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11 Mar 2012

OPERATION OPERATION - Samuel Bianchini at Ilan Engel Gallery, Paris

What's More With Many, 2001. Samuel Bianchini. Centre Pompidou, Paris. January 2011
Photograph: © Samuel Bianchini - ADAGP

Ilan Engel Gallery, Paris


17 March – 12 May 2012 Opening: 17 March // 02 PM - 09 PM From Tue to Sat // 02 PM - 07 PM Free entrance

Ilan Engel
+33 1 42 77 43 38
+33 9 81 76 43 38

Ilan Engel Gallery
77, rue des Archives
75003 Paris

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A crowd reacting to the gesture of a spectator (What's More With Many, 2001), images of traders fighting against the market data constituting their own image (All Over, 2009), lone demonstrators to be synchronized on the screen (All Together, 2007); Samuel Bianchini's first solo show at the Ilan Engel Gallery deploys three of his installations in which gestures come entirely to the fore, whether they be figurative or 'really real'.
Each dispositif in its own way brings into being a new framework of the image captured in its time, real time. Far from being merely the recall of a past reality (the celebrated that-has-been), these interactive images partly bring themselves into being before our eyes - most often, through our actions. Anchored in the present, their coming to life is governed by operations shared with their surrounding reality, whether that be - here - the gestures of their audience, or those of traders spread out across the planet.
The gestures acquire sense to the extent that they are made, in the image or in front of the image, by the audience. As with What's More With Many - between sport and politics- and All Over - traders or protesters - while ambivalence persists, leaving all interpretation (resolution?) to the viewer, Bianchini's work is profoundly political, with constant questioning of our experience of becoming aware, of intention and of making a decision, alone, confronting a collectivity, confronting an activity emblematic of our societies.
Bianchini's works are conceived as Theatres of Operation (1), as productions of relations of forces, in no way limited to existence on-screen. Representation here is a matter of both images, scenes and of actions, operations: indexed to tangible reality and self-configuring in a ceaselessly negotiatied relationship with the reality of the moment.
Bringing together these installations for the first time, the exhibition exemplarily embodies the reciprocal influence of the symbolic / purely operational which is constitutive of our mediatised era, impregnated through and through by the flow of data: operation operation.

(1) Cf. Samuel Bianchini, 'The Theatre of Operations', in the catalogue of'Iconoclash - Beyond the image wars in science, religion, and art', lead editors Bruno Latour and Peter Weibel, Ed. ZKM, Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany, and The MIT Press, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2002, pp. 483-485, translation Jian-Xing Too.


Samuel Bianchini lives and works in Paris. He shows regularly in France and abroad. Exhibitions have included institutions such as Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, Deutsches Hygiene-Museum in Dresden, National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens, Jeu de Paume in Paris, Laboratoria in Moscow, Jozsa Gallery in Brussels, Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art, Centre pour l'image contemporaine of Geneva, Rennes Biennale, Nuit Blanche in Paris, space_imA and Duck-Won Gallery in Seoul, Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM) in Karlsruhe. His work investigates the impact of technology on modes of representation, on our new forms of aesthetic experiences and our socio-political organizations. To bring his projects to fruition, he collaborates with scientists and technology research centers such as Orange Labs, IEMN-CNRS (Institut d'Électronique de Microélectronique et de Nanotechnologie, Lille-Valenciennes), CEA (French Atomic Energy Commission, Saclay). In tight correlation with his artistic practice, Samuel Bianchini has undertaken theoretical work that has been published by the Centre Pompidou, Jean-Michel Place, MIT Press, Analogues, Burozoïque, Hermes and Les presses du réel.
After defending his doctoral thesis with a presentation and solo show at the Palais de Tokyo, he is today a member of the research centers Calhiste (Université de Valenciennes), EnsadLab, Laboratory of the École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs (Ensad, Paris) and associated to the Citu (Université Paris 8). Associate professor at Université de Valenciennes, he also teaches in the postgraduate cycle of research at Ensad. He is scientific leader and coordinator of the research project 'Practicable. The Work of Art as Dispositif: Setting the Stage for Audience Participation' supported by the French Research Agency (ANR).

Samuel Bianchini is represented by Ilan Engel Gallery (Paris) –
and, for his art publications, by MFC-Michèle Didier (Brussels, Paris) –