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Paris

Frac Île-de-France, le Plateau

Exhibition Detail
Le Mont Fuji n'existe pas (Mount Fuji does not exist)
Place Hannah Arendt, corner of the rue des Alouettes and the rue Carducci
75019 Paris
France


June 7th, 2012 - July 29th, 2012
Opening: 
June 6th, 2012 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
 
 IE, The PlayThe Play, IE, 1972
© Courtesy of The Play
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1976

« Bon travail », dit-il, et

il franchit la porte. Quel

travail ? On ne l’avait jamais vu

avant. Il n’y avait pas de porte. »

Richard Brautigan, Loading Mercury with a Pitchfork, Simon and Schuster, New York.

 

Juin 2011

La légende veut que le Mont Fuji soit visible de n’importe quel endroit du Japon. A l’occasion d’une résidence à la Villa Kujoyama de Kyoto, nous avons à plusieurs reprises cherché à vérifier cette hypothèse. On nous avait dit qu’on pouvait l’apercevoir depuis la vitre du train pour aller à Tokyo. Que par temps clair, il se dévoilait depuis les étages de certains immeubles de la ville. Que dans la région des Cinq Lacs, on ne pouvait pas le manquer. Qu’en prenant tel train, tel bateau, tel téléphérique, nous étions assurés de le découvrir dans toute sa sereine et conique majesté. Nous n’avons pourtant rien vu du mont Fuji. L’expérience de sa contemplation disparaissant chaque fois derrière d’épaisses couches de brume. Remplacée par les couches plus épaisses encore de sa représentation, dessinée, photographiée, sculptée. Reproduite sur des estampes, des affiches et des cartes postales, dans des jardins zen, sur des menus de restaurant et des billets de banque. En se substituant à son expérience, sa présence permanente et symbolique est venue confirmer la légende : le Mont Fuji est visible de n’importe quel endroit du Japon. Partout et nulle part à la fois. Autant dire qu’il n’existe pas.

 

~995 - 1005

Choses qui ne font que passer

Un bateau dont la voile est hissée.

L’âge des gens.

Le printemps, l’été, l’automne et l’hiver.

Sei Shônagon, Notes de Chevet, 1966 pour la traduction française, Gallimard

 

Juin - juillet 2012

Le Mont Fuji n’existe pas. Ce que nous y racontons, nous le tenons de l’expérience : la nôtre ou celle qui nous a été rapportée. Ensemble elles épousent certaines des courbes de cette exposition, réunissant des artistes qui privilégient un rapport à l’œuvre comme processus, expérience vécue et partagée laissant place à une multitude d’appropriations et d’interprétations. Les gestes artistiques qu’elle rassemble se situent autant dans leur formalisation que dans les étapes qui participent à leur réalisation et dans la situation qu’elles peuvent provoquer. Cette relation à l’art en mouvement constant, en dehors des modes et de la nécessité de produire un objet qui soit « d’art », est au cœur de cette exposition. Un art discret, échappant à toute ostentation ou spectacularisation, au profit d’actions menées dans le quotidien, au-delà de leur représentation, voire de leur exposition. Sans finalité, l’œuvre y est alors partout et nulle part à la fois, dans son objet, son expérience, son souvenir.

 

Les œuvres présentées oscillent ainsi entre une dynamique collective basée sur des gestes échappant à toute nécessité de productivité, une descente dans le quotidien sondant la nature de l’existence et la substance des choses, une lettre manuscrite qui vous est adressée, une recherche de la perfection, éternelle et fugitive, un reflet sur une vitre, une marche entamée il y a 43 ans, une quête du vide, quelques grammes d’or extraits de tonnes de déchets, un sol en morceaux dont les fragments sont autant de courants d’air. Jouant de différentes temporalités d’apparition, elles tentent de rendre compte de ce déplacement permanent entre ici et là : de l’évocation d’une exposition d’un jour de 1967 à une collection de livres, d’une petite annonce parue dans un journal quotidien à un ensemble de documents photographiques témoignant d’actions éphémères, d’une composition musicale en train de s’écrire à une dérive sur la Seine.

 

Une œuvre d’art possède parfois ce caractère étonnant sur quoi le temps n’a pas de prise, s’imposant d’autant plus durablement à la mémoire, par la manière dont elle laisse à son destinataire, le soin de l’éclairer, de l’approfondir à la lumière de son expérience propre. Chacun a donc le potentiel de devenir le dépositaire d’un précipité d'expérience, que nous pouvons ainsi emporter, conserver et faire surgir quand nous en ressentons le besoin.

 

Elodie Royer et Yoann Gourmel

1976

"Good work," he said, and
went out the door. What
work ?We never saw him
before. There was no door.”

Richard Brautigan, Loading Mercury with a Pitchfork, Simon and Schuster, New York.

 

June 2011

Legend has it that wherever you are in Japan, you can see Mount Fuji. While in residency at the Villa Kujoyama in Kyoto, we tried to confirm this hypothesis on several occasions. We had been told that it could be seen through the window of the train to Tokyo. That on a clear day, it could be glimpsed from the higher storeys of the city’s buildings. That in the Five Lakes region, it could not be missed. That if we took such and such a train, such and such a boat, or such and such a cable car, we would be assured to witness it in all its serene and conical majesty. Yet we saw nothing of Mount Fuji. Each time, the experience of its contemplation disappeared behind thick layers of mist. Which were in turn replaced by the even thicker layers of its representations – whether drawn, photographed, or sculpted. Reproduced on etchings, posters and postcards, in Zen gardens, on restaurant menus and banknotes. By substituting itself for its own experience, its permanent and symbolic presence has confirmed the legend: Mount Fuji can be seen everywhere in Japan. Both everywhere and nowhere. We might as well say that it doesn’t exist.

 

~995 – 1005

Things that pass by rapidly

A boat under full sail.

Age.

Spring, summer, fall, winter.

Sei Shônagon, The Pillow Book

 

June – July 2012

Mount Fuji doesn’t exist. “The stories we tell come from experience, from our own or from a shared experience. And in turn, we make it the experience of those who listen to our stories.” These few sentences borrowed from Walter Benjamin follow some of the lines of this second exhibition, which brings together artists who favour an approach of artwork as a process, as a shared and embraced experience that leaves room for many different appropriations and interpretations. The artistic gestures compiled here are defined both by their formalisation and by the stages of their realisation, as well as by the type of situation they are liable to provoke. This relationship to an art in constant movement, beyond trends and the necessity of producing an object coined as ‘art,’ is at the heart of this exhibition – a discreet art, free from any ostentation or spectacular quality, in favour of day-to-day actions, reaching beyond its representation and its being shown. Having lost its purpose, the work of art is then embodied everywhere and nowhere at once, within its object, its experience, and its memory.

 

The works exhibited here fluctuate between: a collective dynamics based on gestures freed from any productive necessity, an incursion into everyday life to scrutinize the nature of existence and the substance of things, a manuscript letter addressed to you, the search for eternal and fugitive perfection, a reflection on a window pane, a walk started 43 years ago, the pursuit of emptiness, a few grams of gold extracted from tons of waste, and a fragmented floor with every piece representing a draught. Playing on the different temporalities of their appearance, the works try to account for the permanent shift between here and there: from the evocation of an exhibition one day in 1967 to a collection of books, from an ad in a daily paper to a set of photographic documents recounting transient actions, from a musical composition being written to a drift on the river Seine.

 

A work of art sometimes possesses an amazing feature over which time has no hold, and it impregnates the memories of those to whom it is addressed even more enduringly, in that it lets them shed the light of their own personal experience on it. Each of us can thus become the potential repository of a body of experience, which we can take with us, hang onto, and let out when we feel the need to.

 

"Good work," he said, and
went out the door. What
work ?We never saw him
before. There was no door.”
Richard Brautigan, Loading Mercury with a Pitchfork, Simon and Schuster, New York.


June 2011
Legend has it that Mount Fuji can be seen from anywhere in Japan. On several occasions we tried to check this hypothesis. People had told us you could glimpse it from the train window going to Tokyo. That in clear weather it revealed itself from the upper floors of certain buildings in the city. That in the Five Lakes region, you could not miss it. That if you took such and such a train, boat or cable car you were sure to discover it in all its serene and conical majesty. Yet we saw nothing of Mount Fuji. The experience of contemplating it vanished every time behind thick layers of mist. Replaced by the even thicker layers of its representation, drawn, photographed, sculpted. Reproduced on prints, posters and post cards, in Zen gardens, on restaurant menus and bank notes. By standing in for the experience of it, its permanent and symbolic presence underpins the legend: Mount Fuji can be seen from anywhere in Japan. Everywhere and nowhere, at once. Tantamount to saying it does not exist.

∼995 – 1005,
Things that pass by rapidly
A boat under full sail.
Age.
Spring, summer, fall, winter.
Sei Shônagon, The Pillow Book

June-July 2012

Mount Fuji Does Not Exist. What we tell, we take it from experience, our own or that reported by others. Together they marry some of the contours of this exhibition, bringing together artists with a preference for a relation to the work as process, experience lived and shared, making way for a host of appropriations and interpretations. The artistic gestures that it encompasses are situated as much in their formalization as in the stages, which take part in their execution, and in the situation, which they may give rise to. This relation to art in constant motion, beyond fashions and the need to produce an object that is “art”, lies at the heart of this exhibition. A discreet art, sidestepping all ostentation and spectacularization, in favour of actions undertaken in the daily round over and above their representation. With no end purpose, the work of art here is thus at once everywhere and nowhere, in its object, its experience, and its memory.

The works on view therefore waver between a collective dynamic based on gestures dodging all need for productivity, a descent into the everyday probing the nature of existence and the substance of things, a mysterious handwritten letter that is addressed to you, a longing for perfection, everlasting and furtive, a reflection in a window pane, a walk embarked upon 43 years ago, a quest for the void, a few grams of gold mined from tons of electronic waste, a ground in bits whose fragments are so many draughts. Appearing in different modes and time-frames, they try to describe this permanent displacement between here and there: from the evocation of a one day exhibition in 1967 to a collection of books, from a small ad published in a daily newspaper to a set of photographic documents recording ephemeral actions, from a musical composition in the making to a drift on the Seine.

Sometimes, a work of art has that astonishing character which time has no hold over, imposing itself all the more lastingly on the memory, by the way it leaves its recipient, the concern for shedding light on it, creating more depth for it in the light of its own experience. So everyone has the potential to become the trustee of a precipitate of experience, which we can thus take away, conserve, and bring forth when we feel the need.

Elodie Royer and Yoann Gourmel


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