Vegas Gallery, London
274 Poyser Street
E2 9RF London
artists & participants
Vegas Gallery is pleased to present ‘I am by birth a Genevese’ , an installation project imagined by Swiss artist Alexandre Bianchini and French/Swiss artist Pascal Rousson to re-enact the strange atmosphere of Doctor Frankenstein’s laboratory and generate a new art work, a new creature. Made of several and diverse works, purposely clashing with each other, their creation will only been revealed on the evening of the preview.
More than 160 artists have accepted their invitation, and if the majority of the works are not particularly shocking, most of them thrive on the idea of weirdness, or possess an inner weirdness (either by the medium, process, or subject used within the work), and their relation to the theme will make sense when displayed altogether. Following Frankenstein’s experience, each work being a metaphor of the scavenged body parts used to conceive the Creature, they were interested to produce an installation, a creature, made out of very eclectic works, in order to create a visual surprise, looking to see if coherence will appear within the accident and the apparent disaster. It also allows them to play with the popular conception of the artist who depicts him as possessed, literally occupied by an inspired spirit that creates and self-destructs.
Both Alexandre Bianchini and Pascal Rousson practices thrive already on the understanding of the nature of art and artist: sourcing and then manipulating their material surroundings, they play with the idea of facades, stage or theatre, and present artists as self-mythologizing thieves of ideas and images. Their practices highlight the social framework conditions within which the artists’ personal relationships are developed, and the inevitability of citations in a post-modernist world who questions the model of artistic imagination and the loss of meaning of images. In this instance, the parallel with the theme of Frankenstein came to them naturally, through the notions of creation, invention and imagination, present within any artistic practice.
This project questions also the different way of exhibiting artworks, through the tradition of Salons and Cabinets of Curiosities, who used to be the only places where art works where exhibited and without curatorial approach. In this instance, the installation can be seen as a critic and metaphor for the role of museum curator, seen as a fake god who tries, through new arrangement and themes, to create a new meaning for works which are fading away trapped in those graves for contemporary art. By opposition, Alexandre Bianchini and Pascal Rousson wish to conduct experimentation, stressing on the visual result rather than a theme: the theme is merely a pretext for the visual clash and experience.
By the juxtaposition of various works within the installation, and their status as parts of a larger whole rather than as self-contained pictorial objects, the installation challenges the concept of art and artists as singular entities, as well as the art’s dissident vision of itself.
The exhibition will also be shown at Forde-Usine (Geneva), from 8 September to 4 October 2009.
‘I am by birth a Genevese’ is sponsored by Pro Helvetia/Swiss Embassy/Migros pour-cent culturel/Ville de Geneve/Fond d’art contemporain de la ville de Geneve (fmac)