03.16—05.26 2024

posters on boards


For several years now, my visual work has been rooted in the narratives I invent – intimate, oblique responses to the world.
In the Second Person exhibition, four narratives are brought together, bringing with them a number of works.
Four narratives brought together in their sonic and oral form: as many benches the size of a bed, and on each bench a pair of headphones. You sit down – you lie down, you put the headphones on your ears and the reading begins. Where it’s at – probably not at the beginning. But that doesn’t matter, because each reading lasts several hours, the longest almost seven. So you pick up bits and pieces – impressions.
In the headphones, a voice speaks in the second person – like the author talking to one of the characters, or perhaps to himself – but is he the author or the visitor? Who is being addressed? A voice describing gestures – simple, clear looks evoking complex, fluid relationships.
Sometimes you hear words that you have read on one of the sixty panels covering the space: white lettering on a black background like advertisements or signs, without slogans or products.
Sometimes you hear the story of May, the artist who invents the installation in which you are immersed.
And sometimes the story of Zoé, the first of the novels from which the three figures in this video emerge, at the far end of the space. Warm tones, simple bodies, like puppies from a litter. A novel from which other words also emerge, those of a bereaved son to his mother in this lonely loudspeaker perched on a column.
On the way to the exit, a sculpture reduces the space; but unlike the living place where you stand, it is white – theoretical – an idea – before life and before stories, ready to welcome them, as if covered in blank panels, to be written on, a miniature space and time in which to immerse yourself.
Speech everywhere; yes, speech extends without ever imposing itself. In the headphones, the loudspeakers, on the panels. Right up until the moment you leave, when you’re invited to speak yourself, if you wish, later. It’s Simon who suggests it; Simon born of Zoé, and the fictions like Russian dolls for a very concrete and tangible project: REBECCA, a web application that the visitor, on the point of leaving, will be able to appropriate, offering the dead to speak to the living.

the back of the panels, gradient

/ A WORD FROM MERIS ANGIOLETTI, curator of the exhibition

May, Jude, Pablo, Rebecca, Simon, Luc, Paul, Axel. I discuss these beings with Romain with the attention and affection one would show to shared secrets, because for as long as I’ve known them their presence has been familiar, almost domestic, yet strange, the archaic vestige of a time long past or yet to come. Their worlds are within reach, but only at the risk of being inhabited by an aeriform wake, by a temporal anomaly. Modest gestures characterise them: preparing food, running a few errands, going fishing, waiting for the sun to rise, but each gesture, transfused from one character to the other, like an ancient and silent savoir-faire, radiates in its daily repetition the durability of mythical stories and apotropaic spells, the last protections against fading.
When they speak to me, their words are distilled, precise like the formulas of a rite of passage or a change of physical state, liquid or gaseous – solid at times – generating the axioms of an improbable fluid mechanics that responds only to its own logic, as variable as it is rigorous, to pierce the matter of buried things with the precision of a diamond point tracing circles on a pane of glass.
With the same clarity, their voices whisper co-creation protocols to make works appear: billboards in the space like the paintings in the exhibition imagined by May, Simon’s application to send post-mortem messages to loved ones or a sculpture-miniature of the place like a time loop, a second state of worlds, the intersection between worlds.
Meris Angioletti

/ A WORD FROM SIMON, designer of the application REBECCA

Who wouldn’t dream of finding, after the death of a loved one, a notebook filled with a series of unpublished messages left by that person and addressed to oneself? Messages that would keep the field of possibilities open. Yes, the woman I loved is dead, but it’s not all over, because I still have these messages to read on the pages of the notebook she left me, precious and full of surprises.
My mother was called Rebecca. She died when I was born. She left me nothing, apart from a photo. I regret it very much. There’s nothing I can do about it. All of us who survive can’t do anything about it.
We can only write. And offer to those we love what we didn’t have, what we would have dreamed of. Yes, I can write to Lisa, Mircea and all those I love. Words they will receive if I leave before them.
But where? In which notebook? My application REBECCA is that notebook, but even better! You choose dates: the anniversary of a meeting, a wedding, a loved one’s birthday; or a celebration, Christmas perhaps, or Easter, and you write. You write thinking of the joy that your loved one will experience when they read it, later, afterwards. A long time later, many years, if you like. The joy of knowing that a series of messages awaits them.
Tragic messages, of course. Because love and death are tragic. And funny ones too, so you can see the other person smiling in anticipation.
Visit REBECCA and see what it has to offer. It’s all explained there.
Take care!

Meris Angioletti, exhibition curator ; sculptures with the participation of Emi Yatsuzaki. The Seconde personne project was selected and supported by the Fondation des Artistes’ patronage committee.