"Eau(Awe) du Champ
"The Random Gallery concept proposes the work of art as a link
in a chain of responses linking past to future, making both the work
and the chain inherently open. The work is open because it must respond
to a previous work, and thus reply to a condition not of its own choosing,
and because it must then set a condition that is not of the choosing
of the next work in the chain. The structure of overall chain is also
unforeseeable – each artist can only put in place a set of premises
for the next, but cannot foretell which will be accepted as challenges,
which will be overcome as obstacles, and which will be ignored in the
pursuit of a different agenda.
Creating a piece for such a circumstance is thus an effort in reading
the threads implicit in the situation at hand, and at writing a new
situation which reinterprets the initial conditions encountered into
both a new work and a provocation.
Eau/(Awe) du Champ 9/11 is a work that has grown from
the circumstances at hand in a way that reinterprets the previous installations
and sets certain conditions for the installations to follow. In some
way, every creative and expressive work is a member of such a chain,
or even of many such chains, but in Random Gallery this chaining of
references is most explicit and prominent.
At the onset, certain givens are noted: Random Gallery is an interface,
an ultrathin, between two galleries, Praz-Delavallade and Air De Paris.
It is a space that opens to the street through a Large Glass, within
which Ana Prvacki’s contribution floats like a celestial Bride
from another realm. The figure of Marcel Duchamp is instantly implied,
giving the work its point of departure and setting in motion a series
of transformations that result in an ever-evolving open work. But that
is not all – the opening of the installation happens to be on
9/11/2004, three years after a day of notoriously world-altering violence
and less than two months before elections whose outcome, though occurring
in one country, is crucial to the whole world.
If Air de Paris, why not Eau du Champ? The first move
is to establish a matrix of possibilities consisting of a grid of containers
of local water and global messages, a field of containers forming a
liquid crystal display that echoes Marcel Duchamp’s “The
Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors, Even.” The Mary Poppins
figure floating in the background is appropriated as the Bride, setting
in motion a dynamic of two realms, the realm of the bride, above, and
the realm of the bachelors, below, but also calling into action a distinct
poetics drawn from Raymond Roussel and employed in the mixing of allusions
to 9/11 within the discourse of the overall work.
From there, the linkages proliferate: from Impressions d’Afrique
to the NASA Space Program, operations of enframing and chaining construct
the piece through a Cagean computational strategy of composing parameters
within containers. In a time of nanotechnology and biotechnology, of
molecular problems and solutions, is the water always water? In a time
of ominous white powders, are the powders in the piece innocent? What
is transparency, actual or political, when it is used to obscure vision?
Having been launched, that piece is never complete – through the
course of it’s installation, and in it’s future incarnations,
new contents will be called upon for its containers, each time adding
resonances to the list of references that are evoked.
Over the course of its stay at Random Gallery, the piece itself will
reveal the identity of the next participant."