VIVRE SA VIE: INSTALLATION
Pierre Huyghe and Philippe Parreno
Tramway, Glasgow, until Sun I7 Dec
Ann-Lee's monologue verges on the hypnotic
We live in a sea of images The art of Fft-‘IN hmeri Pierre Huyghe and Philippe Parreno, exhibited as part of the V/vre Sa Vie French art festival, forces you to for us on the frequently overlooked signs that surround us.
On a small carousel in the vast Trarriway 2 space is Huyghe and Parreno's four-sided Video installation. Two torriputer-animated works, one by Huyghe and one by Parreno, both entitled No Ghost Just A She// play
VIVRE SA VIE: INSTALLATION Glassbox/Duplex
Collective Gallery, Edinburgh, until Sat 16 Dec
Glassbox is a Paris-based collective that circumvents the LiSLiaI art world hierarchy by running its own space, With a Wish to challenge the norms of current art practice. In Paris, rt does this by engaging in an anti-elitist blurring of the boundaries between art forms, from fashion to Video proiectron, and setting itself up against the hypocrisy, obsession wrth surface sheen and general lack of meaning it finds to be prevalent in mainstream contemporary art
This rs all well and good, and no doubt its gallery has hosted more than its fair share of worthwhile exhibitions and events. The problem With the
84 THE lIST 30 Nov-H Dec 2000
continuously One of them, a monologue perfOrmed by the vaguely familiar computer image of ’Ann-Lee', verges On the hypnotic t’s an art gallery image talking to yOu aDOut the power that images have within the 'gallery experience’ — a double-edged trick that not only allows yOu to consider the potency of images, but also impinges on the way you, as an indiVidual, read, or are forced to read, those images From art through to advertising, images are Signs, rust empty ’shells’ onto which we prorect Our own cultural meanings.
In Huyghe's split-screen work 3rd Memory, meanwhile, the bank robber involved in the robbery that went on to become the Subiect of the Sidney Lumet film, Dog Day Afternoon, takes y0u through what happened to him With help from a host of actors. In this new directorial mode, he recounts the story, dissecting and diluting lt along the way. The spectator understands his story in terms of the film, the whole account then becoming further distanced from the 'truth’, a third-rate reality
Parreno's Credits runs alternater wrth 3rd Memory, but is more tentative — althOugh its use of spec:al effects in a landscape reminiscent of a Tim Burton film seem to comment on the man- made invalidity of the Cinematic world.
Questioning realism and truth, semiotics and sign systems, Huyghe and Parreno's works allow you to think abOut how signs can be read and re- read in our modern, multifarious culture. (Claire Mitchell)
Sidesteps the production of art
Glassbox show at the Collective is that it sidesteps the production of art. This means that, while the gallery space is full of objects, all are past examples of Glassbox actiVitres, essays promoting the Glassbox philosophy and calls for Scottish artists to propose future protects. This is a meta-exhibition, a hint at what a show should be like according to the Glassbox committee, and, as Such, is an unqualified success. The problem is that this success is ineVitable, since, as a self-regarding non-show, the espousal of any old critique would have worked ,iust as well.
So, if you want to find out what Glassbox thinks about art, all is well. If you actually want to engage With the output of an artist, yOu’lI have to come up With something yourself, and hope it makes it past these self-appOrnted arbiters of taste and onto the floor and walls of its space. (Jack Mottram)
VIVRE SA VIE: WEBSITE Claude Closky
As part of I/ivre Sa Vie, Claude Closky has been commisSioned by New Media Scotland to produce a web page I confess to having been exCrted by the prospect of his site Visions of interactrvrty, animation, Video clips, text, basically anything that might utilise the web's possibilities whizzed through my mind. Unfortunately I was s0rely disappornted
I know art world rnSrders Will tut at my comprehensive inability to get the deerious irony and subtle wrt at work in Closky's Site, but to be frank, the whole thing is a poor, thin one-line Joke On typing the address, all you get, and I mean all, is a Window With a recreation of the familiar domestic computer game Tetrrs Abstract blocks fall to earth, and are arranged in lines to secure pornts by the absent player Claude Closky The press release throws out the dire (lithe of Closky transforming the everyday into the sublime, but really it should be the everyday into the banal.
Closky deliberater trundles along the information superhighway. This is the big joke and the delightful critique. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for throwrng a bit of Luddrte mud at techno nerds, but does it have to be in such an insipid form“ (John Beagles)
VIVRE SA VIE: PHOTOGRAPHY Bruno Serralongue
Street Level, Glasgow, until Sat 23 Dec ‘2 * t *
A poor thin one-line joke
Bruno Serralongue blurs the line between standard photorournalism and art. The two series on show here, Destination Vegas and Sunday Afternoon are, at first glance, ClaSSIC . jOLImalISiIC portraiture, the former has blurs the line between tattooed, mulleted biker types in photojournalism and art glorious Sunday supplement colour, looking cockrly into the lens, the latter consists of soft monochrome family groups, dapper old men and grinning lads
Serralongue might be teetering on the not-so-fine line between straightforward glossy snapping and y0ur proper art stuff, but that’s the pornt. The images are presented as a dialogue With conventional media presentation of public events. He places himself in the preordarned series of images engendered by, well, magazines like The List, that skew pOSSIble variations on an experience by presenting it fully formed ahead of time.
This engagement With a broad range of events (Serralongue has covered the Hong Kong handover in the past, and concentrates on a Sunday afternoon stroll here) only works, however, if you know what the artist is up to before you see the images, which either lends a further looping layer to the work, placing the art in the context it is meant to be undermining, or renders it pointless.
In the end, it’s probably best to decide for yourself, lest you fall into the trap of creating the kind of prefab opinions Serralongue satrrrses. (Jack Mottram)
VIVRE SA VIE: MIXED MEDIA Bless/Laurent
Transmission, Glasgow, until Sat 16 Dec * t it
TransmiSSron has for some time demonstrated a pron0unced interest in displaying work Which fuses and blurs the distinctions between deSrgn, art and architecture. In its contribution to the Vr‘vre Sa Vie season, it is exhibiting a collection of French graphic/product deSigners and artists who share its interest.
The company Bless has set up a retail outlet for its range of products in the gallery. Aiming to produce an ethically purer partnership between consumer and producer, its work mixes utopranrsm With ab5urdrsm. Alongside, Laurent Fetrs exhibits examples of his graphic design work - cool, chic retro style depictions of beautiful people', while Mathreu Mercer displays a range of dysfunctional, outsized SCulptures perched on the precipice of utilitarianism and aesthetics
William Morris once asked this question of cultural producers: ’erl the thing produced be useful to the world? Will the making of it give healthy and pleasurable occupation to the makers?’ Morris dreamed of grvrng dignity to lab0ur and establishing bonds between producer and consumer Unfortunately his radicalism was gurckly absorbed, and his desrgns became the chosen luxury items for generations of b0urge0rs families. Let’s hope these artists/deSigners can stay one step ahead of the game. (John Beagles)
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Bless mixes utopianism with absurdism