Ya, ok ok, happy Wednesday to you too. I’m a bit stuck today. Stuck in my head. Too many information, ideas, thoughts. Too little time granted to the process of digesting them. I’d almost ask someone to touch my frontal lobe to check if it hasn’t melted already. What I need now, is isolation. Luxury, to me, is emptiness. Empty spaces. Silence. Which, I had to give up moving back to NYC. Urgh. Silence. Silence brings you back to yourself. I’m thinking more and more than only deeply self-centered people can fully enjoy and crave silence. And, yeah, I’d be one of them. I’m counting the times my phrases start with « I », remembering what my dear mother, a bit anal about the positioning of the self, the presenting of the self to the world, and how others perceive us, has once told me. A message that has haunting my writing till that day. She said, « people who use I a lot have much more chance of dying of a heart attack. Because their focus is too much on their self. » Sweet Lord, thanks maman. So today, I’m testing my luck. I. I. I. I. Oy. It wouldn’t be too bad dying today - at least, my brain would get some rest. But, hey, chill out, not a fucking chance it’ll happen under my watch. Silence. The absolute gift of the loner. When do we ever get a chance to experience an artwork in silence? One that we don’t own, that is?
I have - a couple of times, perhaps, so far. The game of opposites, follow me please. About 10 years ago, Beaubourg was presenting Bill Viola’s Five Angels for the Millenium. I was something like 17. Very hungry for art, for novelty, and for adventures that would build up my mental arts-related bank. My private gallery of images. It was about refining and defining the territory of my taste. This show was a bullet through my brain. It made everything I had intellectually created on the experiencing of art shatter. The piece was a sensorial and visual shock. But it was more than that. I had found my place. And I thought the artwork had as well. Through the how. The seclusion imposed by the scenography, the delimited and palpable blackness of the surroundings, in between the video projections and me, viewer, was decisive to how I think and (physically) navigate art shows ever since. My being had been taken hostage by the merger of matter and anti-matter. The way the viewing space was thought of, and built, and how it related to the work presented was the apex of enhancement, dragging art-wanderers into the Angels’ abyss. Bill Viola’s work demands your body and soul to let go of control, to stop resisting, in order to be snatched. Once you have relinquished your power and submitted to his vision, to the flow of images, to the narrative (or absence of), can you fully delve into the depth of psyche. Bill Viola’s work acts much like a drug, in the way that it’ll change your perception to make you go inwards. But, for that to materialize, you need space. Retreat. Silence. And almost loneliness. The exhibition space must fabricate and protect its sacral environment. Otherwise, us, you, me, viewers, end up packed up in a room, stuck against someone’s body you’d rather not think of. Like at the Grand Palais last year. Wishing everyone around wasn’t born. Because some works, or bodies of work in the case of Viola, are that connected to the personal, the self centeredness, the oneness, and the solitary. What about void? Here’s another notion we could explore more. And play with. Creating with the negative. Michael Heizer, yes. And others. Few others. What about showing art using the void? Cattelan, yes, at the Guggenheim. Solitude, loneliness, void, are mistakenly associated with decay (of sociability), and with death. Whereas those could very well be the scary den that holds in the golden reward: revelation. Of the artwork. Of the self through the artwork. And, of the self.