One thing after another: an exhibition, an art fair, a glass of good wine, an episode from an American TV series. But each item on the list conjures up what follows: the next exhibition (will it be as good, or better?), the next art fair (who'll be there this time?), the next glass of wine (the last?), and the next episode (bring on the one after!). Each of these follow-ups has its own inner logic: each new element either replaces the previous one (the TV series), adds to it (the wine) or cancels it out (the fair).
But what if an exhibition accumulated all the characteristics of these different kinds of follow-up? If so, it would be self-contained, yet big enough to accommodate a sequence which would never be repetitive or predictable. A succession of works offering a better spatial and temporal fit while still connected with what was already there (a follow-up being inherently recursive). Without necessarily making its rationale clear (not every follow-up is a domino sequence, even if every domino is a follow-up). And excluding nothing, especially a certain responsiveness to encounters and the unexpected? And on the contrary, leaving itself maximum room for manoeuvre so as to remain open to all kinds of follow-ups. Like a musical suite that is also a fugue…
But is an exhibition like this feasible?
LA SUITE involves follow-up in both senses of the term: it comes after, and it reveals forms of kinship. These latter may be formal or referential, but can equally be exaggerated and invite circumspection. We follow just as we are followed. No work is heredity-free, even if each invents its own history of art; but its decision is that of whom to follow, not of who will follow it. LA SUITE, by contrast, decides on which works follow; but it writes its own history – and, indirectly, that of the works it embraces.
(All images are installation views courtesy of the artists and Air de Paris, Paris)