password: a rose has teeth
password: in the mouth of the beast
password: rose is a rose is a rose
Myriorama, Corner College, Zürich, October 11 2013
Myriorama, Palais de Tokyo, Paris August 28 and September 2013, 7pm
Act so that there is no use in a centre, Schau Ort, Zürich May 18, 7pm
Bourses déliées: at Halle Nord, Geneva
ALMA GESTES : at Rosabrux, Brussels
Fieldwork-Marfa : Research-artist in residency 2013
with special guests: Cory Arcangel, Cyprien Gaillard, Ceel Mogami de Haas, Matias Faldbakken, Matthijs Bouw, Aaron Schuster, John Snijders.
* Paper Jam # 2
* Biennale de Bourges 2012
* In Absent Places We Dwell, at Piano Nobile, Geneva
(Autoportrait en bibliothèque renversée)
Library. We metaphorically say of someone who is learned and who is well-read that “he is a living bookcase”. And, of a learned man who misapplies his knowledge, and is confused in his ideas: “he is an overturned bookcase”.
Philibert-Joseph Le Roux in Dictionnaire comique, satyrique, critique, burlesque, libre & proverbial, Z. Chastelain Amsterdam, 1750.
I really like this “definition” of a library given by Le Roux. I think that today, in the age of the internet (too often considered as omnipotent and omniscient), we all have a bit of the overturned bookcase about us. What I am saying, however, is not a criticism. An overturning may well produce meaning, a meaning that, while not new, does have the merit of being different. It may be said that before getting to the tabula rasa, you first have to overturn the bookcase, and it is when it is on the floor, around your feet, that it all starts again; we can then say that the overturning has to do with chaology as much as with phenomenology.
In the epigraph to his text introducing Das Allgemeine Brouillon by Novalis, Olivier Schefer quotes from Baudelaire's Curiosités Esthétiques : “Variety, the sine qua non of life”. What interests me here is the way Schefer's brings together Novalis' encyclopaedic project with Baudelaire aesthetic treatise. The field of knowledge becomes aesthetic and can then be understood as formal. Novalis sees knowledge as having a certain plasticity.
It was in 1951 that Armand Schulthess resigned from his position at the Swiss Federal Department. Of the Economy and went to his property in the Ticino, more precisely in the village of Auressio, in the Onsernone Valley. There he worked right up to the end of his life on what I shall call his “encyclopaedia in the woods”: a gigantic network of knowledge, reprising the ambition of encyclopaedism (rather in the manner of, say, Athanasius Kircher or Novalis than Diderot) but in three dimension, including a walk in the forest.
Novalis and Schulthess are a very lively source of inspiration in my work. These two men are overturned bookcases, in the positive sense of the term, who, each in their own way, have anticipated our contemporary relation to knowledge.