LES GRANDS TRANSPARENTS. IN PRACTICE
a special collaboration with FAMILY BUSINESS
14.12.2013 & 18.01.2014
Family Business is a non-for-profit space, a free time-share, open to experimentation and irreverent exhibition formats, initiated by Maurizio Cattelan and Massimiliano Gioni and powered by the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, USA.
A guest + a host = a ghost. Nadja Argyropoulou is the Family Business guest (or ghost) curator.
Family Business was until recently operating in New York. It has disappeared from its Chelsea space and has been conjured in Paris, where it reappeared emerging from the crypt situated in the alley of the Chalet Society.
Responding to Marc Olivier Wahler‘s curatorial flair for tricks and treats and getting into a loose, rather abstracted dialogue with the Jim Shaw exhibition’s vertiginous material and curiosity triggered concept, Family Business is inviting entities, people, practices into the spaces of the Chalet Society for a program under the general title: Les Grands Transparents. In Practice, and divided in Vol. I – December 2013 and Vol. II – January 2014.
The Volume I, on December 14th, invited artists collective Saprophytes* to present « Minor Bestiary II. Méth-odos Hési-ode », an installation and an orgasmic polyphonic reading of Theogony, engaging the public into a better grasp of the overwhelming visual legacy of this text and its contemporary ramifications.
Within the same day practice, the workshop « Scare(crow)s abound » called on artists and public to produce monsters and marvels taking its cue from the uncanny creatures described in Hesiode’s Theogony and Philippe Charlier, the famous forensic pathologist and archéo-anthropologist, author of « Les Monstres Humains dans l’Antiquité », lectured on a stunning collection of mythological and real monsters.
* Saprophytes is a collective artistic project that focuses on finding, processing and assembling preexisting material which is in a state of conceptual decay or disparagement. The byproducts of such activity are intended to form visual pastiches and new narrative frameworks, to multiply misreadings and recombinations.
The Volume II, on January 18th, presented « Fix Your Eyes Right Here! », a conjuring lecture/performance by ESTAR(SER), the research consortium known as The Esthetical Society for Transcendental and Applied Realization (now incorporating The Society for Esthetical Realizers).
On this special occasion, visiting representatives of ESTAR (SER), Sal Randolph* and D. Graham Burnett*, reanimated the eccentric stagecraft of an American original: Inyard Kip Ketchem, also known, during his vagabond years riding the carnival circuit in the early twentieth century, as Doctor Ketch’em, Professor Katch’em, The Amazing Mr. Ketch, Yardarm von Kip, Inyard “Eagle-Eye” Kip-Katch, and under a number of other sobriquets.
Documents recently surfaced by members of the Editorial Committee of the ESTAR (SER) opened an idiosyncratic window onto the career of this vaudeville philosopher, who rose to considerable celebrity in the years before World War I, as “America’s Greatest Carnival Meditator”, a distinction he succeeded in parleying into a marginal livelihood as a traveling attention artist and huckster-therapist of modern distraction. Was he associated with the Order of the Third Bird (or related communities of ritually-oriented devotees of practical aesthesis)? There are reasons to believe he was.
* D. Graham Burnett is a historian of science and writer. He is a Guggenheim Fellow in residence at the Bard Graduate Center, un editor of Cabinet magazine, and teaches at Princeton University. dgrahamburnett.net
* Sal Randolph is an artist and writer. Elle appeared at Princeton University, Bard Graduate Center, MoMA, Columbia University, Palais de Tokyo, Dairy Art Centre. salrandolph.com
Check here the full program of both events.