August 23rd - October 18th, 2014
Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 from 6 - 9 pm
I Want to Live in Los Angeles / Not The One in Los Angeles
Robin Jiro Margerin
This exhibition is a collective exhibition project, bringing together new works by Parisian artists.
A boundary is a territory confined, a sector of exchange defined by contact. The border line is itself a surface, simultaneously permeable and opaque, on which we project. The title of the exhibition, drawn from the song Los Angeles (1993) by Frank Black, touches on the nuances of the definition by contradiction, as explored by the artists.
Paris and Los Angeles find common ground in their roles as Destinations, in the fetishistic sense - mental post cards presenting something between evasion and aspiration. And yet, they offer themselves in extremis from one another, antipodes as much in their reality as in their promises. The romanticism through which they view each other exists only in the context of their mutual remoteness.
Far from an identity crisis... Just a feeling.
A group exhibition featuring site-specific works by Benjamin Ferrachat, Robin Jiro Margerin, Justine Ponthieux, Pierre Thyss and Ana Vega.
A city, within its most generic concept and design, is constructed by the division of one territory from another, defining identities on either side of that dividing line. Likewise, any designation or formalization of a space, in its contours and its volume, generates and characterizes social relations.
A flag is planted, a territory described, an identity defined.
Within this common ground are operating the vehicles of separation and approach. The spectator is welcomed into an inert choreography within the architecture of the museum. Three zones that choreograph types of social dynamics.
Acting as mascots to the exhibition, Pierre Thyss’ pole banners, Muscle man and Taco dude (2014), designate the event’s horizon. While delimiting the space, they also serve as the figureheads in the broader social campaign of the exhibition - as much caricatures of archetypes as they are of the foreign perception which conjures them.
Benjamin Ferrachat’s, No drinking / No smoking (2014), imports the context of the Parisian terrasse to a location hostile to the pedestrian. The piece compels the viewer to look away from it by offering a seat that imposes a specific posture. The arrangement triggers that social activity whereby one looks out in judgment from a distance. Side by side in a row, each person becomes an island in the position of the observer.
The third space, located in the gallery, is altered to unveil its contents progressively. It is a contemplative zone, one in which the spectator becomes an audience. A zone of spectacle. With an orchestrated sequence of light and image and sound tracks, timed for the zapper’s attention span, it is adapted to elicit frustration and pay-off. One can stand there and watch. Justine Ponthieux’s, Untitled (2014), human scale creature also stands there, as a posture guide, a hybrid between spectator and feature.
The room is drawn in two by a screen, shifting from transparent to opaque. It is a four minute show with four minutes of interlude, cycling the spectator through passive observation and self-awareness, in an ongoing ellipse. Between the projections on the screen of Ana Vega’s films, She (2014), and behind it Robin Jiro Margerin’s sculpture, Express Yourself (chain gang) (2014), it is unclear which stands in which role. They are both on a plane inaccessible to the touch, trapped in the gaze.
The exhibition makes a larger suggestion about the notion of cultural distinctions. As separate examples of western civilization, we find ourselves opposed in the same category. Acutely sensitive to every nuance of perceived otherness, and seeking truths in those ramifications heralded in shades. It is a recognition of the connected cultural narrative between these two territories, the very notion of which tends towards exclusion. So absorbed as we are by our western culture’s loudness, one could argue that ours is perhaps particularly gluttonous in this regard and shrinks only when in contact with a third party.
A dazzling diva who transfixes all somewhere between shock and awe.