A title to think about for a long time: Everyone is an artist but only the artist knows it† If everyone is an artist and only the artist knows it, then everyone knows, right? Pierre Bismuth fills the classics”Jeder Minch is Constellerby Joseph Beuys With apparent contradiction, and let that logic that eschews imagination pop into the head of those who think about it for so long.
Everyone is an artist… It is the thrilling title of the solo exhibition by Pierre Bismuth at The Hague Institute of Western Art. The exhibition was previously shown at the Center Pompidou in Paris. The works are now spread over two floors (and part in the basement) of the former US Embassy in The Hague. Bismuth is one of the few visual artists to win an Academy Award – in 2005 he was awarded the Co-Writer Award for Michel Gondry Eternal sunshine for a clean mind†
Film plays an important role in his artwork. jungle book project For example, it is a kind of adaptation of the famous Walt Disney movie Tower of Babel – after Rudyard Kipling’s book. In the bismuth version, all the characters speak a different language (than the original dubbing): Mowgli speaking Spanish, Bagheera Arabic, and Palu Hebrew. The effect is repulsive, but it also draws attention to how powerful the animation is. The intervention also has political significance: you can see it as a reflection of Disney’s cultural imperialism: every language area has the same Mowgli.
Bismuth, quite literally, is pushing the boundaries with its art. Liquids and gels (2013-2021) is an installation of glass vases with liquids displayed in quantities prohibited on aircraft. hanging in the same room Differences on the topic of nations, Flags and motifs from different countries are combined. On the west facade – which is housed in a former US embassy building – hangs the latest example: a flag that combines the colors and patterns of the flags of the Netherlands, the United States, and Ukraine. A positional statement, but it is also a static statement.
Chicken flavor carvings
Bismuth seems to be more concerned with the limits of art than with national and political ones. The PE fried chickenWorks (2015) are sculptures in the form of turd, made of plastic, to which the artificial smell of chicken has been added at one percent. So a tasteful picture. In the same space there are also double-glazed windows with a stained jam between them, the photos are supposed to refer to Abstract Expressionism and Geometric Abstraction, but this connection is not clear, which is actually very nice.
The movie is much better Where is Rocky II? (2016), in This 1.5-hour “False Fiction,” real people and invented characters examine a work of art by Ed Ruscha. It is said that he hid a fake rock in the California desert, somewhere among the real ones. Is this really happening? What is artwork? In a captivating mix of documentaries, detective and propaganda films, Bismuth stacks facts and explores (Hollywood) movie codes.
Reusing existing images is also a common thread in Bismuth’s work. in the series right after… In movie portions and on print film clips, he draws lines with a permanent marker to trace the character’s right hand. The result is (of course) a messy scribble on top of a film frame.
Also visible: newspaper pages in which bismuth repeats an image from the original, cut from another copy of the same newspaper, is hardly noticeable. Bismuth seems to refer to Walter Benjamins Artwork in the era of its technical reproduction† Individual newspapers, circulations and framed artwork come together in one object, but what exactly he wants to say remains ambiguous.
Chocolate and frozen meal
The truly edible art of Bismuth is even more successful – for sale at the entrance desk. In collaboration with artist Asad Reda, he developed the frozen meal Chiasmus, which combines two traditional dishes from different cultures: Tunisian and Pakistani jewish alo palak. Two dishes from different kitchens with roughly the same ingredients (spinach and potatoes), by serving them together in a “border-raised” bowl. Bismuth also developed a chocolate bar with a “colonial flavour”. Indonesian touch chocolate It’s 80 percent dark chocolate, nougat, made from peanuts, coconut, ginger and sweet soy sauce.
According to the philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), a delicious meal cannot be an art, because we are interested in eating it (we must be fed). Kant believed that aesthetic judgment can only be “disinterested”. In an accompanying text, Bismuth says vaguely, “If an art audience cannot escape its role as a cultural consumer, it may prefer eating good chocolate.”
The fact that this chocolate bar has a “colonial taste” raises questions about the sincerity of bismuth: Is this committed art? Or is this art related to the participating arts? The fact that there are no clear answers to these questions is perhaps the most disruptive thing about Bismuth’s work.
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