Brussels - Argos - Ria Pacquée - Jordi Colomer05/05/2011
26 April - 18 June 2011
The work of Ria Pacquée (1954) explores the possible differences, intervals and overlaps between fiction and reality. Her field of study is the street and urban space. As an observer of public life (which results mainly in photography and video work) and as a participant (performances), she tries to find an answer to the most elementary questions concerning our existence. She is interested in rituals, the delusion and lunacy of religion, anonymity and an almost obsessive wandering in cities, and these are also important bases for the collection of the images and sounds that will ultimately shape her work.
At Argos, Pacquée is showing Westerly Winds, a new arrangement of ten early, recent and new works. Although they go back to 1980, this mosaic of spontaneous impressions consists mainly of work from the last five years. In that period, Pacquée zapped eagerly between East and West like a modern nomad. She travelled around in Morocco, India, Tunisia, Yemen and elsewhere, and Belgium and France too. She groups together and edits the material she has gathered together, recorded in the form of photos, slides, notes and videos, shaping them into series based on situations and similarities of form. Although her videos do not have any narrative core or coherent structure, these collected recordings of ephemeral, seemingly banal everyday events are elevated to the level of small adventures. Throughout the exhibition we hear a subtle echo of Pacquée, for whom life means experiencing a succession of shared moments. She acts as a companion, one who reveals herself emotionally, on a synergetic circuit that illustrates the fact that our perception of reality as an all-encompassing image is ultimately to some extent always illusory.
Image: Ria Pacquée, Resting, 2011. Courtesy of the artist.
What Will Come
26 April - 18 June 2011
Using fiction as an incitement to participate, the work of Jordi Colomer (1962) suggests that we should invent new ways of inhabiting public space, which recalls situationist thought and works, archittectura radicale and Anarchitecture. Colomer presents What Will Come, a triptych of films made in America, which echoes his other exhibition in Bozar on Charles Fourier and his utopian construction Phalanstery. United by a formal similitude, each film articulates itself around a character who re-enacts his own activity. The artist took an interest in Co-op City, a 40-tower area built in the seventies in the middle of the Bronx. Today, as shown in the first film, none of its 50,000 inhabitants seems to ride the traffic ways, which are strangely devoted to the routes of delivery men. The second film shows a character on vacation, a distant echo of Menschen am Sonntag (People on Sunday, a docufiction by Siodmak, Ulmer, Wilder and Zinneman from 1929), wandering in Long Island. The third is set in Levittown, a typical example of North-American suburbia, a model which has been exported around the world.
Neutralising the separation between public and exhibition space, 24 anonymous posters at the entrance of the show exhort the audience to "shout on the rooftops": to proclaim whatever is going on in their heads from the surfaces that cover our towns and are forbidden for public use. The result of a project led at Rennes University, this work shows Colomer's wish to reconsider the role of the spectator. As in architecture, fiction does not have to be produced in ready-to-consume form, but can offer the essential framework of an aesthetic and political life that is yet to come.
Image: Jordi Colomer, Crier sur les toits, 2011. Courtesy of the artist.
More information: www.argosarts.org