Artists: Pierre Bismuth, Nina Childress, Claude Closky, Pierre Huyghe, M/M, Xavier Veilhan
An exhibition at the Manufacture des Oeillets, Ivry-sur-Seine, at the invitation of Patrick Raynaud.
The dictionary definition of “recall” is: “the ability to remember all the details of something”. This title will undoubtedly remind some people of the famous film Total Recall by Paul Verhoeven (1990), adapted from Philip K. Dick’s 1966 futuristic novel We Can Remember It for You Wholesale. Remembering, of course, but in a very strong relationship to the future.
In the early 1980s, Pierre Bismuth, Nina Childress, Claude Closky, Pierre Huyghe, M/M, Xavier Veilhan, entered the “arts décos”, the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs de Paris (EnsAD).
Some of them, Claude Closky and Pierre Huyghe for example, decided to come there together. They encouraged each other. Others met there like Bismuth, Huyghe, Veilhan, and what the critics of the time called “B.H.V” met and made exhibitions. And catalogs.
Claude Closky, Nina Childress, Pierre Huyghe participate in the adventure of the Ripoulin brothers, budding painter-taggers. They create the event in New York or in Paris where they make the cover of the daily newspaper Libération. It is a first victory. Strategically the action takes place on a Thursday, and Jean-Louis Pradel takes the ball on the rebound and carries an echo in the eponymous newspaper L’Evénement du Jeudi (Thursday’s Event). They are students, young artists. The art market is in great shape.
Then they leave the arts decos rather quickly. Xavier Veilhan leaves for Berlin. Pierre Bismuth joined him a little later. Mathias Augustyniak, one of the M’s, from M/M went to London to the Royal College of Art. The links are woven.
This is the pretext of this exhibition, a new meeting, since they have never exhibited together.
At the invitation of Patrick Raynaud, director of Ensad from 2002 to 2008, this event takes place in the large hall of the Manufacture des Œillets in Ivry, which housed the scenography section of the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs from the 1990s to 2000.
In the 1000 m2 of this splendid industrial space, old and recent works by these artists are presented. The exhibition attempts to expose their reciprocal influences, crossed perhaps even briefly by a “school” thought… They did not come out of it “majors” and sometimes left it, but the contemporary history of visual arts finally designated them as such.
Yes, they are indeed major artistic personalities of creation in France since the 1990s. Certainly, they are not the only ones, but they considerably modified the landscape of the contemporary art, by the singularity of their thoughts, their approaches, the diversity of the mediums which they use.
Indeed, the link which joins them is also this one: volume, images in movement, drawing, photography, painting, sound, graphic art, scenography, advertising format… So many supports and formats that they all explored. In a “sensitivity” and a close thought.
Claire Le Restif