NEW PAINTINGS: Future Myth
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NEW MAN AND MODE OF LIFE
Context and Introduction
Installation views, PhD Examination Presentation, Goldsmiths, London, 2012
Number 17, Stars series
Oil on canvas, 92 x 62 cm, 2010
Dispositiō, Tendency of the Mind (Double)
Variable number of 10 x 15 cm photographs, 2012
Collages of photographic paper, frames, 80 x 60 cm each, 2011
Paper-Plane-Paper-Plane-Paper... Flights Towards the Sun from Sunrise till Physical Exhaustion. Two Plane Models Repetitively Interchanged - Inside Face
Unfolded -plane, frame, 38 x 30.5 cm, 2011
To Dig The Earth
HD video (no sound), 3min46sec, 2011
Soundscape: Journey Towards a Future Unidentified Bird
Surround sound audio file, 9min45sec, 2012
To Dig The Earth
HD video (no sound), 3min46sec, 2011
Journey Towards a Future Bird
surround sound audio file, 9min44sec, 2012
The work is a bird soundscape which traces a journey towards an encounter with an unidentified future bird.
The work is not a performance, but the simulation of the performance of an absolute movement or journey through which the new emerge, through which the future comes into existence in the form of a bird. The symphony of nature tears itself open onto the Outside only to be simultaneously “re-patched” in its middle with the emergence of a new bird.
* Journey Towards a Future Bird.mp3 - left click to play in browser if supported or right click and select Save Link As to download the MP3 file [13.5 MB]
Paper-Plane-Paper-Plane-Paper. Two Night Flights Towards the Polar Star
and frame, 80 x 60 cm, 2010
Paper-Plane-Paper-Plane-Paper… is the relics of a process through which I flew a in direction of the Polar star for two consecutive nights. Night falls. A piece of is folded into a plane. The plane is flown by repetitively throwing it towards the Polar star until physical exhaustion. The plane is unfolded. Night time comes. The same piece of is refolded into another type of plane. The plane is flown by repetitively throwing it towards the Polar star until physical exhaustion.
Details of installation of 23h46m11sec, 15th July 2009, Como, Italy & 02h20m24sec and 25th Oclober 2009, London, UK.
That which the photographs give to see exceeds ordinary human views. I frame the photographs with a semi-reflective material to render explicit in the aesthetic experience the contrast between the two types of perceptions.
A Poetico-Ethical Journey: the Black-Throated Diver and Adagny the Beautiful Little Swedish Girl in White and ...
A Poetico-Ethical Journey was an attempt to engage with the problem to live A Life through a specific approach based on the notion of theatrum mundi. Consider the theatre of the world, the world as theatre, with urban and natural landscapes as sets, our actions and activities as taking place in a play: the enactment of cultural, political and social conventions themselves considered as scripts.
The problem was not to reveal the world as a theatre and to investigate the functioning of its scripts, sets, rules, enactments, etc. Such approach constitutes a critique, it characterizes my work from 2005-2006 and is a "negative" approach I moved away from in favor a more affirmative approach with A Poetico-Ethical Journey. Nor is the problem properly posed with the question “how to get out of the theatre?” because this question, as I have discovered through my theoretical and practical research, dangerously leads to forms of transcendence or death.
The problem is as such: beyond living this scripted play that our lives constitute, how to start living Life within the theatre? The approach A Poetico-Ethical Journey takes to attempt to solve this problem is to write "new scripts" and perform their enactments. This approach in turn evidently raises the following problem: the enactment of which scripts would be to live Life? The work is an exercise of writing, of performance, and of creations of artworks in different mediums which give to the viewer access to both the writing (the "new scripts") and the performance (the enactment of these new scripts, i.e. the play, the attempt to live Life), so that the viewer can re-play, repeat, re-sense (re-sentir/ressentir) the Journey.
The project, and so the Journey, is at every stages open-ended (“and ...”) because the Journey becomes a new mode of life, a new way to live and not simply a series of performances heterogeneous in time and space. The project becomes for the viewer an encounter with a tale of the attempt to establish a new mode of life. A new play resulting from the re-writing of our existing scripts, a new fiction to metamorphose our existing fictions in the attempt to live Life, to live an Outside of the theatre or world whilst necessarily remaining within.
The project remains open-ended but why did it stop in 2008? In the practical and theoretical engagements with the problem to live Life, I came to the conclusion that the very notion of theatrum mundi badly sets the terms of the problem. My theoretical and practical work from 2008 essentially develops new terms and a new approach to the problem to live Life.
PART ONE: THE BLACK-THROATED DIVER AND ...
Repetition Of and For A Journey
Script, 50 A4 pages, 2008
The work is a script in textual form composed of six scenes: The Encounter with an Ornithologist, Re-writing a Legend That Never Existed: The Migrating Bird and the Star Dust, Post-mortem, a Record of the Expedition in the Great North of Quebec, Adagny the Beautiful Little Swedish Girl in White, Particles and Black Holes, A Letter from China.
It is both the textualization of works in different mediums pertaining to the first part of the project A Poetico-Ethical Journey (i.e. the Black-Throated Diver and …) and the narrative development of the Journey into its second part (i.e. Adagny the Beautiful Little Swedish Girl in White and …). From then on, as exemplified by the exhibition at Platform China Contemporary Art Institute in Beijing in 2008, the project was exhibited exclusively as text and photographs.
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Post-mortem, a Record of the Expedition in the Great North of Quebec
video, 4min33sec, 2006
The Travelling Bird and the Star Dust
audio, 19min20sec, 2007
* The Travelling Bird and the Star Dust.mp3 - left click to play in browser if supported or right click and select Save Link As to download the MP3 file [22.6 MB]
Images from Encounnter with Amelia
unbound book, 2006
video (no sound), 11min46sec, 2007
Details of Music Sheets of a Lost Randomly Generated Piece of Music
39 music sheets, 2007
Exhibition map and installation views of A Poetico-Ethical Journey: the Black-Throated Diver and ... , Winchester School of Art, UK, 2007
PART TWO: ADAGNY THE BEAUTIFUL LITTLE SWEDISH GIRL IN WHITE AND ...
Exhibition poster and installation views of A Poetico-Ethical Journey: the Black-Throated Diver and Adagny the Beautiful Little Swedish Girl in White and ..., Platform China Contemporary Art Institute, Beijing, 2008
The work from this period can be said to be pervaded by the notion of theatrum mundi, or so was the frame of thought through which I engaged with my art practice at that time. As opposed to A Poetico-Ethical Journey with its affirmative approach to this notion, most of the works from this period can be said to embody a form of critique. A common thread between most of the works is the use of strategies of institutional critique and relational aesthetics to engage with the idea that our views, experiences and actions are the enactment of pre-existing cultural, social and political "scripts".
Day Neon Light, Always Already Mediated
wood supports, day-glo neon lights, variable size, 2005
The work is an installation of Day-Glo neon lights situated in a natural setting (in this instance in a wooded area in Canada) to be experienced at night. It engages with the duality nature/technology, natural/artificial. Technological and cultural artifacts mediate our views of what might be considered as "the real" in the most pervasive ways, even on an experiential level. Our perceptions are always necessarily through language, culture and technology.
This statement is from 2005. In a sense I now disagree with the last sentence (and as such with the initial motivation for the work) in that it is reductive: some of our perceptions are certainly mediated by language, culture and technology, but there is an entirely different realm of experience, of visions as opposed to perceptions, that is unmediated by such realms. The sensation which gives rise to a perception is not defined by language, culture and technology, it is defined by its own onto-genesis, in other words by Life, a realm that can be said to be experienced through visions or sensations (and not perceptions).
The sensation is perhaps given rise to by this work through the incapacity of differentiating between the natural and the artificial on an experiential level. All is natural, nothing is artificial, even atomic bombs. All is artificial, nothing is natural, even flowers. Both simultaneously are the point of view from and onto Life.
video projection (no sound), 10min16sec, 2005
The work is a video to be projected in a small and dark space, forcing viewers to stand close to each other. Projected are the subtitles from a scene of the film Persona by Ingmar Bergman. The subtitles, and correlatively the narrative development, are interrupted by the projections an image of white light which operates as light projectors facing the audience. The work engages with the dialectic between the viewer’s "absorption" by a narrative and the physicality and sociality of the space where a narrative is encountered. Brechtian tactics of viewer activation; emphasis of narrative "absorption" through a narration that is sexual in nature versus the physicality, in this instance the sensuality, of the space of reception hors-fiction, hors-narration.
Open-Ended Relational Institutional Critique Experiment - Winchester School of Art, UK
people, laser prints, tape, pens, , variable size/variable duration, 2006
A photograph of individual staff members from the establishment where the work is installed is fixed to one or many walls. To each photograph is attached a white sheet of . Viewers directly relating to the establishment (in this instance staff members and students) are invited to write comments. The work was an investigation in, and experimentation with faceless entities such as institutions, companies, etc.; institutional critique on an inter-subjective level; and viewer responsibility. Issues with and raised by this work led me to being forced to remove the work after two days, ten days before the end of the exhibition.
Social Drift, Negotiated Walk #7 - Granby, Quebec, Canada
People, 5 Inkjet prints, 30 x 30 cm each, 2005
The participants perform a walk with no predetermined length of time, direction or purpose. The objective of the work is to create pointless journeys where people have to interact with each other to take decisions in order to determine the path they will take - whilst being forced to adhere to cultural and social patterns: architectures, landscapes, the subjects’ inter-relational power positions, etc. It aims to open a space of negotiations for the performance of a pointless journey.
MINIMAL INTERVENTIONS, 2005-2006
The following works exemplify a series of what I term minimal interventions that are documented with photographs of standard consumer size, 10 x 15 cm.
Failed Attempt at Constructing and Inhabiting an Igloo (Igloo, Final Moments, Mild Frostbites on Face)
As with the work To Dig The Earth, 2011, and the Paper-Plane-Paper-... series works, 2011-on going, in my performances I appear to be interested in pushing an activity that I used to perform when I was a child to the limits in accordance to my own physical capacities as an adult. To dig a whole to perhaps find a treasure, to study minerals, or perhaps to reach China which was then considered to be the antipode of where I grew up; the longest and most beautiful plane flight; to build and live in an igloo... This relationship to childhood is interesting to me, but it is not the motivation for the works, especially the more recent ones.
This older work is centered on failure, ethnic craft and knowledge, and also of more concern to my recent work, processes of territorialization and modes of life.
Torch Held in Front of The Sun
A small torch is placed in front of the sun and photographed. The work, through the simplest of gesture, "articulates" nature as a set, a theatre. Direct links can be established with Day Neon Light, Always Already Mediated, a work which by being experiential does not "articulates" and is as such all the more potent.
Daily Documentation of Traces Made in an Attempt to Produce a Work of Art, Day 9
Fading traces, memories, material imprints in the universe of our actions in the attempt to create, to perform extraordinary movements, to bring the future into existence.
All begins Outside
To understand Gilles Deleuze, one must first understand that all begins Outside, at an immeasurable distance.
I begin Outside, and I arrive in my body, in my brain, and in my " I ", at every instant.
I'm not here, but there, Outside. Yet by my incessant arrival, I am here.
When we aestheticize the here as a theater, as an imagination, as a dream, we relate the here to the Outside. To aestheticize the here, that we perceive through our ordinary perceptions, as a dream, and seek to awake ourselves. To aestheticize the here as a theater, and search to see behind the scenes. But this is to badly set the problem.
Instead of seeking and being fascinated by a potential awaking on the Outside, one must realize that the dream is already Outside, that it begins Outside, that it is inseparable from the Outside, that it is through and from the Outside that I dream, and that the " I " is dreamt.
There would be four positions/actions within the aesthetics of the here in relation to the Outside.
Dream = I dream without being aware of it = the happy idiot.
Dream awareness = I dream and I am aware that I dream = the fascinated contemplator.
To seek an awakening (to find the Outside) = the unhappy actor, held within a problem badly set.
To be awaken = I am Outside, and so awaken, and I look at the Outside which I ordinarily see, like the others, as the here that Outside itself gives me to see, but also, in my awakening, I See, I see the Outside from different perspectives = the awaken man in position to Act.
Better to be happy or fascinated than unhappy, but it is still better to see, be awaken and in position to Act. We are all Outside but the awaken man in position to Act is the only one to live it, the only one to Live the Outside and therefore to be able to Act with and through him. Through the man in position to Act the dualistic aesthetics of the here and the Outside disappear: there is no longer a dream, a unity emerges in the being awaken.
An art of the future
Like Nietzsche built a philosophy of the future, as he himself said, we must make an art of the future, a future-oriented art, “un art au future”.
It would already mean to do an art neither of the past nor of the present, excluding an incredible number of practices, so much so that we wonder what an art of the future can be, and if we ever have seen a work which belongs to it.
An art of the future excludes :
an art nostalgic of the past in its content and its form (re-appropriation of subjects, mediums and modes of artistic practices that seemed to have had potential in the past).
an art based on the history of art, by referring or using it as a milieu, even if it is to criticize it, to reject it.
an art which deals with perceptions, affections and opinions of the present, or memories of perceptions, affections and opinions of the past.
a critical art, since it can only criticize the present or the past (negative critique, an art of the future is critical, but can be said to be affirmative).
a political art, democratic or antagonistic to democracy, since engage with the present.
a participatory or relational art, where the work is a participation in the present.
And so on, one must be very vigilant.
Yet an art of the future is not the desire for a specific future, it is not utopian, or even science fiction.
An art of the future calls for a people and world to come without defining or representing this people and this world.
The nature of this call
Where does this call come from?
The call comes from an outside, from the Outside, like a scream that says "come join me".
Who calls, who is this "me"?
It is the Outside itself. It is not a God, or if it is a God is a God-Immanence-Outside-Nature, because the Outside is not transcendent but pure immanence, and nature because nature is what one usually perceives of the Immanence in which we bathe, what we usually see of the Outside inside which we are.
The call comes from the Outside, but since we are Outside and look directly at it but ordinarily “only” perceive nature, the call seems to come from the middle of nature that we perceive (and how could it be otherwise since the Outside does not transcend nature?). The call seems to come from nature, yet it also seems to come from elsewhere, from a behind or an outside, and it arrives in the present, yet it appears to come from the future, since it summons us towards the future.
An art of the future is not abstract, this would be the re-appropriation of a past potential, because the Outside is not itself abstract, abstraction having deep ties with the transcendent. Above all an art of the future is not purely formal or plastic novelties (we do not understand well the use of new media when we merely want the new) that we too often fetishize.
When does it call?
All the time. When we do not hear it, it's because we do not pay attention.
And who does it call?
He never calls only myself, nor only “self”. The call is not directed towards me but towards a “we”. He does not call me, he calls us. He calls us towards a new people to come. And yet this "us" is never reduced to humans, it is as wide as the whole of nature. The scream calls me, inasmuch as it calls us and that in the same cry it calls all trees, bears, rocks, suns and black holes. It calls for a new world to come.
An art of the future materializes, tunes, amplifies this call that nonetheless already exists, this scream of the Outside and the future that by this very fact multiplies its voices and resonates differently in the middle of our nature in the present.
Outside and Future
What is the relationship between Outside and future?
The Outside is present, necessarily, because it does not transcend it, so it is present (in terms of temporality and in terms of presence). Nature, the here in the present, is what we can ordinarily perceive of the Outside.
The Outside is the recuperation of the present that passes, and as such the sum of all the past, the Outside is therefore past.
The Outside is above all future, the forces of the future, because it is the Outside that incessantly calls us towards the future and brings it into existence, ad infinitum. The Outside is not the future, in other words what nature will be, it is the ontological and genetic conditions of the future. The Outside is a future to come, a future forever to come, because it is it who will forever call us towards and bring about the future.
But the Outside, a future forever to come (à venir), is also a future (un avenir), because the establishment of a unity with the Outside is the future of man, a man who is awake and in position to Act because he opened himself by opening the world onto itself, that is to say, onto the Outside.
What is an artist of the future?
An artist of the future is a philosophical concept, but above all a man or a woman (and that is why philosophy is abstract).
What does he look like?
He seems strange because he seems to be elsewhere than in our nature, his eyes are deep, facing us it is as if he looks at like this elsewhere where he is and that we do not see, his gaze pierces us, he sees as if through us. Or, he seems to return from this elsewhere, arriving here as returning from a faraway outside, almost like an undead.
He is out of breath, his eyes are red, but he's eager to leave again. He is probably already there, and he would like to be left alone for a while, sometimes. He has little time, and when he has some he is tired.
Where is he?
He is necessarily here, in our nature, in the present. But he is also elsewhere, and this elsewhere has an aspect that is as much spatial as temporal. He is in our nature, but also Outside, and (at the) present, but also already future. And it is only from there that he can accomplish his task.
What do his works look like?
Like him, his works seem strange because although being of nature and of the present (his work always address nature in the present) they also seem to be signals from the Outside and the future, sent by the artist who calls us to join him, in nature but as if elsewhere, in the present but as if in the future.
It is as much he who calls us as the Outside with which he has established an unity that calls the whole of nature.
What does he do?
His task is to capture, tune and amplify the call of the Outside/future by the means he develops, it is as such that he Acts, that he is active, in his wake, Outside, in the future forever to come, while most, and often also him, sleep and react, here in nature, in the present.
Both feet and his head Outside, he sees. It gains a new eye that is not subjected to, that does not give to see, the optical space and the present that passes, which both correspond to our ordinary perceptions. He sees different events, or the same event from different perspectives, depending on where he turns his attention, depending on where he directs his new eye.
He sees this optical space and continuously passing present correlated to our ordinary perceptions, but he sees it as an emergence from the Outside where he finds himself, as if this space and this present actualizes itself through his eye. He apprehends the relationship between his ordinary or usual points of views on nature and their genesis, that is to say their emergence from the Outside. This could be called hallucinations, provided that it is nature that appears to be hallucinated.
His attention changes focus, his new eye looks in another direction, he has a new perspective. He sees the Outside, inasmuch as he see it inseparably from nature. It would be different than seeing nature in its relation of emergence with the Outside. He sees mixtures of unformed matter and he sees the fission or split of time in the accumulation of the past that preserves itself and the present that passes as the incessant actualization of the future. He has a perspective from and on the a-spatial and the a-temporal that underlies and conditions the nature that usually sees. Nature being perspective or viewpoint on the Outside (we are in and look at the Outside but ordinarily only see nature), now nature opens itself onto itself and as such onto the Outside. This could be called visions.
His eye gazes in yet again a new direction. He sees possible futures, because from his perspective nothing is predetermined. At any moment he sees almost an infinity of possibilities for nature. This makes his interaction with the environment, people and his own presence difficult, because at any moment he is surprised that nature has emerged as such. At every instant he sees science-fictions, from which nature and the present, being one such possibility, cannot differentiated point. This could be called the views of possible futures.
By what he sees, the artist of the future already Acts because he is already involved in the action of the Outside, in its actualization or genesis, in these movements decentered from any anthropomorphism. And he Acts in the creation of his works that give to experience the hallucinations, visions and views of possible futures he has, works which call us Outside, works which amplify the call of the Outside.
He also Acts in another way, because from where he stands, i.e. Outside, he performs certain movements that in nature would be inaccessible to him. And although Outside, he still is in nature, how could it be otherwise? Through the establishment of a unity with the Outside not only did he gain a new eye, an Eye, but he also gained Legs, Hands, a Spine, which allow for unprecedented movements which from a perspective of nature often seem strange. These movements are seen in nature because this is where they take place, but guided by his Eye, with his new Legs and Hands, he travels incredible distances and times that can only be rendered by coordinates that have become cosmic and absolute. We could be called his action.
That's what he does. He is Outside, in position to Act, and he Acts.
This is for him a mode of life. And it is incredibly simple: the Outside, what he sees and the actions he performs actions there.
This is already implicit in all his works which call us Outside, by which the Outside calls us, but sometimes, from the Outside, with his new Eye, the artist of the future returns himself and looks at us, and we see and feel that he invites us to join him, Outside, in a future forever to come, even if the work has five years, a hundred years or ten thousand years.
Mode of life, future myth
Why one work or even more obviously all the works by the artist of the future appear to us as the expression of a mode of life, which itself appears to be a myth?
The mode of life of the artist of the future is neither to be a painter, nor a photographer, nor is it to perform, whether he does one or many of these things. His mode of life is not related to the medium. Mediums are second, he uses them as apparatus of capture and transmission (of the call of the Outside). His mode of life is neither to be an artist, which means nothing.
Beyond the medium only one thing is done, and one understands that this thing involves his life entirely, totally. His mode of life is to be Outside, and to Act, that is to say, tune and amplify the call of the Outside he ears just next to him and even through himself, because he himself is Outside and lives there.
His life, his mode of life, appears to us as a myth.
Myth: A traditional or legendary story, usually that of a being, a hero or an event, with or without basis of facts or natural explanation, especially one concerning divinities or demi-Gods and that explains a practice, a rite, or a phenomenon of nature.
Not a myth of the past but a myth of the future, “un myth au futur”. His works are amplifications of the call of the Outside and through them is developed the narration of a life, his mode of life in the future which being incarnated in the present appears to us as a myth.
Necessarily in nature and in the present (au present), he is Outside and in the future (au futur), a future forever to come. The unity with the Outside, with the future forever to come, accomplished here, in the present, the future of man already realized here in nature in the present, this is what seems mythical to us. A true story of the present appears to us as a myth in the future, and as the myth of the future of man.
It would appear to us as a myth because we do not believe in this world. We do not believe in this world because we close it, the world is closed: the incessant communications, perceptions, opinions and affections, and that we try to escape by all sorts of ways: religion, utopia, fantasies, science-fictions. One must open the world onto itself, that is to say on the Outside, this is how one believes in it. Not to believe in the myth, to believe in this world. To believe in this world would to first be surprised that it exists as such , surprising ourselves for example with our bodies, with all bodies. Not to create science-fiction, but the world, nature at present, bodies, as science-fictions; this is to believe in this world because it is to perceive it from the Outside and thus to have opened it on itself.
If on believes in this world, the mode of life of the artist of the future appear less as a myth, because one has already joined him. The call of the Outside that he amplifies no longer seems to come from elsewhere, an elsewhere further than any distance, and from the future, but right next to or through us, Outside, not like an implausible scream but like a secret we already knew.
An artist of the future is a mode of life of the Outside and the future incarnated in nature in the present, and also the future of humanity. That is why the great men and women of the past are still now at the future (au futur), and that one can speak of timeless works, because the best works still call us towards the future, a future forever to come, hopefully, unless we close the world and that we forget how it opens itself, unless we stop believing in this world.
It seems against our times to base an art practice on a premise that needs to be defined philosophically, even more so that it concerns directly neither the historical, nor the social, nor the political, but the ontological, the nature of being. It appears to me however as the most urgent task and needed work, because the ontological is nothing other than life.
There is a wild and powerful life, a non-organic life that transverse all and that yet exceeds our ordinary experiences. This ordinarily hidden life, or Life, conditions our experiences and in that sense ordinarily exceeds them, it is through Life that we experience the universe. It is as such our life, our individual lives, it lives through us and we live through it, but we do not ordinarily experience or live its absoluteness and infinity. Our ordinary experiences are anthropomorphic and consequently tamed points of view from and on this wild and powerful Life. Even the most advanced measurements of science are tamed points of view on Life, on this plane of immanence inside which we bath and which bathes inside us, on this transcendental field radically decentred from humans: ‘the impression of a fictive, foreign world, seen by other creatures, but also the presentiment that this world is already ours, and those creatures, ourselves’ Gilles Deleuze, Pure Immanence. Essays on A Life, New York, Zone Books.
Commitment to A Life: Thinking Beyond Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s Conceptualization of Art
My PhD thesis, Commitment to A Life: Thinking Beyond Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s Conceptualization of Art, is soon to be published in some form or another. In the meantime, following is the abstract:
This thesis takes as its point of departure Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s conceptualization of art. Art for them is the expression of A Life in the living. A Life is the ontological and genetic condition of that which we are and ordinarily experience, it is the vital and material transcendental plane of immanence which characterizes Deleuze and Guattari’s ontology. Their conceptualization of art, however, sits uncomfortably with contemporary art in rejecting conceptual and photographic practices, and in its radical rejection of human experience. The aim of this thesis is to expand their conceptualization of art whilst remaining close to what is argued to be its core or essence: a commitment to A Life. This thesis explores three paradigms of commitment to A Life that move beyond the paradigm of A Life in the living. These paradigms are developed through the application of concepts developed by Deleuze and Guattari to contemporary mediums and artworks, with the aim of broadening the relevance of their philosophy for contemporary artistic practices. Deleuze and Guattari’s aesthetics is analyzed and expanded through an engagement with works by Francis Bacon, Thomas Struth, Pierre Huyghe, Francis Alÿs and Peter Doig. By finding a commonality between these artists in their commitment to A Life, this thesis hopes to develop a conceptualization of art which allows us to understand how contemporary art practices engage with A Life, the infinite inside which we live and which lives inside us.
Opened Rain Series
These photographs of rain are captured at night with powerful camera flashes from diverse locations around the world.
Rain is an atmosphere, it surrounds us, it is a realm we (occasionally) live in. We most often react to it, we run away from it, we take cover, we protect ourselves, as well as in shelters rain has the effect of enclosing us inside our very own bodies. I do not react to rain, I act with it. I do not blink, I open rain. I do not walk in Montreal, on a night of June, at 23h12m42sec, I walk in opened rain.
The drops are dematerialized into color fields, a sensory map of the physical properties of that precise configuration of matter at this exact moment in time.
The photographs do not result from the capture of pre-determined points of views: the resulting images only come into existence through the act and at the moment of capture, itself (evidently) in coincidence with the moment of actualization of the universe from/through Life. This is emphasized by the Opened Rain Series but it is true of all photographs, it is true of the ontology of the photograph and of the nature of perception in general, including human perception. The eye of the camera (or of man) is not in nature capturing pre-determined points of views on nature, it is in the Outside looking at this Outside at the very moment of its actualization as nature, nature being that which the eye can perceive of the Outside following its own capacities or threshold of perception.
Explicit in the works from the Opened Rain Series is the coincidence and inseparability between the eye and nature. The eye produces, it produces its nature, a nature which expresses the eye’s threshold of perception of Life.
The series is open-ended and infinite in correlation to the open-ended and infinite, incessant re-actualization of the universe. The series embodies an infinite repetition where each photograph is necessarily unique: the material embodiment of the series is never the repetition of the same but always the repetition of difference, each photographs being developed/printed only once. The incessant difference of the accident, not of an accident in nature but of the accident of nature: its emergence from and through the Outside.
The sensation, the emotion generated by the field of shapes and colours in its relation to the specific time and place to which this field pertains. There is a dislocation between that which is sensed and that which is known through the titling: this is Montreal, this is a night of June, this is 23h12m42sec. Explicit in the experience of the work is the non-correspondence between sensation and language, between emotion and knowledge.
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where I completed my PhD, and for information on current activities in Research in the Art Department