Art of Living — i.e. Goodbye Blue Monday
Art of Living
i.e. Goodbye Blue Monday
Past: June 22 → July 27, 2013
This exhibition is an adaptation. Or rather, this exhibition is a pretext. A pretext for talking about other things, and when we speak of “things” we mean all the objects of our lives. Objects with which we have lived, objects that we have observed, which become food for thought, used and reinjected — like the material part of the world — into works of art. We might summarize it in this way, with an existential explanation of raw materialism borrowed from the preamble to Breakfast of Champions by the American author Kurt Vonnegut 1.
Drawings by the famous author — member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Institute for Arts and Letter — were originally included in the text. It is interesting to point out that his work deals with simple themes and makes references to genres that are often deemed “minor” such as science fiction — although we ought to really speak of surrealism. It has always been, however, an attempt to raise the level of the debate through events drawn from everyday life, as abstract and excessive as they may be.
“My drawing of a rattle snake, for instance. They’ll have no trouble recognizing it as a rattle snake and saying to themselves, rattle snake.”
Kurt Vonnegut, La Colazione dei Campioni, traduction italienne : Attilio Veraldi, Italie : Eleuthera, 1999
The author thus poses a simple, obvious aphorism that conceals an instrumental point of view on life as a free eld in which one has to grab all the things making us up as if they were a residual portrait of ourselves.
At its start, the project proposed to bring into the gallery space pieces of either lived or mental life, and to put together a show in which the works would be made up of objects from reality. These offer the viewer a certain imagination and hence an open semantic feld, presenting us with a “list” by George Perec, the author of Things. Through a proposition just as straightforward and objective as it is possible, Art of Living would like to illustrate people’s life stories through their objects, that is, Material Beings. In a word, in the show there will be objects that we have “experienced,” and which are henceforth part of a work of art. Referring again to Vonnegut’s drawing, we can say that things — what is left of our lives — even recontextualized, are not necessarily imbued with another meaning. Constituting works of art, they become once again a “back to zero” in cyclical, closed time. Just like when one says sarcastically at each and every start of a new week, predictable all the same, “Goodbye blue Monday.”
This show grew out of a conversation between Philippe and Frédérique Valentin and the artist Luca Francesconi. As part of this project, Francesconi is also presenting a series of interviews on the theme of the object.
1 Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions, or Goodbye Blue Monday (New York: Delacorte Press, 1973).
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