MATHIEU COPELAND AND PHILIPPE DECRAUZAT ARE PARTNERS IN CRIME ONCE AGAIN. THIS TIME IT’S ON THE OCCASION OF “A PERSONAL SONIC GEOLOGY”, AN EXHIBITION AT LE PLATEAU IN PARIS, IN WHICH THEY ARE SHOWING THE FILMS THEY HAVE REALISED TOGETHER SINCE 2012, STEMMING FROM A DESIRE TO FILM SOUND, RECORD PLACES, AND DIVE INTO THE PROCESS OF A MATERIAL CONSTRUCTION AND DESTRUCTION...
L’OFFICIEL ART: The exhibition “A Personal Sonic Geology” gathers together the films realised by yourself Mathieu Copeland and Philippe Decrauzat since 2012. Could you tell us more about these works? MATHIEU COPELAND: This series began with a shared desire for us to film music. More precisely, to realise portraits of musicians as they realise the soundtrack for that film to be, films that are later superimposed with portraits of landscapes. Firstly with Alan Licht, F.M. Einheit, Ulrich Krieger and Ellen Fullman, these questions gradually evolved with us asking ourselves a similar question – how to do portraits of works of art by the likes of Gustav Metzger, Peter Halley, and John Armleder. Neither a documentary, a work of art nor the appropriation of the filmed works, these films are projected one at a time throughout the spaces of the art centre. These films are seen through the prism of the coloured monochrome paintings onto which these are projected – monochromes that are changed throughout the course of the exhibition, thus offering an ever evolving exhibition: an exhibition with no object but their projection – ways of seeing music, works of art, or again, landscapes.
This programme has been the subject of a series of manifestos drawn up by guest artists. How do these manifestos fit in the exhibition?
Since 2011, we have been inviting artists, musicians, filmmakers, philosophers… to write manifestos. A dense – if modernist – form! Each writes a manifesto that ranges in length from one line to a paragraph. These are then laid-out by the printers themselves (no design!) and printed on a Heidelberg press in Marrakech. Given away during the exhibitions, these manifestos give the title to the events and exhibitions, and the photographs of the making of these become the visuals used for all communication material needed for the exhibition. The manifesto for the first event was written by Phill Niblock, followed by those of Marcia Hafif, Dan Walsh, Ben Van Meter, Guy Melden, and Susan Stenger whose “A Personal Sonic Geology” inspired the title to the current exhibition.
You were both invited to create a programme of events and exhibitions at le Plateau from March 2014. Can you tell us about this 18-month long collaboration?
This extended invitation has enabled us to further and to question the possibility of production and exhibition-making. The contemporary art centre is a space to foster knowledge and question the form thus realised. It is a place to produce new films with the likes of Lydia Lunch, Gilles Fürtwangler, Fritz Hauser, Tom Johnson, Morgan Fisher… It also enables us to envisage a series of exhibitions whose complementarity proposes in time the realisation of an object to be seen, to be filmed, and to be projected – an all-encompassing experience of the realisation of a work of art somehow. “SINCE 2011, WE HAVE BEEN INVITING ARTISTS, MUSICIANS, FILMMAKERS, PHILOSOPHERS... TO WRITE MANIFESTOS.”
“A Personal Sonic Geology”, 13 May – 26 July, Le plateau, 22, rue des Alouettes, Paris 19, T +33 (0)1 76 21 13 41 www.fraciledefrance.com
Mathieu Copeland, “A Personal Sonic Geology”.