Emmanuel Lagarrigue at Sultana

Artist: Emmanuel Lagarrigue

Exhibition title: Appassionata (an opera)

Venue: Sultana, Paris, France

Date: Act 1: January 26 – February 22, 2018; Act 2: February 23 – March 14, 2018; Act 3: March 15 – March 31, 2018

Photography: © Aurélien Mole, all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Sultana, Paris

« It is always about encounters. « Appassionata » is above all a mental space: the one opened by a prefix, «a», between two languages, French and Italian, between privation and reinforcement. And it is with each artwork a unique meeting: the one of 2 movies, by their forms or sounds, the one of all these characters who will inhabit the 3 acts of the exhibition, and who are all as many encounters: les Servantes (the waitresses), l’Épuisé (the exhausted), le Ventriloque (the ventriloquist), le Dormeur (the sleeper), l’Amant (the lover), etc. »

-Emmanuel Lagarrigue

At the crossroads of visual and living arts, Emmanuel Lagarrigue pursues and expands his reflections on exhibition formats and processes of translation from one form to another field. Conceived as an opera in three acts,»Appassionata» combines a mobile and modular device and several pieces or series conceived as real characters – or facets of the same character -, elements which, according to the exhibition, will be moved and reconfigured, appear or disappear.

Structuring the gallery’s space, the décor of this opera consists of a set of large suspended transparent panels in which shapes drawn from two black-and-white films are drawn in reserve, the encounter provoked by the artist setting it in abyss in colorama: Meshes of the Afternoon (1943) by the American experimental filmmaker Maya Deren and Boy Meets Girl (1984) by Leos Carax. Moveable thanks to their rails, these forms and still images, in potential motion, operate according to their position as masks as well as pointers to the «characters» which emit or (in)filter the light, diffusing their own halo, resolutely silent and spectral.

Working, as in these two films, like clutches and accelerators of narrative and other mental impressions, they converse with each other through an infinite set of juxtapositions and multiple superimpositions, where characters with changing faces reveal themselves or guess themselves, incarnating and sometimes, literally, containing poetic and literary texts, musical scores and compositions, signs and letters. Thus from the series Les Servantes, variations of copper tubes in closed circuit formed from a light bulb «reading» Paul Celan’s words on the language translated into Morse code; of the Sleeper, stained-glass window on two-tone feet, holding in its glasses the ashes of a score of Alessandro Scarlatti’s duetto da camera «Il Sonno», and the inner dialogue that takes place there; or photograms which, letter by letter, manually spell the word SILENCE.

Placed under the sign of encounter,»Appassionata» orchestrates, through its experimental and abstract modulations, a vibratory kinematics touching the bodies as well as the senses, and playing, according to systems of assemblages and encodings, (per)mutations and versions, samples and projections, perceptions and interpretations, the deaf melody of a «recitational» intranquillity.

-Anne-Lou Vicente, January 2018

Emmanuel Lagarrigue, Appassionata (an opera), 2018, exhibition view, Sultana, Paris

Emmanuel Lagarrigue, Appassionata (an opera), 2018, exhibition view, Sultana, Paris

Emmanuel Lagarrigue, Appassionata (an opera), 2018, exhibition view, Sultana, Paris

Emmanuel Lagarrigue, Composition, 2018

Emmanuel Lagarrigue, Appassionata (an opera), 2018, exhibition view, Sultana, Paris

Emmanuel Lagarrigue, Appassionata (an opera), 2018, exhibition view, Sultana, Paris

Emmanuel Lagarrigue, Appassionata (an opera), 2018, exhibition view, Sultana, Paris

Emmanuel Lagarrigue, Appassionata (an opera), 2018, exhibition view, Sultana, Paris

Emmanuel Lagarrigue, playing siLence, 2018

Emmanuel Lagarrigue, L’Épuisé, 2018

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