Affiches, Art, Camping Cruise, Clarissa Baumann, contemporary art, Cuillère, Florian Viel, France, Gaia Fugazza, Golnâz Pâyâni, Gwendal le Bihan, Julien Fargetton, Life is(n’t) a Beach, Loto, Mathieu Dufois, Paris, Salon de Montrouge, Sudarium, Sun Cunming, Tetris
As always with contemporary art many pieces left me cold. But as in past years at Montrouge I found several works to really like, and others that I found very curious even if “like” isn’t quite le mot just. Here are a few that I found interesting.
This was a favorite because it delivered a shock of recognition after initially seeming dull:
This piece rightly won a prize because it embodies a concept as well as presenting distinctive objects. The stains on the tee shirt are the artist’s sweat from strenuous nights at Berlin nightclubs over a period of years. (I wonder whether a sly reference is being made to Monica Lewinsky’s cum-stained blue dress, which she never washed?)
One sometimes wonders whether anything whatever can be considered conceptual art, in which case it means nothing. A recent incident in which a student left a pair of glasses on the floor of a gallery tends to support this position. This piece, composed of the heel of a shoe and a split toothpick, does little to contradict the idea:
While these pieces are also simple, I found them more stimulating. The first documents the stages by which a silver spoon is transformed into a roll of wire (confusingly placed at opposite ends from the corresponding photos) and in the second the artist has painstakingly crocheted out the central part of a printed pattern, thus effacing the colors but embodying the image in the texture of the thread.
These make complex reference to women’s reproductive rights but I mainly just liked them as images.
Three pieces are best seen on video:
“Camping Cruise,” 2016, Gwendal Le Bihan (same artist as “Tetris” above) is a model railway that runs through the walls of the gallery every 15 minutes. I set my watch and took a prime position just as it started. What I didn’t bargain on was a field trip of elementary school children, who evidently appreciated the work even more than I did: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXEKc7OQpOg While this was fun for all concerned I did have a nagging doubt whether it’s really “art”.
“Affiches” (“Posters”), 2014, Mathieu Dufois is a miniature diorama showing ruined buildings adorned with posters from the 1960s. I don’t know what it means but it was beautifully done. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqO-2EqQhAo
“Life is(n’t) a Beach”, 2016, Florian Viel (detail). https://youtu.be/3Emstcd4WwY
A group shot to give you some idea of how much more was in the show:
This is the last weekend for the 2016 show, but if you enjoy contemporary art I commend it to you for next year.