JR. DE­CADE. Por­trait d’une gé­né­ra­tion

Art Press - - REVIEWS -

Rares sont les ex­po­si­tions qui montrent aus­si bru­ta­le­ment le dé­voie­ment d’une pra­tique. En re­ve­nant sur les pre­miers pro­jets de l’ar­tiste JR, l’ex­po­si­tion DE­CADE. Por­trait d’une gé­né­ra­tion rap­pelle la sin­cé­ri­té de ses en­ga­ge­ments, l’hu­ma­nisme de sa dé­marche et l’ef­fi­ca­ci­té de son lan­gage mo­nu­men­tal et im­mé­diat. Mais, en pré­sen­tant les plus ré­cents, elle sou­ligne com­bien l’ar­tiste a été rat­tra­pé par le spec­tacle et le mar­ché. Car il faut être au moins aus­si souple que les dan­seurs que JR pho­to­gra­phie, met en scène et filme pour s’y re­trou­ver. Peut-on faire à ce point le grand écart entre les vi­sages vi­gou­reux de ses amis de la ci­té des Bos­quets et les dan­seurs ali­gnés sur le toit de l’Opé­ra Gar­nier ? Sans par­ler de ceux, dans des tra­vaux qui semblent en­core plus em­prun­ter à l’ima­ge­rie pu­bli­ci­taire, dan­sant dans des contai­ners du port

de­mons­tra­ted the va­li­di­ty of his ap­proach. But in his most recent shows, you can tell he’s going off the tracks. You would have to be at least as flexible as the dan­cers in JR ‘s sta­ged pho­tos and vi­deo to real­ly en­joy his la­test ef­fort. There’s just too much of a leap bet­ween the vi­go­rous faces of his friends at the Bos­quets hou­sing pro­ject and the bal­let dan­cers li­ned up on the roof of the Opé­ra Gar­nier. Not to men­tion the people dan­cing in ship­ping contai­ners at the port of Le Havre or at the foot of an apartment block in Mont­fer­meil. It feels even more like a TV ad trying to sell us so­me­thing. Des­pite the con­trast bet­ween the gra­ce­ful bo­dies and hard­scrabble places, the re­sult is more like sch­maltz than re-en­chant­ment. As for the pho­tos prin­ted on old, rough-hewn pieces of wood, their sub­jects of­ten seem as­to­ni­shin­gly or­di­na­ry. It’s hard to see them as any­thing more than an un­jus­ti­fiable ef­fort to pro­duce a few spin-offs from the ori­gi­nal art­work. Some ex­cellent ar­tists, even if they are not known for the so­cial or hu­ma­ni­ta­rian cha­rac­ter of their work, would avoid that kind of dod­gy stuff.

Translation, L-S Tor­goff

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