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Air de Paris: ALLEN RUPPERSBERG + STURTEVANT - 21 May 2016 to 9 July 2015

Current Exhibition

21 May 2016 to 9 July 2015

Air de Paris
32, rue Louise Weiss
FR - 75013
T: +33 (1) 4423 0277
F: +33 (1) 5361 2284

Allen Ruppersberg
May 21 - July 9 2016

Artists in this exhibition: Allen Ruppersberg, Sturtevant

Allen Ruppersberg — GET SET FOR ACTION 

Arranged inside a set of storage drawers, the blown-up pages of a children's colouring book intermingle and are deployed to form the flexible, open-ended structure of a visual poem each viewer is free to re-compose: Poem #2 (The Eye Level Is Level With The Eye). Reed ‘em Weep a wall covered with obituaries for rock musicians, is a follow-up to the project No Time Left To Start Againwhich we showed in 2010. Four collages from the series Hey, Hey Mr. Art World round off this exhibition, entirely put together by the artist from his collection of Americana.

« Using 'books' to represent the mythologies and beliefs that define the culture that values them, Ruppersberg sometimes seems to imagine that we are our books—as if we all become books, since our identities and our memories are constructed as mixtures of organized fictions and truths, all in the form of a collection of narratives. I believe it is with this perception that Ruppersberg has often represented 'collections' of books – as drawings, photographs, objects, or actual collections of books he himself has printed – as if to present a kind of picture of a consciousness in and of itself . . . Since the late 60s and early 70s, it seems clear, Ruppersberg has been creating his own self-portrait – as well as a portrait of his age – as he depicts his collections of the narratives we carry and are carried by.»²

Allen Ruppersberg belongs to the first generation of American conceptual artists. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1944, he made his initial visit to California at the age of eleven, when his dream was to become a Disney animation artist. By the end of the trip he knew he would go back to California as soon as he could, and the oeuvre that was to follow bears the unmistakable stamp of the spirit and philosophy of Los Angeles and Southern California. He took part in numerous seminal conceptual exhibitions, among them Harald Szeemann's « When attitudes become forms » and Seth Siegelaub's « January 5-31 » ", both in 1969. The Walker Art Museum in Minneapolis has scheduled a large-scale exhibition of his work for 2018. Inspired by Allen Ginsberg's poem The Singing Posters: Poetry Sound Collage Sculpture Book will feature in the exhibition devoted to the Beat Generation at the Centre Pompidou from 22 June to 3 October 2016.

1- Interview Allen Ruppersberg / Frédéric Paul, page 95, Allen Ruppersberg, Books, Inc, éd. Frac Limousin, 1999.

2- "What One Loves About Life Are the Things That Fade" by Allan Mc Collum, text on Allen Ruppersberg, page 77, Allen Ruppersberg, Books, Inc, éd. Frac Limousin, 1999. ---


Sturtevant — KILL STUPIDITY 

For a while pornography might have been considered, theorised and experienced as revolutionary, but now, diluted by commodification, it has to be faced not as sensual immersion but as senseless indetermination. Pornography is the world around us: the pounding of mind-numbing images masquerading as fun and the endless urging to join the consumer festivities. So when Sturtevant reworks an entire advertising video in the form of deftly composed wallpaper, it's a killer.

A Sturtevant exhibition is always an event. An event that renegotiates the issue of representation, and sets it in motion. It opens up a double-bottomed space: inside there’s the double of language, the artwork and its replica.

But what interests her more in this digital age is the way values, and the hierarchies of reality and its representations, have been turned upside down. «My pieces,» says Sturtevant «reflect our cyberworld of excess, of fetters, transgression and dissipation. In the past the higher power was that of knowledge, intelligence, and truth. Nowadays the higher power is hatred and killing, while the mask of truth covers the dangerous power of lies.»

Sturtevant’s late work takes a frontal look at this all-embracing violence, and the fascination exerted by these shimmering realities. She foreshadowed this turn in art, its transformation into a segment of culture, swept up in its entirety by the mindless, dazzling ambience of simulacra: no longer a locus of creation, but a mere tape recording, an encoding and decoding, a tape magnetised by signs. She anticipated the advent of Warhol’s reproductive machine, the giddy intoxication with these serial signs, beyond falsification and sublimation, immanent in their own repetition: the cool world of the digital, which absorbs the real but cannot repress it. »¹

During more than twenty years, Sturtevant has lived and worked in Paris, she passed away in 2014. Her first exhibition at Air de Paris took place in 1998 and was entitled “Ça va aller“, the second “Blow Job“ was in 2009. She is one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. She was awarded The Golden Lion award for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale in 2011. She has had numerous retrospective exhibitions including recently “STURTEVANT STURTEVANT“ at Madre, Naples,“Double Trouble“ at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, “Sturtevant: Double Trouble“, Museum of Modern Art, New York. “The House of Horrors (The Ghost Train)“ is part of the collection of Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.

1- Stéphanie Moisdon, extracts from : Sturtevant Sturtevant, 2015

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