Olivier Dollinger — Circle stories


Installation, new media, performance, sculpture...

Olivier Dollinger
Circle stories

Past: September 14 → November 9, 2012

Gary hill cutting corners creates more sides 1 grid La rentrée des galeries — 13 vernissages à ne pas manquer Après la désertion du mois d’août, les galeries font leur rentrée en fanfare et, comme chaque année, entament cette nouvelle saison avec un programme aussi chargé qu’excitant.

To demonstrate his extraordinary talent to Pope Benedict XII, Giotto drew a perfect circle free hand. Immediately won over, the pontiff permitted him to travel around Rome and to create beautiful works.

Another technique of the lasso thrown to capture prey, the hunt using purse seine nets for dolphins consists in gradually tightening the circle around enemy schools of fish before engulfing them. The circle has always been an object of seduction, capture and power.

When an artist then thought of probing its narrative potential by bringing together rhythmic gymnastics and Marcel Duchamp’s rotorelief, the result was naturally an exhibition that is plays out in a loop, creates dizziness and through detours taken opens breaches. Whether he chooses to cross the serpentine dance of the Lumière brothers, Dante’s Inferno, Tatlin’s tower, a Wagnerian opera or Ayrton Senna’s last lap, Olivier Dollinger makes the circle the linking element of his exhibition, whose subjective history he sets out. The motif of the circle, perceived in its power of influence through centuries and disciplines, becomes a pretext for creating a tale that crosses personal and political histories and allows itself incongruous connections.

It was in strolling through Marion Meyer’s modern art collection that Olivier Dollinger arrived at extracting the element that would serve as the ignition for the conception of his exhibition: a Rotorelief by Marcel Duchamp — a velvet black fabric on a round stretcher on which six small rotoreliefs (colored circles printed with spiral motifs) rotate. Pursuing the “roto-mania” obsession that led the master to create a Coffee Grinder (1911), a Bicycle Wheel (1913), a Rotating Glass Plates (1920) until his famous Rotoreliefs (1935), Olivier Dollinger will explore the circular form in his turn. His most recent video installation, Abstract Telling, already proposed a choreography of gestures made by a magician based on works from a modern and contemporary collection from the Abattoirs in Toulouse. Like a tableau vivant, a film presented an unexpected commentary on the original works, which replayed them and extended them into space. Here, instead of the original phonograph on which Duchamp’s cardboard disks produced the illusion of volumes — balls, cones, helicoids –, it is a turntable that acts as a weathervane. As for the genuine Rotorelief, it sits imposingly over the exhibition like an archaic machine sporting its magnificent screeching from its motor and the slowness of its gyrating movements, recalling that Duchamp was above all this: the inventor of a delightful mechanism that was partially counter-performance.

A supporter of a deconstructionist vision, Dollinger dismantles bodies. Before the filmed recording of the sequences of the champion is a process of distorting learned gestures, of the de-shaping of her body to better reveal it to her. A process that he will lay bare when the athlete performs live and in relation to a ready-made text written and recited by the art critic Bernard Marcadé. Olivier Dollinger has often used this “declimatization” process in his work. Whether it is a question of body-building, hypnosis or more recently magic, it is in the experiment conducted with the other that his fascinating images of performances that intentionally seem “degenerate” emerge.

Beyond the involvement of bodies, it is the entire system here of Circle Stories that promises to be a performance. First because the three elements presented are activated in turn: the film of the gymnast, the turntable that plays the tale and the Rotorelief. This quasi-figures of the exhibition that interact and reply to each other together create a desynchronized narration. Next, because the spectator is placed in the center of the system to experience an apprehension of the world from a rotating perimeter. Finally because Olivier Dollinger, by making the mechanism of the kinetic hypnosis derail, by transforming its scale, its focus and its medium, broadens vision and produces a new impact zone.

Mathilde Villeneuve
  • Opening Friday, September 14, 2012 6 PM → 9 PM
03 Le Marais Zoom in 03 Le Marais Zoom out

5, rue des Haudriettes

75003 Paris

T. 01 46 33 04 38


Arts et Métiers

Opening hours

Tuesday – Saturday, 11 AM – 7 PM
Saturday, 11 AM – 7 PM
Other times by appointment

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Venue schedule

The artist

  • Olivier Dollinger