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08 Dec 2011

Musée du château de Montbéliard presents Ariel Schlesinger : Phenomena of Resonance

Ariel Schlesinger, 'Phenomena of Resonance'
Musée du château des ducs de Wurtemberg, Montbéliard, France


10 December 2011 – 1 April 2012 Open daily 10 - 12 am / 2 - 6 pm Closed on Tuesday

Aurélie Voltz
+33 3 81 99 23 72
+33 3 81 99 22 64

Musée du château des ducs de Wurtemberg
Cour du Château
25200 Montbéliard

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The Museum of château des ducs de Wurtemberg is pleased to host the Israeli artist Ariel Schlesinger's first solo exhibition in France. Featuring a mix of sculptures, installations, videos and photographs, the show allows visitors the chance to discover curious, often mechanical devices that play on the unfamiliar and the magical. An industrial valley long known as a crucible for inventors,* Montbéliard is surely the ideal place to display work by this playful tinkerer-artist.

Developing his exhibition in three phases within an architectural space that has been reworked for the occasion, Schlesinger has brought together some ten emblematic works that first attracted attention to him in Europe, along with a number of new pieces created just for this show.

Humorously, seemingly offhandedly, the artist fosters a poetic take on the objects making up our daily world, often shifting them from their usual function. At the same time, the installations, photographs and videos share a point in common, the idea of movement, of sculptures in the very process of being formed, of a perpetual starting over. Associating the instantaneous with the everyday objects that are all around us, and playing extensively with the randomness of things in order to devise peculiar situations, Schlesinger always surprises us and does so with practically nothing. Here two sheets of paper seem to sensuously clasp, then pull apart, while just over there another sheet gently rises before slowly lying back down. Nearby a thick ream displays numerous A4 sheets at rest, calmly yellowing on a pedestal. Further on still, a thin plume of smoke continuously curls up from a table and a few pencils. An odd magic animates these fragile, perishable objects that banally share our studious surroundings.

As in real life, gentle mechanisms exist beside crazy machines. Thus a furious installation is busy exploding soap bubbles. Visitors may be reminded, and rightly so, of the useless, light-hearted and altogether nutty machines that once graced the galleries of the Montbéliard Center for Art and Jest in the 1990s.

At the Museum of Château des ducs de Wurtemberg, the exhibition space exists as a mirror image of an animated, articulated space that is bursting with life, the reflection of a reality in which time appears to be suspended, and all poetic and absurd phenomena placed in a loop, a way for us to wake at last.

*The region of Montbéliard witnessed the development of the bicycle two centuries ago and later that of the automobile thanks to Armand Peugeot; the research carried out by Étienne Oehmichen that led to the helicopter; the blossoming of the watch and clock industry with the Japy family; and indirectly the discovery of catastrophe theory, with the birth of René Thom, the famous French mathematician who formulated it.

The exhibition was supported by the cultural departments of the Embassy of Israel in France