Spectacles without Objects explores – through text, images and sound recordings – specific occurrences of utopian performances in the past, way before the XXth century, before the moment Modern Art History usually assigns to the beginnings of performance art. Archeology of performance is a contemporary issue, especially as it took place inside communities who yearned to change social structures and relationships, to change human beings.
Louise Hervé & Chloé Maillet deals with historical reconstruction, both as a personal practice (they have worked with people and associations reenacting historical events) and as an institutional practice, in museums. They are using text, images and music to conjure up ideas. But the real reconstruction doesn’t take place in those images or objects or performances, it takes place at the intersection of all these elements, by triangulation. The real reconstruction is happening somewhere else: it’s happening inside the spectator’s mind.
Spectacles without Objects, which was produced by Centre Georges Pompidou and earlier has been exhibited at CNEAI in France, comes to Kunsthal Aarhus in an expanded version and in a form of an installation, including a book, a vinyl record and a performance by local citizens.
Performance (15 min.) three times a week:
The book is a discontinuous narrative, in three chapters (“Funambulists and Puritans”, “The Saint-Simonians’ Performance”, “The Dance of the Méditateurs”). The chapters are closely linked with a film (made in January 2016) and the exhibition project. The book is to be published in French and in English.
The book is to be accompanied by a record. Louise Hervé & Chloé Maillet recorded two different sets of songs with a choir specializing in 18th and 19th century music, Camera Sei. They adapted and performed all the songs. The first series is composed of four songs written at the dawn of the French Revolution, in 1790. They were written by anonymous songwriters to commemorate the first large Fête révolutionnaire (“revolutionary fair”). Those songs were recorded during a live performance in the Parc Jeau-Jacques Rousseau in July 2015. The second series is composed of five saint-simonian songs. The words and the music were written by composer Félicien David, a member of the sect. They were destined to accompany every hour of the day and every activity inside this political community during the time of their retreat in 1830: the meals, the works, and even the astronomy lesson. They have, for the most part, neveer been performed since. The songs were recorded in a studio at Centre Georges Pompidou in 2014.
The exhibition is created in collaboration with Rond Point Projects, Marseille.
The exhibition with Louise Hervé & Chloé Maillet is part of Kunsthal Aarhus' series BODY BODY. The exhibition programme focuses on young international contemporary art and presents four exhibitions by artists with an interest in current themes such as performativity, body, social communities, digital as well as physical. The exhibition programme is created by Jacob Fabricius, Artistic Director at Kunsthal Aarhus.
Exhibition period: 31 August–23 October 2016
Opening: 31 August, 5pm