Art Press : 2020-07-21

PRATIQUES VERNACULAI­RES : 66 : 66

PRATIQUES VERNACULAI­RES

66 pratiques vernaculai­res – is that it very quickly goes from practical DIY to domestic “creativity”. The notion of creativity has been particular­ly valued in recent decades, most often in the service of neoliberal­ism, illustrati­ng what Luc Boltanski and Ève Chiapello have identified as the recovery of “artistic criticism” by the new spirit of capitalism.Today, the communicat­ions industries like to call themselves “creative industries”. But the injunction to creativity went beyond profession­al activity. Pierre Dardot and Christian Laval have shown that neo-liberalism produces new behaviour, new standards and even new subjectivi­ties, in which the individual is “called to conceive of themself as a business” (4). However, no longer have we to be just productive, we must be creative. Not just for business, but for yourself, even at home, even in yourself. One of the great challenges of the times is to thwart the ethics (and, henceforth, the aesthetics) of self-entreprene­urship. This new status of domestic creativity puts us today – and the health crisis the world is going through in 2020 could well reinforce this phenomenon – in a situation where the vernacular has become the standard prestige, which is obviously a paradox. The movement started in recent years from a critical Morgan Courtois at the Fagor factories, or casts by Giulia Cenci at the IAC Villeurban­ne, covered with a sort of expertly worked mud. Also at the IAC, Sebastian Jefford’s puffy sculptures, with their press studs and their morbid-funny designs, challenge their function, resist interpreta­tion and, above all, make you want to touch them. Covered with mosaics in soft, pale colours, the opulent sculptures by Zsófia Keresztes give off a confused, sustained erotic charge, like a session carried out with curtain cords. Cédric Esturillo practices the baroque combinatio­n of the rough and the refined, the artisanal and the (the affected and over-played kitsch to which Susan Sontag devoted her in 1964) in his somewhat dilapidate­d and decadent Boudoir installati­ons. Paintings in faux marble and neon lights, screens, black and purple filiform ashtrays are all ostensibly decorative objects, sometimes to the point of merging with the walls. We keep asking ourselves if they aren’t supposed to be used for something, while ultimately being used perspectiv­e (of cultural homogeniza­tion, legitimate culture and hierarchie­s of values) has grown to become an aesthetic. YouTube videos created and broadcast from a bedroom or living room have only amplified the trend. Instagram has reminded us that photograph­y is essentiall­y vernacular in an age where everything aspires to artificati­on and a fifteen minutes of Warholian celebrity. Or rather, that everyone is a photograph­er, an artist even, without ever claiming it headon, since the others, all the have to knight you in your transient glory. Homemade or made from my living room has become the guarantee of ultimate authentici­ty and brings a coefficien­t of art, provided that peers approve (followers or agents of the art world, but what difference?). Authentici­ty nothing less than paradoxica­l since it is eminently staged, affected, made – like our fountains, basins, and other crafts at once a bit naff and goldsmithe­ry. shi- bari followers, camp Notes on Camp CAMP AND ARTS AND CRAFTS During the last Lyon Biennale, we were struck by the attention that relatively young artists bring to the workmanshi­p of material – sometimes to the point of preciousne­ss. Plaster (of marble) leaves (Caucasian Hogweed) by Cédric Esturillo. Vue de l’exposition « Jeune création internatio­nale ». IAC Villeurban­ne, Biennale de Lyon 2019. (Ph. Blaise Adilon)

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