Heightened 2016!

Now a self-imposed tradition.. because neo-nomads need rituals to anchor.. an image of an ambiance that inspired me deeply. I wish your 2016 to be as profoundly moving and elevating as this bamboo grove seen in Arashiyama, Japan:

New Year 2016

Pierre Huyghe’s magical milieu

Pierre Huyghe, Zoodram 4, 2011 (d’après La Muse endormie de Constantin Brancusi, 1910). Collection Ishikawa, Okayama, Japon.

The first time I went to the retrospective exhibition of the work of French artist Pierre Huyghe at the Pompidou Center, a doorkeeper/butler asked for my name. Too surprised to decide if I should or not answer, I gave in… to then hear him announce “Yasmine” in a very loud voice. Nearby visitors looked at me smiling. I thought that the next time I’d go, I’ll say: “nobody” – the next time around though, the persona had disappeared.

Announced like a courtesan entering Versailles’ Hall of Mirror, I got identified in the social theater orchestrated by an invisible puppeteer. I became Jane in a media forest (1) where everything, work of art, props or people, actants and hypertexts, created a space as fluid as water in a fishtank. From a particular angle, for a suspended moment, I saw the mirrored image of the muse of Brancusi’s double, home to a hermit crab, who seemed to be gazing out, reflecting on her fate (See picture above). The curious hybrid shifted slowly, so I went, guided by a change in temperature. The meteorological architecture of the exhibit enables what architect Philippe Rahm calls a “geographical détournement” (Rahm, 2001). Transported elsewhere, beyond the surface of the ice-skating rink where a female dancer was shuffling the air, an electronic sound echoed that of cash registers. It must have been the ice-cold air temperature, with the entertaining tile-matching neon lights fixed to the ceiling, and kids interacting with the connected gaming device. I felt I had moved from Versailles to a supermarket.

Invited in Pierre Huyghe’s magical milieu (von Uexküll, 1934/new edition 2010) I experienced contemporary space which is, as described in Ito’s seminal essay (Ito, 2011), comparable to a media suit, fluid as water (when at room temperature) and connecting.

(1) After Toyo Ito’s essay:  “Tarzans in a Media Forest”

En Vie – This Is Alive

IMG_1919 IMG_1920
En Vie / Alive: a free exhibit not to be missed in Paris at the Espace Electra of the EDF Foundation. Above left: The mycotecture [2012] of Philip Ross or how to manufacture pieces of furniture and bricks with mushrooms.
Above right: Tomáš Libertiny, Vessel #1, 2011 – 60000 bees contributed to design this vase. It took two months to shape.

EN VIE, aux frontières du design
Du 26 avril au 1er septembre
6, rue Récamier 75007 Paris
Métro Sèvres-Babylone
Entrée libre, tous les jours de 12 heures à 19 heures (sauf lundi et jours fériés)

I hope you will devour this book, as if a pig.

A neo-nomadic way of ‘consuming’ a book:

“What if, like the Invisible Sandwich, Re:CP is an intelligent carpet-bag of opinions, views, comparisons, open-discussions and doubts? Then the importance of identifying with its intentions and appetites should be replaced by the reader’s using it with constructive greed as another tool with which to turn his own mind. It contains in a consumable form, a mix of ideas and images, some of which are new, and some of which I have seen and thought of before. Now they can be used, in which ever order you choose and at your own frequency.
I hope you will devour this book, as if a pig.”

Cedric Price, Re:CP (Birkhäuser, 2003): p. 13