Aude Pariset isn't taking part in Art Los Angeles Contemporary, and most likely none of her work will be on display at any stall throughout it. She does however have a show at Favourite Goods gallery supported by Ceci N'est Pas. As an integral part of programming around ALAC this programme shows how an art fair isn't simply a commercially driven sharkfest but can also be a powerful driver of internationalism and offer the opportunity for young artists to both show their work and broaden their experience. I asked her a few questions around the idea of cultural exchange.
What for you is the most interesting thing about LA, or the idea of LA?
Probably the combination of a gigantic city without any center, the weather and an attractive art scene. The art (historically) coming from there has this appeal for me that the counterculture attitude seems to come from the embedment of the vernacular within the art practice. Also, maybe for this reason, artists from there have given this sense of being relaxed from the art market compared to New York. On a more mental and imaginary level, (as everyone) I have false memories of the topography of Los Angeles because of the deep infusion of cinematographic images; that I can combine with (real) reading memories from Norman Klein and Chris Kraus.
If you met John Baldessari what would you like to ask him?
I would ask him what he means by "possessed" when he states "you have to be possessed but you can't will it."
To what extent do you believe that your art is culturally specific? How much does being French inform your work?
I think my art is more specific of a generation rather than a country or geographic situation. I believe that we (almost) deal with the same globalized cultural context. Within this, as every artist, I’m developing my own “vocabulary” though.
I have worked with or refer to some French authors (Klossowski, Segalen). This apart, honestly, I can't really relate my practice with any conscious bind to French culture.
Aude Pariset with Juliette Bonneviot, Last Spring/Summer, curated by Elise Lammer in Les Urbaines, Lausanne, December 2012; courtesy of the artists.
Is cultural exchange useful, or inherently good for an artist?
Cultural exchange meaning extra knowledge, it seems it can only be positive. An exchange is only a foretaste, but it's nice to have to opportunity to have an insight.
Thanks to my artschool, I had a four month exchange in Vancouver and I can tell you it's good to get what's going on out there!
How do you find being a foreigner in the country in which you live?
Going back to him again, Baldessari says in the “3 things that every young artist should know”: “Being at the right time at the right place.” I left Paris because I thought it was not (yet or anymore?) the right place to be for me. Berlin appears way more like a platform where anyone at least involved in the Artworld has to pass by once in a while to see what’s going on. There are many young foreigner artists, so you feel you belong to an artistic community rather than a country network, which basically would be the case if as French I would live in Paris. I don’t dismiss the idea to come back at some point, or to move somewhere else.
Have you ever been to an art fair and how do you feel about the phenomenon?
Of course, I have already visited art fairs. The fact of studying in Beaux-Arts de Paris allowed me to be pretty close to Fiac at least. But I’ve been to a couple of others (Armory, Artforum, ArtBeijing...) and I find difficult to see art properly as long as the fair doesn't offer the nicest conditions for viewing. And as an artist, you absolutely don’t have anything to do there unless you’re showing a work important enough. I know how it is now and I don’t feel like going there unless I would have to.
Aude Pariset, Learning from Development (Introduction to Art Therapy), 2012; Courtesy of the artist.
Your work sometimes references consumption and advertising, how do you feel about the art market? Is it relevant? Is it important?
I don’t see a connection between the use of advertising imagery in my work and the art market. If I use these images it’s because they are part of the reality of everyone’s life, which is not the case for the art market. But to answer your question I think having a specific position about the art market requires that your work has enough visibility and value so you need to manage the sale and regulate its circulation (which is not my case so far). That's how you see, to my eye, an artist’s own politics toward the market.
What do you hope to get from your show in LA?
Fortunately, and it’s always the case, I can’t project anything from this trip, because I’m too focused on the preparation of the show. Hopefully I’ll have enough free time to see some art and meet some peers. There’s nothing more frustrating to me than to arrive, install and take off...
(Image at top: Aude Pariset, Hosted Opening Ceremony / Clack Tray (Pendleton Boy), Courtesy of the artist.)