Arnaud Labelle-Rojoux — Stop Making Sense


Mixed media

Arnaud Labelle-Rojoux
Stop Making Sense

Past: May 26 → July 29, 2023

Three hundred and sixty-five collages in search of metaphors Arnaud Labelle-Rojoux It is always risky for an artist to want to explain or place a work, to account for its origin and its gestation.

In the precise case of this series of three hundred and sixty-five collages, on the contrary, nothing could be easier. There was, in fact, a trigger: Marc-Olivier Wahler’s proposal to illustrate, for the journal of the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire (MAH) in Geneva, my own immersion in its collections. What approach was I going to take? The idea then came to me to associate this with a form that would define both the museum and myself as a visitor. Collage seemed the natural choice: what is a museum, especially this one, which brings together pieces that are composite by nature and period, if not a vast cultural collage? And who am I, the viewer and the manipulator of images and words, if not a mental collage of heterogeneous references assembled in a certain disorder?

So, collage as a technique conducive to metaphors? Why not. In Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Faust (I am thinking of Gérard de Nerval’s French translation), we find this line from Mephistopheles: “With words one can discuss very ably, with words one can build a system.” It is the same with collage, if we recognise that it is at once a visual and textual language and a reservoir of personal mythologies. Certainly, collage can be used to “build a system”: that of metaphors without predefined keys, nor a concern for unity if not by number. The three collages made for the MAH served as a sort of trigger for this series of three hundred and sixty-five (one per day), conceived as automatic writing using elements that came to hand, opening or breaking into the vertigo of meaning.

Formal hiatuses, unlikely mixtures, rigged devices, secret workings, fake erudition — everything points to a multiplicity of readings without critical guarantees: each to their own!

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6, rue Jacques Callot

75006 Paris

T. 01 53 10 85 68 — F. 01 53 10 89 72


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