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13 Dec 2009

Bouvard et Pecuchet at the Lighthouse, Dublin

Bouvard et Pécuchet


Exhibition continues from:
10 December- 10 January 2010
Opening Hours:
Monday to Sunday 1.30-9.00pm


The Lighthouse Cinema
Market St S, Dublin,

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Bouvard et Pécuchet

Exhibiting Artists:
Ella Burke, Cayetana H. Cuyás, Carla Debs, Eleanor Duffin, Gerard Erraught, Michelle Hall, Tracy Hanna, Nicola Kirkaldy, Kevin Kirwan, Roos Mascini, James Merrigan, Sharon Murphy,Joseph Noonan Ganley, Magnhild Opdøl, Bennie Reilly, Jenny Spain, Nicky Teegan, Serena Teehan & Ivan Twohig.

Curated by:
Carolina Hoffmann.

Opening: Wednesday 9 December 2009 6.30-8pm.
Exhibition continues from 10 December- 10 January 2010.

The exhibition 'Bouvard et Pécuchet' is a challenging tongue twister developed for the space of the Light House Cinema. Nineteen artists have been invited to become main characters of a stratagem that questions originality, authenticity and authorship. The idea is that of questioning 'appropriation art', its meaning and its use nowadays, in the search for a new criteria in art.

Walter Benjamin, in his essay The author as producer asked: 'what is the relationship of a work of art to the relationships of production of the time?'[1] 'Bouvard et Pécuchet' asks the beholder, under which circumstances is appropriation art, and its use, still valid today?'I would argue that the anxieties that circumscribe questions concerning the authenticity of either the work of art or the supremacy of the artist as author are symptomatic of a cyclical crisis in modernity about the status of art to its social context and the artist as more than an actor within the economic sphere. This crisis has been exceptionally visible since the last decade of the twentieth century. The political climate of the current global imperium adumbrates it further.'[2]

The exhibition tries to open up a dimension of critical interpretation of the present moment in art, while investigating the notion of authorship. In the opening paragraph of 'Death of the author' Barthes' writes: 'In his story Sarrasine, Balzac, describing a castrato disguised as a woman, writes the following sentence: 'This was woman herself, with her sudden fears, her irrational whims, her instinctive worries, her impetuous boldness, her fussings, and her delicious sensibility.' Who is speaking thus? Is it the hero of the story bent on remaining ignorant of the castrato hidden beneath the woman? Is it Balzac the individual, furnished by his personal experience with a philosophy of Woman? Is it Balzac the author professing 'literary' ideas on femininity? Is it universal wisdom? Romantic psychology?'[3] 'Bouvard et Pécuchet' is based on a chain of selections, from the analysis of the writings of Barthes, Benjamin, Foucault and Baudrillard, to an inspiration borrowed from Duchamp to Cantor; from the writing of the story to the selection of its participants. Who's the author of show?

'Bouvard et Pécuchet' is supported by the Light House Cinema & Dice Bar.

Please visit us at: Light House Cinema,Market Square, Smithfield,Dublin 7
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday: 1.30-9.00pm

[1] Benjamin, W., 'The Author as Producer', New Left Review I/62, July-August
[2] Enwezor, O., 'The artist as producer in time of crisis' 2004
[3] Barthes, R., ' The death of the author', Aspen Magazine. no. 5-6 in 1967