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Re/Search, Bread and Butter with the ever present Question of How to define the difference between a Baguette and a Croissant (II) , 1995-2010 Mixed Media Installation © Courtesy of the artist and Palais de Tokyo

13, Ave du Président Wilson
75016 Paris
February 10th, 2010 - January 16th, 2011

16th Arrondissement
+33 (1) 47 23 54 01
Wed-Mon 12pm - 12 am


Serge Spitzer aims to reveal hidden elements, structures and systems, the effects of which we perceive without trying to question their nature. Since the 1970s, he has been formulating mechanisms of communication, perception, and consciousness. These “reality models” are extraordinarily lucid sculptures in which everyday life confronts while merging with the imaginary. The artist borrows a complex vocabulary from our surroundings to generate the constant conflict and equilibrium of his works. His sculptures, while autonomous, are ephemeral monuments that possess inside themselves the potential conditions for self-destruction.

In this same way, Re/Search, Bread and Butter with the ever present Question of How to define the difference between a Baguette and a Croissant, a monumental installation first made in 1997 for the Lyon Biennial, coincides with the democratization of the Internet. Presented today in the context of information technology hegemony, this work attests to the pre-existence of a quasi-organic communication network. Serge Spitzer unveils a chaotic pneumatic transport system where capsules, propelled by air, whizz through a maze of tubes. Installed in 1866 under the streets of Paris, this kind of device originally served to transmit commercial orders between the Central Telegraph Office and trading rooms. By bringing a technology back into the public space that ordinarily lurks under our towns, like a beast in a cave, Serge Spitzer ironically interrogates its function and renders it perfectly obsolete. The installation brings together two systems that work against each other, but are forced to coexist together; the networks neutralize each other. Messages shoot through these vessels without sender, without recipient, and on a quest without beginning or end. Here, order faces off with chaos and stringency brushes against weakness: everything is intertwined, but all of it is accidental.

[1951] Born in Bucharest. Lives and works in New York.