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image
© Pierre-Olivier Arnaud, 2012. Gracieuseté de l’artiste | Courtesy of the artist.

Pierre-Olivier Arnaud
From September 8th 2012 to October 13th 2012
a long distance call

Pierre-Olivier Arnaud (Lyon, France), wanders through cityscapes gathering images which he later uses in work that can take a variety of forms: neon sculptures, photos, magazines, but especially posters, black and white prints glued directly onto the wall. Driven by a desire to reveal what lies “at the limits of the frame,” “below and beyond the representation,”(1) he produces collections of signs that confront our relationship with the image. After a stay in Montreal in August 2011, Arnaud presents “a long distance call”, a new body of work that follows in line his “projet : cosmos”—the title of which refers to thus-named hotels expressing the promises of the modernist project, which the artist confronts with their real environments. He classifies them along lines that recall those of the Bechers.

As in his previous series, “here again, the images are residua, at once gathered and (re)photographed images, and the outcome of workshop residues, of the very locus of production [. . .],” says the artist. They are now only the “gestures of images,” making up a residual vocabulary enabling a (re)reading of the “standards of modernity, which then appears not only in a deferred distance but also a deferred time, in which the image and its promises are perpetually bankrupt and delayed,” he says. The dullness in which they are enveloped gives them a distinct status: like “viewing machines for reconsidering the conditions of the gaze,” they question the photographic and its hold on reality, here rendered sans spectacle, sans overt technical prowess. More concerned with the process than with the object, Arnaud emphasizes ephemeral and conceptual aspects, taking a distance from the work’s retinal presentation and traditional format.

Arnaud strives then to produce devices that reexamine the terms of the exhibition’s presentation. With Stéphane Le Mercier, he co-curated “Table d’Hôtes” (2007-2010), an eminently portable exhibition and presentation device composed of a table and two benches, to which they invited artists whose work took forms borrowed from documentation, archives and publishing. Increasingly, he works on such fully integrated scale, each element of the work being integrally part of the whole.

Marie-Josée Lafortune
editing : Geneviève Bédard

(1)Marie de Brugerolle, “Under Exposure,” Rendez-Vous 07, Lyon, 2007 (our translation).

This exhibition is a presentation of the Leden association and received funding from the Ministère de la culture, DRAC Rhône-Alpes.

Born in 1972, Pierre-Olivier Arnaud lives and works in Lyon. Besides his curatorial projects, he has taken part in numerous exhibitions in Europe, including at the MAMCO (Geneva) and the Magasin, Centre national d’art contemporain (Grenoble). He is represented by art: concept (Paris)