AR­CHIVE AS MA­TE­RIAL

Art Press - - INTRODUCING - Trans­la­tion, C. Pen­war­den

in two ways, di­rect­ly and from be­hind, lea­ding to a se­ries of dif­ferent sce­na­rios: full image, per­fo­ra­ted image, the white trem­bling un­der the ef­fect of conden­sa­tion, the re­mai­ning black, frag­ments of a found image and a mis­sing image. The ins­tal­la­tion Zom­bies (2102), concei­ved for a Pa­ri­sian school, al­so pro­duces a third image, this time from a di­gi­tal source. A vi­deo shows two palm trees ro­ta­ting like ca­rou­sels (as in the ear­lier About Shan­gri

La (2010). Their edges touch and bring forth a third palm tree, like a ghost. These trees are pro­jec­ted on a slate board, like a dream or a night­mare, or ra­ther, a hal­lu­ci­na­tion. The title of the work is that of a col­lec­tion of short sto­ries by Bret Eas­ton El­lis, one of Sau­vage’s ma­ny West Coast re­fe­rences. Wri­ter Thomas Pyn­chon is the he­ro of ano­ther piece, and concep­tual ar­tist William Lea­vitt is fre­quent­ly quo­ted. Sau­vage goes deep in­to his images, not so much dis­sec­ting them as ope­ning them up with a ma­gic wand.

TIME IN THE IMAGE

Time is ano­ther theme. The ca­rou­sels of slides spin­ning side by side and the images ro­ta­ting on their axes, as in Zom

bies, evoke the in­ter­lo­cking cogs of clocks. As Sau­vage points out, with a ca­rou­sel the eye has access to the image on­ly from the side, ne­ver from the cen­ter. Just as we can­not go in­side time. And time is what Sau­vage tries to in­te­grate in­to his images. For

Mo­nu­ment (2013), made with gra­phic de­si­gner Lionel Cat­te­lan, he chose a post­card from the 1970s sho­wing a con­crete buil­ding stan­ding in a gar­den in Ba­va­ria, with pa­ra­sols on eve­ry bal­co­ny—it is a sun­ny day. The ins­tal­la­tion consists of a blow-up of the post­card, on­to which are pro­jec­ted six­ty-four rec­tangles re­com­po­sing the image at dif­ferent times. The en­semble is com­ple­ted by a book, the pages of which are frag­ments of the ori­gi­nal image, their pixel­la­ted forms ba­re­ly re­co­gni­zable. This trem­bling of the image is al­so the trem­bling of time. For Sau­vage, ar­chives are of­ten the raw ma­te­rial. A good example is De­sert Ma­ga­zine, a ve­ry sur­pri­sing American pu­bli­ca­tion that came out from 1937 to 1985, which ins­pi­red a se­ries. The edi­to­rial of the first is­sue be­gins with the words “There are two de­serts”; in Sau­vage’s per­for­mances, they are read by two people. Then the rest of the text, which evokes the dif­fe­rence bet­ween a per­cei­ved land­scape and an ex­pe­rien­ced one, is then played in a form that is in­crea­sin­gly dis­tor­ted by the feed­back from the space where it was re­cor­ded (the prin­ciple comes from I’m sit-

ting in a room, a 1969 piece by com­po­ser Al­vin Lu­cier). At the same time, the two per­for­mers pile trans­pa­ren­cies with the text writ­ten on them on­to the plate of an ove­rhead pro­jec­tor. The image thi­ckens as the voices blur, sound is trans­for­med in­to space. In ano­ther work, two ma­ga­zine co­vers are pro­jec­ted in­to these ad­ver­ti­sing sup­ports consis­ting of spin­ning tri­an­gu­lar bars on­to which images are pro­jec­ted. A new kind of ca­rou­sel. These are co­ve­red with re­flec­tive glass and the ca­me­ra mo­ve­ments de­form the images in­to a ka­lei­do­sco­pic ef­fect. This vi­deo is pro­jec­ted on­to wall­pa­per with stripes that so­me­times merge with those of the image. A small palm tree leans against the wall, a dis­tant echo of that dream ver­sion of Ca­li­for­nia. Ar­chives were al­so Sau­vage’s wor­king ma­te­rial during his residency at the HEC bu­si­ness school cam­pus out­side Pa­ris, where he dis­co­ve­red an old ho­tel in the bru­ta­list style now hid­den be­hind a bland fa­çade. His re­search led him to create a big on-site ins­tal­la­tion: two are­ca palms from Ma­da­gas­car (plants used to feed cor­po­rate of­fices with oxy­gen) were ins­tal­led in pots made of black MDF, in the shape of the ho­tel. A 3D re­cons­ti­tu­tion of the ho­tel was pro­jec­ted on­to the wall. A stan­dard lamp pro­vi­ded the ligh­ting. “This must be the place,” says the Tal­king Heads song which gives its title to this ghost­ly en­semble. But what place? The so­lar light of Sau­vage’s images burns all the more bright­ly for the shadows that threa­ten.

Ci-des­sus / above: « Il y a deux dé­serts-édito ». 2013. Ins­tal­la­tion per­fo­rée conçue en col­la­bo­ra­tion avec Jé­ré­mie Sau­vage. Double ré­tro-pro­jec­tion. Sé­rie de huit im­pres­sions sur ro­doïdes. “There are two de­serts.” Double ove­rhead pro­jec­tion Ci-des­sous / be­low: « Zom­bies ». 2012. Ins­tal­la­tion in si­tu. Double vi­déo-pro­jec­tion sur ta­bleau d’ar­doise. 600 x 200 cm. Deux ani­ma­tions 3D For­mat spé­ci­fique. 40s. Salle de classe, gé­la­tine. « Pri­ma­ry Green ». 2012. Ex­po­si­tion « Été in­dien » Ci­té sco­laire Fran­çois Villon, Pa­ris, 2012.

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