The Life of an Artist
A symposium curated by Lili Reynaud-Dewar in collaboration with Piet Zwart Institute's Master of Fine Art and Geneva University of Art and Design's work.master, held during Piet Zwart Institute's Open House.
With lectures and performances by:
Jim Colquhoun, Maria Fusco, Karl Holmqvist, Elisabeth Lebovici, Pierre Leguillon, Avigail Moss
Giles Bailey, Lars Brekke, Jane Fawcett, Serena Lee, Kirsty Roberts, Deniz Unal, Camilla Wills, Miho Shimizu, Sabrina Soyez
and screenings of work by:
Michel Auder, Jay Street Film Project, Renato de Maria, Frances Stark, Barbara Visser among others.
In Nadja Breton recalls an anecdote concerning Victor Hugo and a pair of gates, a large gate and a small gate at the entrance to an estate: this double threshold was passed daily by Hugo and his companion Juliette Drouet. What follows is a description of the routine of remarks exchanged between the couple in reference to these gates. Repeated by them for perhaps the thousandth time as ritual. How does, why does – Breton muses – this anecdote (petty event of everyday life) allow him, Breton, an incomparable awareness and access into sensing what Hugo was, what he is. “As far as I am concerned, a mind's arrangement with regards to certain objects is even more important than its regard for certain arrangements of objects.” Where do authors go when characters interrupt their stories? An author can transform a string of words into the finest gossamer web, the most shimmering, delicate thing in the world, but there will always be a tired spider (with eight eyes) slumped in the corner. The door of a book is left ajar; the life of the author, of the artist is performed in a glass house, sleeping under glass sheets, their histories rendered available.
The common assumption might be that a life lived produces biography by default, just as an act produces consequences. We propose to complicate such a premise. By inviting contributors to bring and expand “Another” alongside themselves, we will pursue an intuition that the biographical project may itself produce and determine the existence and approaches of the chronicler. We will use the structure of a symposium to indulge in the fluctuating proximities between two or more authors, when two or more such subjectivities converge in a particular, specific moment of research or a work. A domestic or semi-private setting will be formed within the Piet Zwart Institute in which to consider the construction of the role of an artist in relation to Another, whether that other is a human, building or second imaginary self. The Life of an Artist symposium sets out to map the alternating levels in these dialogues of inscription and dedication through lectures, performances and screenings.