From September 23 et December 30, 2007, Les rives du Pédiluve, a double exhibition with Julien Berthier & Stéphane Thidet, curated by Sophie Kaplan.
The group of works brought together for the exhibition by Julien Berthier and Stéphane Thidet at CRAC Alsace forms a singular landscape: the landscape which we would undoubtedly find as we approach the shores of the footbath.
Walking along the paths which lead to the footbath, we first discover a strange cherry-picker, at the top of which sways a palm tree.
A clock which is just as strange then welcomes us at the entrance to the Art Center. And we then move into another time.
We continue on: from the ground floor hallway we can see two rooms with lights which seem to wobble. One seems to have gotten carried away. The other oscillates between coma and dazzlement.
We continue on: upstairs, in a field, a party comes to an end with an extreme slowness.
We continue on: far off, a lunar tent is pitched on the shore, in the shadow of a rock.
And there are many other things to come.
Even the green flash, in black and white, seen straight on.
A whole geography is sketched out here, simultaneously familiar and distant.
The shores of the footbath are thus a voyage.
Time passes here, almost always out of phase.
In the works shown it becomes a material, it is shaped.
It stretches out, accelerates, and in the end almost forms a loop.
Inside this “landscape of events”* formed by each of these works as well as their bringing together, the object – always enigmatic –both what it is and something else, occupies a central place.
Hybrids, these objects by Julien Berthier and Stéphane Thidet are hijacked, deflected from their original usage and state. From this point of view, Chapelle, a work between real object and UFO, made by four hands, is emblematic. The work is a swimming pool set into the ceiling of one of the rooms of the Art Center. This simple gesture transforms the existing architecture into a deep-blue chapel, echoing the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel as much as the minimalist installations of James Turrell. Modifying the space, it seems to verify Georges Perec’s assertion that “fundamentally, a room is a rather malleable space”**.
* François Piron, Le script invisible, revue Trouble n°3, 2003.
** Georges Perec, Espèces d’Espaces, édition Galilée, 1977.