La Station - Nice - France
From 02-09-2019 to 20-04-2019
Opening informations : opening Friday, february 8th, 6 PM
Opening friday, february 8th at 6 PM /
Serie of performances by Pauline Brun (in collaboration with Diane Blondeau & Valérie Castan) from 7 PM til 9 PM.
Since 2016, the D.R.A.C P.A.C.A has been helping La Station to set up temporary artist residences for visual artists. La Station chose to offer two residencies for a term of four months. For each of them, a grant of € 3500 is given to the artists, enabling them to ensure production, transport, travels and a per diem. A downtown housing is also allotted to them as well as a studio of a surface of 40 m2 at La Station.
The two recipients in 2018 were Pauline Brun in the spring and Rémi Groussin in the fall. This exhibition gives an account on the researches made during these residencies.
Sho-oter is the contraction of the French anglicism « shooter » — to shoot, to film — and of a pictogram — a pair of glasses; it sketches the encounter between the absurd performances of Pauline Brun and the seductive dysfunctional sculptures of Rémi Groussin.
Pauline Brun is a performer, but also a videographer and a sculptor: she builds her practice in a coming and going between the studio, the theater and the institution. Spaces with their own specificity have the common ground of taking the artistic process to a constricted space. At La Station, the studio became a hybrid space out of necessity, enabling the artist to think simultaneously on these various disciplines.
For Sho-oter, Pauline Brun reproduced this crossing by the creation of a scenography calling for rambling. Reconfigured, the exhibition space, on the day of the opening, will become the location for performances (conceived and made in collaboration with Diane Blondeau and Valérie Castan) around a character Pauline Brun defines as scruffy. This English word meaning « shabby, disheveled, dirty, untidy » is incarnated under the features of a character whose face is hidden by brown hair, obstinate in the absurd situations he encounters. Entertaining an ambivalent relationship with spaces and objects, he seems to pursue, in an abstruse logic, a goal only known to him. This catastrophe-body that calls on burlesque expresses through its agitated and distracted poetry the pleasure to produce an action in itself, bringing into the field of performance the primary notion of play. Pauline Brun thus diverts the very definition of what a performer is (in the competitive, efficient, productive sense): by playing on the accumulation and repetition of actions that seem incoherent at first glance, she reveals the haptic potentials of space.
The territory of the artist-run space is also taken over in what consists in the off camera (offices, storeroom); a recurrence in the artist’s work who also plays in her dramas with the limits of public space, often preferring the periphery, the slit.
The exhibition room will keep the remains of these performances, after the opening; besides several clues lead to believe that her clumsy character also moved around the corridors fighting against the straight spaces of the partitions. Both traces and works of art, these forms open up fictional situations for longer than the time of the performance to fully invest the field of visual art.
The videos made during her residence show the existing nuances between filmed action and direct action. The video here is not an archive of the performance gesture: action is thought based on a frame, a light, a sound recording and is often subject to editing.
Planning around this messy playpen, Rémi Groussin’s signs, sizzle, bathing the exhibition space in multicolored light. This artist also constructs polymorphous works: his sculptures, installations, videos and performances compose an artistic landscape in which the artistic, cinematographic and televisual references crash into each other. By elaborating visual art scenarios thought in an empiric manner in the space receiving them, he constructs a formal narrative often focus on the off-camera.
In the way an apprentice would, Rémi Groussin regularly works with craftsmen and companies, the techniques and competence of whom he appropriates. If he puts the analysis of the materials at the heart of his practice, his devices are however often inoperative: a form of resistance in the work, a sort of opposite, seems to prevent the completion of the work of art.
For Sho-oter, his light sculptures, made during his residence with the support of the company Atomic Néon, use the advertisement codes to better invalidate them. Some signs are still recognizable, such as the emblematic pair of glasses decorating the optical stores, other mutate following their own logic.
In this context, Rémi Groussin took a particular interest to the shape of the glasses, it enabled him to think about the assembling from simple elements: two circles, a bar. From the deconstruction of the pictogram to the schematic representation: the function of the neon then turns to the sculptural field, the sign disappears in favor of the shape. In this procedural research, each of the technical specificity of the object is dissected: light, structure, gas, but also electric voltage, the fastening system…
Thought to be seen from afar, the signs seem disproportionate here compared to the exhibition space: distorting the scale, they enhance by their brightness, sometimes failing, sometimes blinding, the architecture of the former slaughterhouse. Their proximity also unveils their making, surprisingly more crafted than technological: the entangling of cylinders, wires, sockets and ballasts reveal the rough functionality of the object. Thus, Rémi Groussin sets up an antagonistic dramaturgy in which the mechanism unveiled wears a halo of ostentatious splendor.
This deconstruction ultimately questions the status of the object — how is it made, shown, transformed, exhausted? It is the starting point of an artistic scenario in which the device goes beyond the sculptural field to enter those of scenography and fiction.
The hazardous assembling of Rémi Goussin could meet the vain gestures of Pauline Brun in what conditions their productions: the work in the studio and the gesture. But this strong appetite only make sense because it enables them to distort their own procedural and fictional mechanics. By taking this step aside, they produce works whose settled shapes seem to be able to mutate indefinitely towards unfinished potentials.