Review of Scroll Infini at Centre of Contemporary Art La Galerie, Paris


«The opera-archipelago is me», - states Julien Creuzet, the artist in residence at the Centre of contemporary art La Galerie in the Parisian suburb of Noisy-le-Sec. This might sound narcissistic. However, the mythology of oneself is not the only means of his artistic approach. The innovation of his attitude lies in the form of his creation. Originally Caribbean and influenced by the notion of an archipelago, he sees his work as a fragmented matter that constructs a whole. Thus, it contains assemblies of objects, «fragile installations», photographs and videos, taken spontaneously by the camera of his mobile phone, unprompted performances, poems, meetings and dialogues. Frequently using himself a clay for his œuvre, Creuzet involves opponents and collaborators in the creations as co-authors. The archipelago thinking is embodied in the necessity to surround himself with at least two «islands »in order for him to feel complete. The installation, in an exhibition Scroll Infini, the result of 4 months’research, incorporates all the mentioned media. Inspired by the representation of colonial France in the magazines of 1930s Toutes nos colonies (All our colonies) and the notion of imaginary exotic expanses in Rameau's opera Les Indes galantes (1735) he searches for the image of contemporary exotic items. Ornaments, tropical fruits, shamanic gestures and twerk dances go together with philosophical discussion around modern sexism, racism and feminism. One might wonder if a real exotic exists in the environment of a modern megapolis, isn't it just a deliberate deprivation of elements from the multicultural image of mondilisation? Creuzet all but answers that his exotics have a creolized form, as with the culture of the Caribbean archipelago, mixture of mixture, his proper spiced culture.


A sensitivity of working space, of unfinished form is mirrored as well in the installation of Emmanuelle Lainé. She constructed an installation Le Plaisir dans la confusion des frontières, recently shown at Fondation d’entreprise Ricard. A messy space, inhabited with objects, plaster casts, rough materials and absurd artificial flowers is reflected in a photo wallpaper that upon closer inspection reveals itself to be a Photoshop collage.

Do-it-yourself aesthetics is noticeable in Neil Beloufa’s film and installation Vengeance (2014). He realized a video with a group of cognitively challenged adolescents for an Orange Rouge residency programme. His collaborators staged a set in their classroom and wrote a script containing features of popular culture and narratives that interested young students. The film was showed off a backstage and is completed with a synthesized voice that served as a command for a camera to focus on these objects such as a plant, banana and peacock in the exhibition space. This projection, screened on a second TV appears to be a fake live already-montaged version. Maladroit, amateur-like and cloddish, it reveals the artist’s will to stay non-judgemental, non-didactic, rather «an editor »than an author of forms, an editor of material resulting from collaboration as a set situation, an editor of the space the viewer seems to own by their presence.


The manual «scroll infini »is on view in the documentation Céline Duval, a project started in 1998. Hours of the video are divided into sixty chapters that carefully put on display a series of advertising images taken from magazines. While in Duval’s documentation the printed material image is digitized, Éléonore False’s contribution makes out curved objects of black and white images. Her work in particular echoes a production of La Galerie’s resident Creuzet: she tends to a form as a gesture, a ritual movement, a rhythm of poetry.

Being titled Scroll Infini and obviously referring to the principle of digital navigation, it actually almost neglects to be a media image itself, but attempts to use this principle as a tool of navigating in real time and space, in the fluid fragments of visuals, texts, voices, movements and gestures.


Ekaterina Shcherbakova

March 2015

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