Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton in Turbulences
(Paris.) Sorbonne professor David Rosenberg is one of Paris' leading freelance curators, for "Turbulence" at Espace Louis Vuitton on the Champs Elysees he joined forces with Pierre Sterckx, this should be a sure bet for a highlight. And be assured, the show will not disappoint you.
The task was to find artworks that bring a taste of chaos to our organised boringness; that might waken us with chance and deviation and recall the beauties of liberty beyond control.
I really don't know if this has something to do with marketing strategies and fashion design, maybe the sponsor wants to focus on irregular bag designs. Suspicions like these may arise given the fact that one work of Jorinde Voigt serves as a window decoration of the flagship store on street level. Anyway, the exhibition itself welcomes us with another wall taking drawing of the artist, who creates graphs made from events, here song chart positions combined with temperatures and kisses(!). The result reminds of a storm, an incomprehensible notation, a dandelion flower or whatever... ("Untitled 11-14", 2006)
Petroc Sesti ("Literal Form", 2012) put a whirl formed like a unicorn's (or simply: walrus) horn into a round fish bowl, thus creating a maelstrom, and the image of technics drilling into the unknown without ever advancing to the bottom. The piece has a great distortion mirror effect, when approaching you may easily mistake a visitor standing behind for part of it. The water movement cannot be calculated, though set in motion by rationality we are unable to foresee the result in every detail.
An installation from Pascal Haudressy takes up certain works of his much more famous compatriot François Morellet who regularly takes wall drawings to the third dimension by adding actual branches of wood. With Haudressy we find two projections of trees connected by a plastic branch. The dead manmade object stays motionless while the filmed (ok: technics again) trees move in unpredictable winds.
The show continues with Attila Csörgo's "How to construct an orange? II" (1993-2006): six small fans let each dance a spherical paper form some centimetres above them. Although the stimulus never changes, the individual(?!) objects never show the same movement.
All of these works share one characteristic: fascinating like magic tricks or toys they attract even people usually not interested in arts. We all want to be surprised, to be confronted with mystery. We notice the technical setup that seems to be responsible for the effects and we are not afraid - the magic wand is there to hold the summoned powers in bay. But does it really explain anything? The created movements are uncontrollable; technic only bears or kills, but never controls them, and this refusal to calculation itself is the beauty of chaos.
The climax is attained by Zilvinas Kempinas' "Lemniscate" (2007): two large standing fans hold a magnetic tape to the wall, its form an ever-changing lying eight. Eternal changes, eternity changes, the circle of life - till the visitors have gone and somebody in charge unplugs the work. This is not a variation of Csörgo's piece, it leaves an entire different impression. The connection of air and uncontrolled movement, of chaos is a fascinating concept, the element traditionally stands for life, for breath - Atman is Brahman, to talk Hinduism. And movement is energy, is life. It happened not by accident that the artist chose magnetic tape - something to record images, films: movements again. And all held up by duality, two combined forces that keep things rolling.
Finally one more work has to be mentioned here, the video installation "Rheo: 5 Horizons" (2010) from Ryoichi Kurokawa: five big screens show forms like graphs of algebraic functions dancing up and down a horizontal red line in the centre (a bit like that software to visualize music, the transfer of something "real" into values and graphs). Suddenly the images transform into landscapes, natural wonders, all running at great speed and you hear birds cry. Life: explosions on the flatline. The world is built of forms, and all forms can be derived from mathematical formula, but these graphs look just like chaotic symphonies.
Chaos is equilibrium, the world a series of coincidences, and every order an illusion?
Mission accomplished: We won't tidy our room (not tonight, oh please, Maaa,...).
Turbulences at Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton. 60 rue Bassano, 75008 Paris. 21st June – 16th September 2012