VBLP Collective at Smallville

Artists: VBLP Collective

Exhibition title: Viande séchée

Curated by: Smallville

Venue: Smallville Espace d’art contemporain, Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Date: January 1 – 25, 2020

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Smallville, Neuchâtel

Party favors and streamers
Now the party’s over (Orelsan)

The two towers come crashing down in showers of sparks, within seconds of one another. The audience, dressed in their Sunday best, laughs as the wedding cakes crumble. The cakes disappear in a caramelized rubble that evokes the sight of ruined belfries.* The vibe is great, as is the food from the Indian caterer. We will dance late into the night.

Sometimes, the exhibition space turns into a place of celebration, or even a battlefield. Time seems suspended in Smallville, with streamers agonizing along its exhibition walls, crenellated with multicolored paper filaments for the occasion.

The floor is littered with whistles and cheap masks, carelessly spit out by cardboard bombs. Something like déjà vu. This time, however, there is no celebration of matrimonial union but a collective intervention created and shown during a New Year’s Eve 2020 party. The result just might be a clever mix of Kaspar Müller’s Mandala installation (2019) and of The Recovery of Discovery (2011), Cyprien Gaillard’s pyramid of 72,000 Efes beers. Add to the carnage the remains of smoked udders, andouilles, and pig’s feet, dirty plates and cutlery from Déjeuner sous l’herbe (1983 – 2010) by the New Realist Daniel Spoerri, and you’re almost there.

* Mobile wooden towers used in the Middle Ages during the sieges of cities.