Our story with Simon Starling started with his exhibition “Autoxylopyrocycloboros” (2007) (from the catalogue Zones de Productivités Concertées which envisages art in regards to the Economy). We wanted to go further and pursue this association by inviting this well-known artist onto the international scene to take over a room devoted to temporary exhibits for a first large monographic exhibition in France.
The project “THEREHERETHENTHERE” is a double exhibition, autonomous and nevertheless globally thought out. One of them at the MAC/VAL is subtitled “works 1997-2009” and the other, “the Source” at the Parc Saint Léger Art Centre in takes place in Pougues-les-Eaux. The title is the same for both exhibits, perhaps enigmatic and setting the tone with the French translation: ILYAICI / LÀPUISLÀ. It’s made up of assorted deictics, linguistic indicators of temporality and location whose meanings entirely depends on the speaker and communication situations.
At the MAC/VAL, a dozen works encourage a stroll around with retorts, reruns, reminders and echoes. The whole work of Simon Starling is processual. It’s established around moving, circuits, stories, changes, associations, reproductions, exchanges, cycles, unthought-of meetings, mixed styles, temporalities and techniques …
Regardless of their size, Simon Starling’s epics provide modified movements. He creates a humoristic factual map full of solemnity, poetry and void of romanticism. One of the major characteristics of this work by Simon Starling is this capacity of involving shapes, more specifically sculpture, but always being grounded by artistic, political, social, economic, historical, and geographical realities.
He truly develops poetry in his narration and process. Between gestes – in a behavioural sense – and Geste (epic poem) – in a literary sense, these works are in no way incontrovertible. They undo and remake, destroy and rebuild the world, allowing us to slightly perceive some of reality’s complexity.