Allen Ruppersberg — The Mystery of Nabokov...

Exhibition

Installation, new media, photography, poetry...

Allen Ruppersberg
The Mystery of Nabokov...

Ends in 14 days: March 13 → April 18, 2020

«It is not the parts that matter, it is their combinations1»

Born in 1944, Allen Ruppersberg belongs to the first generation of conceptual artists and participated in 1969 to the exhibition When Attitudes Become Form.
His work often use severals references, from pop culture to mass communication or from litterature as langage. It can appear autobiographic or self-reflexive, but does not use any specific medium, though text and image are proeminent. The work procede by “collages” and it humorously sets up plots that coud be be described as “decor”, and setting up crossed references, both formal or symbolic.

Ruppersberg’s use a fragmentary method that could in a sense be compared to apophenia, defined as an altered perception of the subject. It is a tendency to perceive connections and meaning between things that are not obviously related. “Perception goes beyond the rationality of the individual2”, in a form of thinking close to pareidolia.
The spectator is invited to speculate and to formulate hypotheses, as in the practice of magic and illusionism. The work look to be elucidable and the artist gives us clues but also creates red herring and missing pieces. The work is a game, and the visitor has to figure out of it a internal logic, even if the work includes hazard and randomless that abort any total achievement.

The Mystery of Nabokov… brings together a group of three works by Allen Ruppersberg, which are related to his studio that is both a work and a matrix. It is an archive, an accumulation of books, films, posters, photographs, records, various objects and curiosities that the artist has collected over many years. He has arranged them without any order or pre-established layout, but with the same attention paid to build up his works, covering the walls from floor to ceiling.

1 Vladimir Nabokov, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, Penguin Modern Classics, London, p 176

2 Joachim Soulières, Les coïncidences, Dervy, Paris, 2012