récits / écrits
With: Martine Aballéa, Eleanor Antin, Ida Applebroog, Barbara Bloom, Mirtha Dermisache, Marianne Mispelaëre, Martha Rosler, Carolee Schneemann, Athena Tacha, Martha Wilson
Curated by Didier Mathieu
Martha Wilson, Autobiography, Chicago Books, Chicago, 1979
Exhibition from February 24 to April 22, 2017
Opening on February 23, 2017 from 6pm to 9pm
This exhibition brings together about 40 publications by 10 female artists involved in writing processes while sharing a series of other practices such as performance, film, video, and installation
The writings and stories in question – texts, works, publications, memories, novels or exhibitions – are all linked through the question of autobiography.
Please find below some information about the artists in question.
P.S. In French, "écrits" is the anagram of "récits".
Martine Aballéa (Born in New York in 1950) attributes to writing a significant and singular position in her practice. The text – titles, slogans, short stories – obviously animate books and other printed matter but contaminate simultaneously objects and silver prints (colored or silkscreen printed). As it happens in the photographic series Intrigues vegetales (2004) only few words extracted from the literary field (“episode”, “epilogue”) and associated to the images achieve to create an elliptic narration.
100 Boots is surely the most famous visual novel edited by Eleanor Antin (born in New York in 1935).
In Beeing Antinova (1983) she uses the diary as another form of narration. During her trip in New York in the 80’ Antin writes as Eleanora Antinova a young black dancer and choreograph for the Ballets Russes. This character appeared in Antin’s works since a decade (between 1979 and 1989) first showed in an exhibition and performance titled Before the revolution and alternatively presented in Ronald Feldman’s gallery and Kitchen center for video and music in NY.
Ida Applebroog (born in New York in 1929) published by herself three series of notebook. The first one Galileo Works in 1977, Dyspepsia Works in 1979 and the last one Blue books in 1981 (this one is presented now in the exhibition). Each notebook (24 pages including the cover page) is titled in a laconic manner: Its very simple, I can’t stop crying, or simply as A performance.
These thin publications are printed in a single color (blue in this case) and constructed in a similar pattern. In each of them a square drawing (sometimes two) occupies almost the entire page space and is repeated in the next ones.
Barbara Bloom (Born in Los Angeles in 1951) refers to herself as a collector (this is how she conceptualizes her exhibition at Kunstverein Munich in 1990). Her books are meticulous, sort of settings or “collages”, I would say that she is a sophisticated bibliographer. These books represent a perfect echo of her practice in which she hybridizes found objects and created ones. And the book is therefore the perfect place for citation.
Since 1970, the work of Mirtha Dermisache (born in Buenos Aires in 1940 and died in 2012) has been published, released and exhibited in Latin America and Europe, principally in Centro de arte y Communication (CAyC), in the presentation of Guy Schraenen’s archive for small press and communication, in Ulises Carrion’s gallery Other Books and so (Amsterdam), or by Roberto Altmann at Malmo Konsthall. In 2009, some of her works has been presented in the exhibition “elles@centrepompidou”.
Silent Slogan edited in 2016 by Marianne Mispelaëre (born in Bourgoin-Jallieu in 1988 ) is a suite of 21 postal cards. Upon each one’s recto is reproduced a black and white photography showing gestures of harms and hands, the verso contextualizes the images collected on Internet.
Service: a trilogy on colonization texte has been initially fragmented on postal cards then sent by mail to an amount of potential readers. Martha Rosler explains herself in the introduction of 1978’s edition.
This book is divided in three novels and one translation. In their original form the novels were sent through mail as postcard series, one card every five or seven days. Mail both is and isn't a personal communication. But whether welcome or unwelcome, it thrusts itself upon you, so to speak, and must be dealt with in the context of your own life. Its immediacy may allow its message to penetrate the usual bounds of your attention.
The writings – performance’s score, diaries text, are a considerable part of Schneeman’s works. Since the 60’s her texts are disseminated far from institutional spheres, in the periphery of journals and several collective publications.
Before being published by Beau geste presse (1972), Parts of a body House, is released for the first time in Caterpillar a journal edited in New York by Clayton Eshleman (N°3/4 1968) then in Fantastic Architecture edited by Dick Higgins and Wolf Vostell in 1969.
Athena Tacha (born in Larissa, Greece in 1936) says that her work swings between two sides. One of them represents reality she relates to her sculptor practice. The other is rooted to the self and includes conscience and writings. She sees in her photographic and film practices the link between those two sides. As a student, she hesitated between visual art and literature.
Most of the printed works exhibited are all edited by the artist between 1972-1975 and both photographic and textual. The two brochures Heredity study 1970-71 I and II and planche EXPRESSIONS 1 (A STUDY OF FACIAL MOTIONS) and GESTURES #1 A STUDY OF FINGERS POSITIONS (REDUCED VERSION) belong to the photographic works where body is language.
We’ve seen how in Scheemann and Antin’s work writing and performance share a common frame. The three texts published as brochures by Martha Wilson (born in Philadelphia in 1947) and titled THE ARNOTATED ALICE (1976) have been performed in Artists Space and at the Whitney Museum of Ny. Here the artist rewrites Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.
In a recent mail Martha Wilson indicated to me: As an ex-English Lit major, I considered the text to be of fundamental importance, and performed these texts when given the opportunity.
Martine Aballéa, Geographic despair, published by the artist, 1977
Martha Rosler, Service : a trilogy on colonization, New York, 1978
Ida Applebroog, I can’t – A Performance / Blue Books, New York, 1981