January 26, 2007 - Centre pour l'image contemporaine, Saint-Gervais Geneva - Joëlle Flumet with Andreas Kressig & Thierry Kuntzig
January 26, 2007

Joëlle Flumet with Andreas Kressig & Thierry Kuntzig

Joëlle Flumet, Sans titre, série I would prefer not to (Fête), 2006 Joëlle Flumet in collaboration with Andreas Kressig

Joëlle Flumet with Andreas Kressig & Thierry Kuntzig
1 February to 1 April 2007

Opening Wednesday 31 January 2007 starting at 6 pm

Centre pour limage contemporaine
Saint-Gervais Geneva

5, rue du Temple
1201 Geneva, Switzerland

Joëlle Flumet in collaboration with Andreas Kressig I would prefer not to

For the first time, Joëlle Flumet will be working with Andreas Kressig. The two artists have proposed an on-site intervention on the second floor of the Center for the Contemporary Image. Their collaboration, which involves a series of drawings by Flumet and a series of animations based on the drawings by Kressig, is meant to play with the venues architecture and its possibilities.

Flumets drawings plunge us into an odd domestic universe. At the center of her strange world lies the object: a mirror, a folding screen, an armchair, a table, a wall, objects or architectural elements that are functional first and foremost and whose use, on the face of it, harbors neither secret nor surprise. And yet

These large-format drawings depict figures in indoor settings which are easily identified thanks to the stereotypical furnishings (living room, kitchen, office, and so on). Flumets use of the clean-lined vectorial drawing and the broad areas of saturated color offers a clear-cut view of the situation; surfaces are sharply delineated while no details clutter up the scene, suggesting restraint and rigor.

Yet this apparent legibility, tinged as it is with a certain decorum, is quickly disrupted, unexpectedly contradicted by the odd position of the figures or their strange activity, making us reread with a fresh eye the theoretically harmless activities in a context that has now become incongruous, and vice versa.

If the situation does become singular its because the action taking place there is decontextualized (people dont normally practice abseiling while blindfolded and in an office!). That singularity is at odds with its representation, which is squarely situated in a generic or typological register. And the opposite holds as well. An interesting tension arises from this dual movement for it pokes fun at the very idea of leeway or discrepancy, and inevitably engages the viewers critical eye1.

Thierry Kuntzig The Waves
Interactive installations

The effect may take its own sweet time but it is gripping. Viewers, facing a screen on which a wave is shown surging forward and breaking, enter a corridor and walk towards the image, irresistibly drawn towards the swelling sea. Yet the closer they approach, the clearer it becomes that their own movement affects both the speed of the wave and the volume of the sound for the swell slows until it freezes into a black-and-white image while the sound fades to silence. Backing away, viewers then create the opposite effect.

The change is gradual and follows the pace set by the viewers stride, and this merging generates a certain fascination tinged with joy before a wave that is about to wash over us but which we control. The device also gives rise to a feeling of anxiety, the kind we get in a nightmare. Slowing down the image, far from reassuring us, paradoxically creates an effect of powerlessness.

The paradox in this case articulates a certain relationship to knowledge and probably to the other in terms of desire and temptation. In a marvelously poetic and effective way, it puts in play that attraction sparked by knowledge that is elusive, ungraspable, fleeting.

To suspend time. That tension between movement and stasis which is at work here lies at the heart of all of Thierry Kuntzels art. His installations and videos speak of obliteration, renewal, coming together, the inexpressible as the limit of images, disorder. They explore the mechanism of film and motion pictures which the artist connects with the mechanism of the human psyche.

Centre pour l'image contemporaine, Saint-Gervais Geneva
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