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Casino Luxembourg


Marguerite Duras, Les Mains Négatives, 1979. Vidéo, film couleur 35 mm sur DVD. © Jean Mascolo, Paris. 

29.3 — 22.6.2003

Un bel été 3

artist(s): Stanley Brouwn, Marguerite Duras, Lucio Fontana, Lee Friedlander
curator(s): Michel Assenmaker, Éric Brunier, Enrico Lunghi

The exhibition will comprehend pieces by Stanley Brouwn created especially on that occasion, three short films by Marguerite Duras, about forty paintings, drawings, sculptures and engravings by Lucio Fontana and around a hundred photographies by Lee Friedlander, twenty of which are shown for the first time.

The simultaneous presence of these four so distinct artists is unique. It is the result of our discussions and our respective approaches towards art rather than a choice fixed at the starting point. In no way did we strive to surprise. One should remind here the principle adopted already in the event of our first common project: that of confronting our subjectivity. It is our concern to sense the true experience of our exhibition. Our multiple exchanges, conducted in threes, have resulted from interrogations about the work, the singularity of the object and the work itself, its public exhibition, its vicinity to other works. The singularity of all four artists creates a tension, which will be sensed in the halls of the Casino Luxembourg. This tension we should like to be entirely directed towards the exterior, so that it can be shared by every single one. We are running the risk of the singular, even of the heteroclite, inherent in this project. But we are also taking the challenge of something deeply desired taking shape here.

The radical opening generated by the work of Lucio Fontana, having become apparent through his first Buchi in 1949, then his Tagli starting from 1959, seems to us today like a major mark of our reflections on art. And still, the almost baroque materiality of a large number of paintings and sculptures by Lucio Fontana as well as the seducing power, erotic in a sense, which a number of his drawings exercise on the observer do not stop reviving, simultaneously, our aesthetic pleasure.
We find this irreducibility to a single criteria as well in the cinematographic work of Marguerite Duras as in the photographic work by Lee Friedlander. The three short films by Marguerite Duras - Aurélia Steiner de Melbourn, Les mains négatives and Césarée - inserted in the exhibition course, raise the question of duration and also of speech and motion, whereas the photographies of Lee Friedlander seem to indicate the impossible completeness of the body, the place and the topic.

The radical position held by the artist Stanley Brouwn in the field of contemporary art is not alien to the fact that he is the only artist to have been present in our three exhibitions. His refusal of any representation to the profit of a real presence of the work, unexploited by media and problematic as a merchandise, seems to us to define at its best an ethic of art, moreover little present in actual dominating discussions about art.

Each exhibition should solve the problem of a limited choice of works amongst an infinity of possible choices. Often the choice is guided by a historic analysis or a thematic approach, be it social or political. Un bel été 3 does not originate from such an exercise. That does not prevent us from hoping that our choice is a way to take a stand. It has seemed important to us to show these four artists, to show them together in Luxemburg - now.

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Fondazione Lucio Fontana, Milan, Gallery Fraenkel, San Francisco, Galerie Sparta, Chagny (F), Galerie Micheline Szwajcer, Antwerp, Galerie Thomas Zander, Cologne and Jean Mascolo, Paris.


Marguerite Duras, Les Mains Négatives, 1979. Vidéo, film couleur 35 mm sur DVD. © Jean Mascolo, Paris.