October 13 – November 11, 2012
Dominique Blais, Claire Chesnier, Michael Fesca, Jean Rouch
•Ready for Fatality?•
News about the Apocalypse #7
Anticipating and celebrating the predicted end of the world on December 21st as both an actual collapse and a possible new beginning, the project space NOTE ON devoted the whole year 2012 to »News about the Apocalypse«. For the 7th edition of the exhibition series, the Paris based curator Fabienne Bideaud developed »Ready for fatality?«.
What could save human beings from their own fatality? Different kinds of rituals exist throughout the history of civilisations. The ritual is a gesture or an act that is repeated in order to preserve, protect, a way of living. For example, the Hopi tribe was dancing to call for the rain, the sun and fertility. In old times, Greeks and Egyptians were offering gifts to ensure the grace of their gods. Sometimes, rituals involved death for better protection. This process was offering space for a commitment between human beings and their gods/spirits, an exchange room for goods. If one thinks about the current consumerist societies, what kind of rituals do we still perform? At odds with the spiritual sphere, in the capitalist systems we are used to perform rituals of trade, which colonize our desires. In his book The ritual of a snake, Aby Warburg explains that through empathic rituals, people learn to control their fears.
»Ready for fatality?« is an exhibition that analyses rituals through creations and their social, political and historical context. The short film Les Maîtres fous (Mad masters) (1954) by Jean Rouch (1917-2004) can be read as one answer to the reflections of Aby Warburg. He depicts the Hauka community, in Accra, Nigeria, and demonstrates how, with the help of rituals, these locals accept, embody and transform their living conditions formed by Western colonial powers. With his Sans titre (Melancholia) (2012), Dominique Blais (*1974) explores the idea of destruction/reconstruction by turning a vintage vinyl player into a votive object. The destroyed vinyl player loops on the last track on the vinyl, its content is impossible to identify. Claire Chesnier (*1986), in her abstract inks on paper, follows a detailed protocol, a ritual process, like a dance between gesture and form. In her work paper can be considered as an equivalent for skin, where whiteness and colours meet and shapes emerge. Michael Fesca (*1968) presents Swinging Plasticine Shifted Two (2012), a performative production process of sculptures reflecting notions of virtuosity vs. uselessness. In the space of NOTE ON he performs throughout the whole exhibition period, creating opulently formed dishes in plasticine. The objects will be in use for the Fatality Dinner Performance, a special dinner ritual that he will prepare on November 8th 2012.
Is fatality part of the human being? The archive room, displaying walls covered by texts that relate to the end of the world through history and civilisations, will allow the visitor to immerse into apocalyptic ideas and explore visions written or spoken through time. The presence of Michael Fesca in this room will create a continuity between the past and the present.
With the generous support of the INSTITUT FRANCAIS.