CURATOR

Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles

Pierre Joseph

DOC
20.10 – 12.11.2018

Artist

Pierre Joseph

Curator

Arthur Fouray

Venue

DOC
26, rue du Docteur Potain
75019, Paris, France

Text

Pierre Joseph (born in Caen, 1965, lives and works in Paris) tells at DOC a simple story. The exhibition Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles follows the lineage of rural scenes painted during the XIXth century by Vincent van Gogh and Jean-Francois Millet. After his show Hypernormandie at La Galerie Noisy–le–Sec, he virtually explores a science–fiction sequel of the impressionists’ works.

He parasitizes keywords, hashtags, bluring yet clarifying the possible leads of his solo show. Pierre Joseph plays with the codes of normative mythologies, of a technological society obsessed by an organic & natural ideal. He was triggered by the exhibition La Vie Simple – Simplement la vie / Songs of Alienation by Bice Curiger and Julia Marchand at Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles in 2018. La Vie Simple sought to decipher the relationship of artists in keeping with a natural way of life. Displacement of a real context to a temporary exhibition, Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles sets the tone.

Are we “Rue du Docteur Fanton” or “rue du Docteur Potain” ? This keyword slide, here a landslide brings us to a potato field. A XXIst century potatoe field. Storage, industrial potatoes display, Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles takes us to a “Rungis” (International Market) aisle. Almost communist in the constancy of the photographs and their subjects, this presentation lays the idea of a potato, simple, naked, peeled of any qualifier. Some germs and the pinkish tone of their film punctuate the dried dirt surrounding potatoes. The tiny details are as many focal points inside this potatoes cosmos to highlight a simple truth: potatoes.

How to disconnect the subject from any political, social, ideological, historical issue, in order to convey the “potato” object in the most modest fashion ? Pierre Joseph digs the perspective of a simple potato. He looks for the direct and trivial attitude of XIXth century painters when they painted peasants, fields, meals, still lives. Today, with this accelerated information overflow, the task is, precisely not so simple. Just search for hashtags “#potatoes”, “#spuds” (and their variations, including Esperanto) on social networks or search engines to understand the abundance and diversity of the starchy crop vocabulary. The exhibition is built with and thanks to the potato. From the starch that fixes the image on film to the starchy paste that links the forty–five “endless photographs” to DOC’s wall. Pierre Joseph restricts the vocabulary in order to discern specific categories, clear intentions.

The potato, the seriality, the contextual shift. All these components blend together and genuinely generate the experience of the exhibition in an extended space–time setting. Today or in 10 years, here or somewhere else, Pierre Joseph presents us a living ecosystem that has developed since the start of the project, that is expressed during the time of the exhibition and that will be altered tomorrow.

Arthur Fouray

Acknowledgment

Air de Paris
Florence Bonnefous
Jérémie Bonnefous
Julie Boukobza
Elsa Carnielli
Lauren Coullard
Bice Curiger
Philippe Decrauzat
Nicolas Degrange
Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles
Maja Hoffmann
Julia Marchand
Édouard Merino
Ana Mendoza Aldana

Mark