Michel Rein

Have we been here for a long time?

05 Jun - 26 Jul 2014

a proposal by Raphaël Zarka : Roger Ackling, Simon Boudvin, Koenraad Dedobbeleer, Iran Do Espirito Santo, Charlie Jeffery, Mark Lewis, Edgardo Navarro, Peter Peri, Laszlo Peri, Martin Szekely, Raphaël Zarka, Michel Rein, Paris, 2014
a proposal by Raphaël Zarka : Roger Ackling, Simon Boudvin, Koenraad Dedobbeleer, Iran Do Espirito Santo, Charlie Jeffery, Mark Lewis, Edgardo Navarro, Peter Peri, Laszlo Peri, Martin Szekely, Raphaël Zarka
5 June - 26 July 2014

« I can’t seem to make you mine »

For the artist lacking the modesty to exclude himself, conceiving a group exhibition presents the rare opportunity to choose his neighbours. It’s yet another means of bypassing his own limits, to extend the field of possibilities to what you would like to have been able to do or dare.

« In case you don’t know »

Black mirrors, also known as “Claude’s mirrors” in reference to Claude Lorrain, were part of the arsenal of optical instruments found in certain painters workshops during the XVIII and XIX centuries. Amateurs, tourists and poets also used them to contemplate the landscape indirectly.

In a glass mirror, I only see one image.
In a stone mirror, a sculpted reflection.

« A hard rain »

Silicium carbide: An extraterrestrial molecular composite discovered in its natural state in a meteorite in Arizona.

« You can’t put your arms around a Memory »

As a mutual ready-made piece, Marcel Duchamp suggested using a Rembrandt painting as an ironing board. I doubt the practicality of this use of the painting, but what difference does it make if a sculpture of a chair is practical or comfortable?
I sometimes ask myself if a sculpture of a chair is a simple substitute for the body, a work of “counter figurative art” (as we speak of counters in typography) or more simply the equivalent of still life in painting?
« An undivided subject is suspect »

I prefer the mixing-up of genres to reversing roles.At first, I imagined this exhibition as a distant cousin to the exhibition of surrealist objects, open to heterogeneous artefacts produced outside of artistic context, but also to works of centuries past.
I let this idea go without any remorse when I realised that these heterogeneous objects, extra-artistic or not, largely constitute the works on display at the exhibition.

« I started out in search of ordinary things »

Crystals, polyhedrons and cacti. Breton was worried that the establishments of mathematical equations photographed by Man Ray were too close to geometrical abstraction. Constructivist surrealism is surely possible, isn’t it?

« If it was never new, and it never gets old, then it’s a folk song »

Much more than a drawn line, a line burned into wood with a magnifying glass is a chronophotograph of the sun: a long series of imprints, a thousand times its image projected along an axis.

« We could be looking for the same thing »

Would the mathematician Arthur Moritz Schönflies have appreciated abstraction, and in particular the famous supremacist Architectones, under the pretext that he himself constructed geometric models out of plaster some twenty years before Malévitch?

« Backwards voyager »

Backwards ready-made: Shorten the length of a road by a few centimetres by removing from its end the asphalt necessary to mould a hexagonal loaf of bread of 40 centimetres in diameter, having the form of tar blocks sold at the end of the XIX century.

« I ride an old paint »

At the moment when Flaubert wrote to Louise Collet that “art will be something that will bridge the gap between algebra and music”, Courbet maintained that painting should be limited to the “representation of real and existing things”, that the “non visible” was not its domain.
Since art and reality have become massively algebraic (as much through ignorance as through bad faith, I feign to believe that algebra and geometry are synonyms), the domain of the visible has considerably broadened, to such a point that Flaubert’s and Courbet’s views are no longer incompatible. Today it has even become particularly difficult to conceive “spatial compositions” outside the context of realism; which on the face of it poses me no problems.

« Have we been here for a long time? »

If I correctly remember the guide’s explications in the cave of Cougnac in the Lot, the lapse of time between the oldest traces of painting and the most recent ones is equal to the lapse of time between the most recent traces and the current day, around 10 000 years.

May 2014

Tags: Roger Ackling, Simon Boudvin, Koenraad Dedobbeleer, Marcel Duchamp, Mark Lewis, Peter Peri, Man Ray, Iran do Espírito Santo, Raphaël Zarka