The World’s most Important ArtistsSculptures & Installations
260 x 2400 x 1250 cm
wood, glass, 660 handels & 660 unique labels
Photo: H. Beurel
Galerie Art & Essai, University Rennes, France
It seems to resonate with fundamental works in the history of art. The collection of information presented is subject to an ordered layout whose apparent rigour the visitor may initially find disconcerting. Explicitly organized according to the model of archive architecture, the installation divides the space in two with a long glass wall. On the other side, are six long grey blocks aligned in a large white room, with sixty drawers on each of their longest sides. In total, six hundred and sixty identical drawers lined up in this collection of grey columns looking exactly like ordinary filing cabinets. In the centre of the glass partition an opening gives access to the space occupied by these volumes. The area is simply lit by rows of neon lights hanging below the roof, lined up with the cabinets. However, in reality the drawers are just surfaces on the sides of the “cabinets” and do not offer any real storage capacity. Consequently, any attempt to use them is foiled by their failure to open and the drawers remain stubbornly closed. They have no other material existence but the relief of their façade and the presence of the handles; similar to images of drawers, they flaunt a repetitive identity on both sides of this sculptured furniture. The only tangible difference is the reference label on which a standardized code specific to each drawer is written in letters and figures.
In this installation, a methodical organization of data is supposed to materialize in the architectural space, an exhaustive classification of the “artist’s life”. But it uses an unusual system with the following logic: a chart with three lists corresponding to medium, type of inspiration and psychological state of the artist, makes it possible to prepare and organize documentary research which could then follow in the archive room. A slip, available at the entrance, permits the visitor to tick one box for each list on the chart to obtain a three section code referring to a specific drawer situated in one of the cabinets. A certain wit regularly undermines with the absurd the apparent megalomania of the project.