Alexandre Singh — Assembly Instructions: The Pledge


Installation, mixed media

Alexandre Singh
Assembly Instructions: The Pledge

Past: September 10 → November 5, 2011

Assembly Instructions: The Pledge is Alexandre Singh’s first solo exhibition at art: concept. On the occasion of this exhibition, Singh has created three new Assembly Instructions. This series, that the artist has been working on since 2008, forms part of a large and variegated practice that includes performances, lectures, installations, radio, and theatre plays.

The four wall diagrams displayed in the gallery operate as proxy-portraits for Marc-Olivier Wahler (director of the Palais de Tokyo), Alfredo Arias (playwright, director and actor) and Dr. Leah Kelly (neurobiologist at the Rockefeller University of New York). Singh has developed these new Assembly Instructions from a series of interviews he conducted with each of his subjects that were subsequently re-edited and fictionalised through the liberal addition of stage-directions, narrative fragments and visual re-imaginings. These dialogues, of a highly fantastical nature, are together with the collages from the Assembly Instructions the basis of Singh’s ‘carte-blanche’ intervention in the current September 2011 issue of Palais magazine.

Through the reassembling and manipulation of the facts, personal opinions and potential imagery evoked by each interview, Singh’s diagrams create something beyond the simple illustration of reality. Drawing his inspiration from platonic philosophy, ancient theatre and the conversational model of mass-media, the artist attempts to bring the interviewees ideas to life by giving them shape in a novel and visually enchanting form.

The compositional elements and rules that govern the display of images in the Assembly Instructions is characteristic of Singh’s work in general. Each arrangement suggesting multiple possible interpretations, like a multiple choice questionnaire in which the fictions and visual relationships of the different elements are either shown explicitly or open to suggestion.Though the collages are all concretely linked together through the use of simple graphic lines, the lines themselves reveal little as to the possible relationships between any two images. These same pencil lines that connect each frame; constantly crossing and splitting off; never suggest any hierarchy or method of classification. In each diagram, the individual collage acts like a knot or junction from which different thought patterns and visual pathways emanate. These processes of connection share as much an affinity with the surrealists’ methods of automatic-writing as they do with the daily wanderings of the contemporary flaneur as he journeys upon the world wide web.

Caroline Soyez-Petithomme traduction by Frieda Schumann
  • Opening Saturday, September 10, 2011
03 Le Marais Zoom in 03 Le Marais Zoom out

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The artist