Monday, 24 September 2012

Art that makes you feel good, part 2

Year was 2010. At the time I was still in Osaka, nearing the end of my time in Japan. It was a Sunday and me and the world around was drenched, completely. It was May and cold and gray, gray, gray. It was possibly the first time ever that an artwork touched me so deeply, so truly.

I can't say that it did only and purely made me feel good. No, it raised a complicated and intricate mix of feelings and sensations. I felt touched, calmed and a warm fullness. I felt complete, at ease.

As I learned much later, it was the first time I was confronted to Janet Cardiff's work. And, even after so many years, I remember it so well.

The room was large and white. I had entered by the right side. All around the room's wall were arranged an impressive amount of big speakers, 40 as it turned out. In the middle was one lonely exhibition bench. In front of it, a giant window giving on Osaka's harbor. It was lost in the mist, impossible to see anything further away than 30 or so meters. From time to time a ship's hull would pierce through the grayness, a ghostly apparition.

I had entered the room in a moment of calm, silence. I could only hear some distant noises, voices talking. I sat down and someone called the voices to an halt. And there, the show started: one first voice started to arise, it was join by another one and another one and another one. And time passing by, I got surrounded by the 40 different voices of a choir.

I was sitting down in the middle of a room and at the same time I was transported somewhere else. I got lost in a beautiful and aerie reality, watching the rain falling down on Osaka's harbor. I couldn't help it, the effect was so strong that I stayed there for a whole hour, sitting down on this lonely bench in this giant room,  listening to all those separate voices coming together. I stayed to listen thrice to this incredible audio-installation and I only left because at one point, I had too. I couldn't linger there in stasis for ever.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Impressions from a room in betrieb

Except the emptiness and abandonment, what I will remember from Halle are these: a hungry oven saying repeatedly "Rhabarber", a room full of flying coat hangers, empty chairs, floating wall paper, a decaying building and a beautiful performance by Sarah McKeever, her dancing on a facade, liberated from the downward pull of Earth's gravity.


Since Thursday 30th of August and until Friday 7th of September, I'll be presenting a sound-installation as part of a group exhibition in Halle. The exhibition takes place into an old and completely empty communist era building and will host for slightly more than a week works from 80 or so artists dealing with the general themes of "space and emptiness".

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Proud of the Wood

Proud of the wood and mostly proud of myself. Last finished project to date, a bookshelf made from scratch. It measures 170 cm by 45 cm by 30 cm, I made it myself and it took me more or less an afternoon to do.

It was intended to be standing tall but instead it will be lying low on the floor, absorbing my growing collection of books.

And it has a slightly more modern touch than the second, third or fourth hand pieces of furniture I traditionally like to buy.

Scream from the Heart

No need for any explanations, this is a real scream from the heart. Pure and simple, effective and poignant. Vibrant.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Found, Dead Cat

Sometimes, my contemporaries amaze me. Like in this case: "Found, dead cat!".

The announcement is macabre and disturbingly thoughtful. Just think it through. You loose an animal, look for it, wonder what happened to it. At least, in this case, you know. Your lovely ball of fur is gone, dead. Never to be seen again (except if you want to go and identified the corpse). As I said, macabre but thoughtful. Or I guess it is since the notice is almost unreadable.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Au royaume de la Lune montante, l'Anderson est roi

"Moonrise Kingdom" // Wesandersonism // 2012 // USA

What to say? "Moonrise Kingdom" is a Wes Anderson movie and it possesses all the attributes of his cinema.

It has the great, warm and calm colors we have always know his movies to have. It has the strange atmospheres and the weird situations. It has that 
 so recognizable Andersonian quirkyness. It has the peculiar humor, diffused but omnipresent. It has a great cast featuring some old flames (Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman) and a couple of new ones (Edward Norton and Bruce Willis). It has wandering adults, that are depressed, sad and lost. It has kids that are too old for their ages, frighteningly sure of themselves. It has a self-conscious narration and a narrator that looks like Jacques Cousteau. It has, again, a comment on fatherhood. It has leitmotivs. It has suspense. It has action. It has romance. And it also has a slight cartoon feeling.

For sure, Wes Anderson has his own style, his own world, and "Moonrise Kingdom", by the equilibrium it reaches, brings it to a new maturity.

And, somehow, I couldn't help but think that, his cinema, or at least "Moonrise Kingdom", was one of the modern incarnation of the Nouvelle Vague, a retranscription and adaptation of its codes, subjects and characters.