Claude Closky

8002-9891
From March 28th to June 22nd 2008

Working from within, Claude Closky arranges, classifies, inventories, orders, disorders and disorganises the representational and organisational systems of the world, pushing their logic to their point of collapse. A decoder of slogans, signs and messages, he utilises the modes of structuring reality (mathematical, alphabetical and temporal, among others). Superimposing them, he produces a vacuum within mechanised organisation, within interpretational and analytical frameworks.

A word from the Exhibition Curator

The text about the work

Starting from an analysis of ends and means in art, Claude Closky has been examining for over twenty years now, world-systems for information, representation and organization. Pushing their internal logic to their individual collapse and annihilation, he organizes, classifieds, files aways, aligns, disaligns, and disorganizes the inside. He genuinely implements a subjective theory of information and medias which obey to two apparently contradictory movements – rhetoric and accumulation. This navigation beween two objects, the signs and the images which codify and inform our universe hold communication techniques hostage by infiltration. The clichés and other key words thus promoted are distracted and reversed to reflect upon the building of both individual and collective identity.

In a Post-Structuralist tradition, language is his favorite instrument. An heir of Oulipian, Magritte and conceptual arts, sparing signs was one of his raw materials (nomination, significant and signified …). Claude Closky even uses the strategy of systems which he questions by testing and in subtle and unrelenting descontrusction of their internal logic. He works on the descriptive and constructive potentials that language contains in a concurrent movement, exactly where the word is the subject.

Decoder of signs and messages, he grabs universal organization methods (mathematics, alphabet, temporal and others) from capitalist connections between being, having and wanting, the key words voiced by the consumer society where wealth, beauty and youth are the conditions for happiness, phrases too often repeated in the world …By superposing them, he produces a void in mechanical organization, the frameworks for interpretation and analysis. Veracity and efficacy of terms are thrown into confusion (What happens when the first 10 numbers are classed in alphabetical order?). These disturbances of information systems highlight the question of enunciation and usage (cf. Michel de Certeau). This first retrospective calls the visitor to stop and observe the art, placing themed and procedural relevancies in the forefront of this disparate universe. If Claude Closky’s work has adopted several styles from painting on the Internet to drawing, collage, photography, video or slides … his question focus has always remained the same. With this essential ability that a text has in both its written and spoken form, certain works of art, true partitions, will be transposed. From the visible to listening, the visitor becomes the listener in the heart of a display ranging from 1989-2008.

Frank Lamy
Exhibition Curator

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Presentation

Working from within, Claude Closky arranges, classifies, inventories, orders, disorders and disorganises the representational and organisational systems of the world, pushing their logic to their point of collapse.
A decoder of slogans, signs and messages, he utilises the modes of structuring reality (mathematical, alphabetical and temporal, among others). Superimposing them, he produces a vacuum within mechanised organisation, within interpretational and analytical frameworks. The veracity and efficacy of terms are thrown into disarray (What happens when the first ten numbers are classified in alphabetical order? When the same operation is carried out in a foreign language?).

These disruptions of information systems centre on the question of enunciation and usage. Closky works in a post-structuralist tradition and language is his preferred instrument. He is an heir to Oulipo, Magritte and Conceptual Art; his raw material is the economics of the sign (designation, signified and signifier). The underlying aim of this first retrospective is to highlight, above and beyond the formal diversity of Claude Closky’s works, the main leitmotifs, to throw into relief the thematic links and recurring processes of this teeming and polymorphic universe, which embraces painting, the Internet, collage, drawing, photographs, slide shows, videos and various publications. ‘8002-9891’ proposes a rereading of the artist’s works, retracing twenty years of endeavour.

The raw materials of the project are sound works and texts. Using as a starting point the essential capacity of a text to exist both in written and spoken form, ‘8002-9891’ proposes a rereading of the artist’s works, which are interpreted in the manner of musical scores. In the process, it calls into question the very definition of the work, producing a displacement that is highly paradoxical. Spoken and heard, the text changes, becoming the texture of the voices of others. Yet in spite of its dematerialisation, it remains the same object.
The audio equipment required for such a project must be carefully tailored to purpose. In this respect, we have made some radical choices. The exhibition space is empty and is bathed in semidarkness. The playing of each work in the headsets is guided by a system of infrared equipment positioned overhead. Alone in the midst of others, the visitor is confronted with texts and voices.

A few sound events emitted at various points throughout the space punctuate the day. The works are grouped together without any respect for chronological logic, following on from each other and responding to each other spatially. Sound replaces the visible. The visitor, who has become listener, his body and his movements are simultaneously placed at the centre of the installation and yet are governed by a form of authority. Everyone is confronted with the awareness of being a visitor. Everyone must create their own place and their own approach to the exhibition and the work.

Frank Lamy

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