Jan 28 – Mar 17, 2012
For his third solo exhibition at Galerie Parisa Kind, Julien Bismuth is presenting two installments of a new and ongoing project, titled "Catalog." This dense project consists of the massive collection and manipulation of art world texts, presented both as printed documents, and in audio form. This is the second installment of this ongoing project that Bismuth intends to continue producing on a yearly basis.
The first installment of this work, “Catalog version 1.1: Serving Friction” (presented at GAK Bremen, 2011) was literally composed from several hundred press releases and exhibition reviews, all from 2010. Bismuth first erased all proper names from the texts, specifically names of individuals, institutions, galleries, as well as the titles of the individual artworks. He then composed the altered texts to create a 4 1/2 hour long audio work, recorded using text-to-speech software. The text reads as a seemingly endless description of objects, some of them left intact, others blended together to form plausible and yet comically complex fictional works of art. This installment will also be on view at the gallery.
Bismuth has now also produced a new 556-page long novel titled: “Catalog “version 2.1: The Lazy Machine”. The source material for this novel all comes from art related texts that were published in 2011. The pool of source material was expanded in this version to include blogs, as well as articles on contemporary art from other media sources, namely newspapers, financial publications, and fashion magazines.
Each section of the new text (which includes a prologue, 365 chapters, and an epilogue) has been carefully composed according to different strategies and procedures. As with the first work, all proper names have been erased. To further abstract the content of the work, while the references in some of the section remain recognizable, most of the chapters are composed from several different textual sources, blending and fusing descriptions of different exhibitions, openings, galas, and artworks to produce hybrid abstractions of this original source material.
The prologue, for example, fuses approximately 80 different texts, from blogs to reviews and press releases, all related to the 2011 Venice Biennale, into a 10 page travelogue. Even the shorter chapters involve intricate compositional approaches, For example, chapter 242, which is four-sentences long, combines sentences and phrases taken from four different textual sources. The epilogue was composed from around 73 different interviews, all of which were fused together to create a 90 page long interview of an absurdly protean artist. The epilogue was also used to create an accompanying audio work, titled: Catalog version 2.2: Q and A. Actors Jennifer Grace and Nathan Dame played the two voices of the text, the former shifting her tone and voice throughout the 4 hour long recording, to match the schizophrenic plurivocity of the fictional interviewee. In keeping with the standard progression of a prototypical authorial career path, Bismuth has published the first installment as a manuscript, and the second using a self-publishing website, adhering to its standard formatting templates.