How would you present your work?
Usually in daylight. Sometime with artificial light. Sometimes in the dark. Sometimes on pedestals. Sometimes inside you.
Where do you make your works?
It depends on the project. I try to work on site as much as possible. I always try to keep a part of the work flexible enough to be adjusted on site. As for studio works, I fabricate things in NY and Paris. But most of my projects are also “realized" and complemented by their very context.
What is Nature for you and in which way is included in your artworks?
Nature is what changes constantly, whether you notice it or not. It cannot exist by itself, it requires interaction and exchange of energy. It is the saliva in your mouth that accidentally gets deposited on the surface of a work as you talk in front of it. It is the mixture of bacteria and grease between your fingers and the touchscreen. It is the liquid that captures and waters down the dust in the air in order to keep your eyes moist. It is that same tear that you have just looked through. It is all the permanent cohabitation of various organisms working together, no matter what scale or pace. It goes beyond human and technological perception. Because I think of it while putting a piece together, I believe it is included in my work as an active component, on a sensitive or structural level. I can create specific conditions so sediments and mold can grow on canvas. Sometimes it is a simple focus on the porosity of two spaces. Like in the show at Fondation Carriero where the temperature exchange associated with a distant sound is what constitutes the core of a work.
The importance of a title for an artwork (in general and for your works)?
The title to a work can be its hat, its keychain or its coat... A title allows you to describe a work where only the text is visible, where no image can be attached. It can also complement the piece by revealing something directly unrelated, or indirectly related if you prefer. Nowadays, it is easy to find the image of a work -only of course if the work can be photographed. I like to believe that the title is a textual space with the power of triggering a different esthetic experience once associated with the piece.
Could you describe me your poetic in five words?
I suppose I can, see? (Read again without the punctuation).
What can’t be missing from your worktable?
The power adaptor of my personal computer.
A collection you wish at least one work of yours was part of?
I know very little about collections but I would say ideally a collection that would be happy to show the most ambitious of my projects, regardless of its nature and difficulty to re-stage or re-install, and which would put all the care into sharing the piece with all the details being considered with its context. I don’t know which collection that one would be… Probably many of them are ambitious in that way.
A museum where you’d like to have an exhibition?
Well, I don’t have much preference over all the major museums, as long as I am given a full on Carte Blanche :)
The market or your need to express?
Not sure i get that question. I don’t really know or understand the market, and I am not sure about my need to express. Although I like the term “express”. Mostly because it makes me think of an old steam train.
Lightness or depth?
Both: The deeper you dig, the more light you need. Especially if you want to keep going deeper.
Day or night?
What's in between: the dusk and the dawn.
Indians or cowboys?
Definitely not cowboy. (Nothing against cows though).
A question you’ve never been asked but one you’ve always wanted to answer? Answer that question…
The questions I like to be confronted with don’t usually generate an answer I am able to provide. That is what makes it a good question! Those generate an answer that is not in the form of an answer. An answer that is technically more something like a question I believe.
Could you briefly describe one of your latest works?
Unknotting of an earphone cable.
What are you reading?
90% of my reading is a gathering of various articles found on the internet, mostly via my twitter feed. Mostly science (bioengineering, medical technologies, source and use of energy) and poetry.
As for ebooks (available in prints too), I just finished "Wittgenstein's Ladder” by Marjorie Perloff, and I am basically done with "Whiz Mob: A Correlation of the Technical Argot of Pickpockets with Their Behavior Pattern" by David W. Maurer. In the subway going to studio I was reading “A dark Dreambox of an Other Kind”, poems of Alfred Hamilton (a present from my wife).
"F for fake” ! Orson Welles.
Where would you like to live?
In a bathtub. Or more conveniently, in and out my own body.
Do you have reference artists? Artists you’d like to work with?
Douglas Huebler is probably my favorite artist of all times. Shirley Jaffe whose friendship and inputs I cherish. It would be fun to do a project with people like Simone Forti, or Roman Ondak, or Lutz Bacher, or Yoko Ono or William Leavitt or … I don’t know... I would die for a meeting with Alan Lomax, or Russel Edson...
A project, related to art, that you’d like to do?
Yes, reorganizing my todo list in order of “preference" instead of "approaching deadlines".
If you weren’t an artist, what job would you like?
A neuroscientist? A casual fisherman maybe ?
Let’s imagine a group show. Who would you like to exhibit with?
I would like a show whose space has been designed by Robert Irvin, whose colors perception would have been temporarily altered by Flavin, where you would enter slowly after Robert Barry had left his invisible gesture, followed by a scent commissioned to Mary Ellen Carroll, with furnitures and sculptures by people like Wendell Castle or Shawn Maximo - those would be equally felt through VR perception as much as covered in fur. Where a text by Mei Mei Berssenbruggue wouldn’t be printed but delivered by her incredible voice via telepathy, with no apparatus whatsoever. I guess I should try to make that happen. That actually sounds like something nearly possible to do !
Yes or no to curators? If yes, who would you choose?
Definitely yes to curators. We have a special relationship with francesco stocchi, each project we end up puting together is the result of very interesting discussions that are not solely limited to my work. He is the kind who is not being afraid of trying weird things, whether spectacular or invisible. I have a tendency to have too many ideas at once and that can be overwhelming sometimes for curators. It’s always nice to be in a discussion with a curator who is good at canalizing and organizing the show as a set of legible ideas. There are a lot of different curators out there making ambitious and inspiring work. It’s really hard to choose. So, I don’t know, I would probably ask someone like Jay Sanders, Jessica Morgan or Ralph Rugoff, if I were the one picking more people to work with.
A dream of yours?
That time that I used a music stage as a blanket.
Installation view, Artificially Aged Painting (Wet, Dry, Wet, Dry, Wet, Dry), 2014-15; factory pre-treated linen, wooden frame Ø 178 cm (with frame), Ø 173 cm (without frame); Collection Zadig et Voltaire, Paris; ph. Agostino Osio
Burnt Painting, Imprint of a Burnt Painting, 2015; diptych, charred wood, dust of charred wood on canvas,195 x 130 cm each; Courtesy galerie frank elbaz, Paris; ph. Agostino Osio
Grand Opening (the Window, the Wind, the Weather in); 2015, granite, bungee cord, blind, wind, window; courtesy the artist and Galerie Frank Elbaz, Paris; Ph. Agostino Osio