism of affects open up the possibility of addressing the viewer through his feelings, of affecting him, at the risk of excluding or manipulating him?
I also wanted to extend the exhibition’s scope to the art centre as a whole and to the exhibition publication: by moving the workshop for the public onto the same level as the exhibition, I’m betting that the educational programme work done here–on average we welcome two school classes a day–will have a positive effect on people’s perception of what’s on show. And by inviting the whole team to write about the works for the exhibition publication in the course of a writing workshop, I hope to convey the different points of view emerging from their respective experiences as art professionals and bring some variety to the writing. This exhibition contains the seeds of a long-term programme, while also being an opportunity to present the Art Centre in all its aspects.
Translated by John Tittensor
around the exhibition
From 5 pm to 6:30 pm
Talk: “Politics of Affects” by Maxime Cervulle, Senior lecturer in information and communication science (Univ.Paris 8).
From 6 pm to 8 pm
Jirí Kovanda/PerformanceXXX, With a man’s hand poked through a hole in the wall, he is offering bonbons to visitors, 2010–2013.
From 8 pm to 9 pm, at the Théâtre des Bergeries, Noisy-le-SecTalk: Le côté obscur de la forme / The Dark Side of the Form by Guillaume Désanges.