Xavier Cahen, 1999
Images and animations
L'internationale (music box) and Xavier Cahen
Xavier Cahen, 1999
Direction des affaires culturelles de la ville de Paris
Sacem, Galerie Donguy
Original French Version/ Macintosh and Windows
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quoted in the definition : by metaphorical extension, one can call "tool"
all means of thoughts.
is more elementary for an artist than diverting the objects from their
original function in order to reveal their poetic faces and transform
our everyday routine into a space of reflexion about human condition.
democratisation is an incontestable social mutation, which is sometimes
inescapable. It is the same for artists. They are often marginalized
from the system. I therefore purchased a computer with a similar spirit,
full of benevolent curiosity and unspeakable pressure. I thus
completed the varied ranges of my tools I had acquired along the way.
I already called the computer "a work tool " since the world
already labelled it so, and I gave it some space in my workshop. I
was ready to use it. The complex technics of my computer, his broad
potential and its immaterial information management troubled the builder
craftsman in me. Facing these issues, I then opened my Encyclopædia
Universalis, a quaint 1976 edition, and started reading the tool definition.
my first reading, I was moved by the poetic aspect of the text. Each
word echoed as an invitation to discover more definitions. Then, a
float of images and daily events came and involuntarily jumble together.
It was just as if they wanted to verify the exactness of the ideas
developped by the definition of the tools.
A strong idea came up during the next readings: the use of the tool
is depending on the user. If the tool is a mean to transform nature,
as suggested by the definition, one has to decide about its orienttion.
It was the same for me.
I started to explore the multiple and various facettes of my computer,
slowly and laboriously. As stated by the definition from my Encyclopædia,
" the mechanization way added the alienation of knowledge to the
alienation of work.". I eventually discovered that I was using
the " same tools " as the old ones used in the past, such
as a saw to cut, to glue to open or to superimpose, but here, by using
an immaterial source where the painters repentence is infinite
Sauvage (Wild Exhibition) is a series of 12 multisupport images,
each confronting a tool and a " collective " photography,
a press photo together with an excerpt of this definition.
The reflection around the tools is the true backbone of the work.
Its crosses the artists various fields of interest, such as
art, his relation to the public, and naturally, the discovery of
a new tool, here the computer.
this work exists in diverse forms.
In the shape of twelve printed images which have been exhibited
and distributed all along year 1988, in public places and art places,
via Gallery Donguy, Paris, and also through postal mailing. During
the whole duration of the exhibition,
the images were also sent to more than a hundred persons every month
is also in the shape of a luminescent light and a sound file on
the communication net, the Internet.The guest is able to reproduce
these images by using his personal printer as a reproduction "
exhibition mode and the choice of the presentation place contribute
to a significant complement to the general meaning of the images.
is the very same idea as this source " without any materiality
", without any support, paradoxally, became soon the most
exciting perspective of my tool. In fact, without the obligation
to accomplish a frustrating and degrading metamorphosis of the
work, as it could be for a painting vis à vis a photography
of the same painting. It became easy to change the presentation,
the size, the definition, without thinking that one of the version
was the original, and the other was the copy of the work. The
multiplication and the diversification of the presentation would
then allow me to change the accessibility of my work, to amplify
its encounter, and the circumstances of the encounter.
So Marcel Duchamp brought along art places a common object, his
urinal, as an ironical emissary from the outsideworld. Since he
presented it lying, he tried to change people from the art worlds
point of view, in order for them to focalize on the world. So
Robert Fillou stated that " art is what makes life more interesting
than art ", it was still true that the existence of an "
original " work of art would not allow a printout. With this
new tool, I had no more reason to regard art places as the exclusive
element of encounter and existence of my work.
This is when the concept of Wild Exhibition took place. It was
a crossing point, and a meeting point of various interests, including
everything uncertain involved in a meeting. I felt like taking
advantage of the potential that my new tool was offering me, such
as getting closer to you, without degrading the work, but simply
by multipling it and diversifying its presentation mode, therefore
diversifying its localisation. I felt like talking to you my way
about this definition of the tools, because of its poetic and
philosophical importance. It is standing at the heart of the creative
process. It is true that what seems to differentiate a house painter
from a painter (artist) is the way that each of them looks at
his tools, sincer both of them are using the same tools.
last, because this definition highlights the acknowledgement of
dysfunction of our society, we are the actors.