Le Geste est la Parole
Le Geste est la Parole ('gesture is speech') is a group exhibition project curated by Jean-Philippe Paumier. The project focuses on three-dimensional artworks: sculptures, objects, installations and their specific making process. The title is a direct reference to the book 'Le geste et la parole' (1964) by paleontologist André Leroi-Gourhan. In this work, Leroi-Gourhan deals with the history of technology. The aim of this exhibition project is not to draw firm conclusions, but rather to outline the contours of a particular modus operandi, a way of doing things that unites a group of artists.
Influenced by his own modus operandi and aesthetic preferences, Jean-Philippe Paumier sees a recognisable movement through several generations of visual artists. They distinguish themselves from contemporary art offerings by adopting a particularly inquisitive attitude towards the material and the used technique. This movement offers a refreshing counterpoint to more static forms of art. By 'static' is meant:
(a) artworks that are conceived and designed from concept to execution.
(b) works of art in which the technical phase is deliberately regarded as purely functional and secondary: simply applying a particular technique or formula.
This implicitly implies that the idea or concept takes precedence over form. This movement entails the exactly the opposite: the belief that the act itself (the shaping) and the related prior choices that lead to it are in themselves decisive and meaningful for the final product. This is summarised by the title 'Le geste est la parole'
In other words, during the process of making, the hand expresses itself autonomously and enters into its own negotiation with the material. The purpose of this exhibition is to show clearly when the artist is able to reflect on his own praxis and adopt a questioning attitude towards the material. The grey area between the pure idea (pure concept) and how the end result deviates from it (due to unexpected technical limitations), is exactly what this project tries to shed a sharp light on.