The Wall

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© Courtesy of Galerie Olivier Robert
The Wall
Curated by: Benjamin Bianciotto

5, rue des Haudriettes
75003 Paris
May 25th, 2013 - June 22nd, 2013

+33 (0)1 43 25 31 87


While it is now formally established André Breton that was a big fan of Pink Floyd, it is not that surprising. Both major and dramatic entities of the twentieth century in fact share a significant number of affinities and positions. As many convergences occur directly in the construction of their respective "wall", which combine together to form a new one.

Wall to Walls
Without drawing up a typology of walls or embracing all its uses and recurrences, connections can be made in divergent personalities. Miserable or fantasized sexuality, madness, commitment and betrayal, fascistic drifts and dreams of glory: the echo of Sartre’s wall is lost in the labyrinthine visions of Pink Floyd, and spreads under the totemic shadow of Breton. If Pink Floyd’s album "The Wall" is a monument to the glory of personal and social schizophrenia, Breton’s "Wall" is a self-portrait that acts as a manifesto. But we can also reverse the proposals: the reciprocity is true. From these spiraling troubles the works of two artists emerge, those of Eric Pougeau waltz between interiority and exteriority, while Sam Samore’s photographs are filled with mystery.
But a wall is a wall. It remains a frontier, limit, symbol of confrontation and opposition. Salutory?

Electrical field
The Wall remains the ultimate medium of expression for revolt. But it can take different forms. From political statement to the conceptual denial of a linear reading of art history, the wall allows to put up ones heroes, and to pin ones enemies. And if Breton’s wall was a magnetic field, we are faced here with an electrical field. Violence becomes sensitive. The implicit becomes explicit. Sam Durant becomes the leader of a claim whereby simplicity is combined with the grandiose for a remarkable demonstration of aesthetic effectiveness.
If music and rock music in particular, is an effective vehicle for this current, it is never far from its intrinsic melancholy and plunges the viewer into the confusing maze of adolescence. The work of Elodie Lesourd disrupts by the delicacy of its violence. Excess, overflow, self-construction, identity crisis, affirmation of personal mythology, are then reflected directly on the wall: Kasper Sonne redefines the fields of investigation and allows the mind to get lost in an abysmal reflection.

A magical relationship between the works is born from these manipulations. No "dialogues", works do not speak, but the vague sense of being the ingredient, the spark capable of igniting the unit. The work of Julien Sirjacq embodies the arson and reveals him as a master – albeit disorderly - of fireworks.

Compression of an exhibition
Breton had developed his wall in reaction to the rigor of the museum of modern art. This will also make us think and celebrate the 10th anniversary of his exhibition at the Musée National d’Art Moderne. Pink Floyd’s "The Wall" was a reaction against success and the best-selling double album in the world. To learn how to read art history based on form is one of the goals dictated by Lionel Scoccimaro’s imposing sculptures. Just as the questioning look of Julien Beneyton forces us to confront a past that’s not always digested, to question the latent colonialism of an art sentenced as ‘primitive’, with strength and humility.

It remains that this ‘concentrated’ hanging questions the type of installation that has been the authority over two centuries. The position on the wall determined the importance of the work, prejudged a career. But it is above all a reaction to the dictates of curating, the Curator becoming the essential part, ridiculously important, to appoint where he would steal the spotlight from the artists themselves. With the rapid consumption of art today, and information in general, this compression of exhibition attempts to absorb all the works in one block just as a "concept album" would.