Clément Rodzielski — Monnaie de nécessité



Clément Rodzielski
Monnaie de nécessité

Past: May 19 → July 15, 2011

Clément Rodzielski’s exhibit starts with his invitation, a four-color card of no great note (white/ grey/blue/brown) and reproduces it in the space of La Douane, in the form of a painting that covers the entirety of one wall. The invitation card, as with the wall painting, constitutes the “background” of the exhibition, upon which all the pieces will be placed. An image supports other images and, concurrently, the image must harmonize with the existing surface. On the surface of the wall painting, another is superposed: fragments of copy-paste Parisian façades created in the 1980s or 1990s as a result of public commissions (in the areas of Place de Clichy, around Marx Dormoy, in the streets of Charonne, Metz, and Oberkampf ).

As with panoramas —one of the rare vestiges of which is the fresco, one finds above the ticket booths of the Gare de Lyon all of the cities on the Paris-Lyon-Mediterranean line reunited, where a sudden concentration of images of these places allows the spectator to access, in an instant, the different neighborhoods of Paris. To a Parisian, all of these paintings vaguely remind different places, but here, they discover them intimately, matching them up to their reality. This landscape is a mural image on a mural image— There is circulation, repetition, exchange, but the material quality of the image is restored (a mural image on a mural image).

Clément Rodzielski habitually composes figures by using existing images to arrive at geometric compositions, precisely avoiding the Expressionist artifice of collage, by salvaging recorded and reconfigured forms issued from the Internet, by cutting up fashion magazines, or even by photocopying papiers miroirs (Miroirs noirs), for example. His relationship to the image is that of an amateur who enjoys the accidents and coincidences of technology.

In the exhibition, these “computer memories” (Untitled, 2007) are put into circulation again, but also covered with drawings or hand-written notes. With this added personal value and new usage, Rodzielski tries to give them new possible meaning (a New Year’s card, a birthday card, an image with several lines from an Emily Dickinson poem….). In this same manner, Rodzielski revisits the A series begun in 2006. Here, the ensemble of this series returns to the form of ancient pieces (a candidacy for retrospective) in a minor key, a sort of auto-parody of the pieces, just like on YouTube where, for example, one finds the parody of the original before finding the original itself. And in this way, it’s a new rapport to the artwork, more amateur becomes manifest where each can produce/ choose/diffuse his or her own image.

Making use of the artistic space in order to rethink the economy of images, producing other modes of circulation, making visible the technological conditions of circulation by using, if necessary, errors and technological constraints, recycling mediation elements (catalogue, press release, invitations): these are the issues that numerous artists have raised in recent years, notably Continuous Project, Wade Guyton, Seth Price, Josh Smith, Kelley Walker. These figures have put in place true devices of production which apply to these principles, which “produce production1”.

But there is no machine production with Rodzielski’s work, just a series of gestures that react to the constraints, a non-strategic, more impromptu suspension of this flux, and a sense of necessity— that of leaving aside other terms in the economy of images, of transforming currency into the currency of necessity. (A de-capitalism without decapitation1 ?).

1 Voir John Kelsey, “Decapitalism”, in Rich Texts: Selected Writings for Art, Isabelle Graw et Daniel Birnbaum (éd.), Berlin, Sternberg Press, 2011.

Chantal Crousel – La Douane Gallery Gallery
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The artist

  • Clément Rodzielski