Artist: Jean-Pascal Flavien
Venue: Catherine Bastide, Brussels
Exhibition Title: Rose! The House is the Plan!
Date: February 1 – March 29, 2014
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Catherine Bastide, Brussels
Think on a situation: there is a house, there are three people inside, two girls and one guy. The guy is sitting at a desk, he is writing. The two girls are also in the room, one is reading a book whilst the other leans against the window frame looking out….
This is a scenario, it may happen or it may not. Like so many other scenarios unfolding before us, for which countless plans are made and then un-made, this house contains countless situations like (and unlike) the above example. Simultaneously, the house is itself a proposition, a singular model. It is at once the plan, the making of the plan and the un-making of the plan. The plans guide us through time and space, progressively locating the places for us to go and the moments in time to act. They direct us through our own continuum, hosting the acts of sleeping, eating, working and playing. These plans are the form and content of the exhibition.
In this show, as it is planned now, there are three exhibition models and simultaneously one model for the house. Red, blue and green forms are displayed on the walls and are the walls themselves. They may also be considered as paintings. Their painted surfaces a little too richly executed to be simply structural, too poorly to be a pure painting, hanging somewhere on the trajectory from one to the other. Taking up any or all designations, paintings become walls, walls become plans and back again. These ‘hanging plans’ make visible the questions concerning the nature of the house’s space and act as a self-referential, self-prophesying, self-questioning statement. This house is a meeting, a forgetting, and an undoing of the prescribed aspects of planning.
Jean-Pascal Flavien acknowledges the impracticality of the question yet asks anyway – how can one make a house that describes what it is? Here is a house that is making a statement. It is a mechanism constantly making its plans visible. It is a confusion of the idea of the plan and the planning process as inextricably intertwined. The exhibition and the house as separate entities are themselves confused together. It is a mixing of plans; architectural, organisational, practical… and trying to grasp onto a particular plan places one akin to a character in a Buster Keaton film constantly failing to catch the ball that is supposed to be caught.
Derrida puts it succinctly when differentiating between « a ‘future’ which is predictable, programmed, scheduled, foreseeable” and «‘l’avenir/ l’à-venir’ (to come)…whose arrival is totally unpredictable”.1 Jean-Pascal Flavien makes this distance tangible in a comedy of intentions. Titles are far removed from the referenced artwork’s reality signaling a sensory disconnection. As if the relationship between the intentions of a piece, and its physical reality- what it may be or what may finally happen- are too loose to be bound together. As though the title and the piece were going separate ways. Likewise, the exhibition could be so many things. Unconsummated eventualities condemned to perpetual intent are indicated openly; the gallery could have been transformed into a sleeping place, it could have been a functional scale house, it could have been a very pure abstract show… No matter, what eventually does happen will become the plan and there is no number one scenario.
The colours chosen make reference to abstraction, in particular to a certain moment in conceptual art or American abstraction when clear verbal and visual declarations were made. Red is really red, blue is really blue. Each colour is true to itself, selected to provide a temperature range that is dynamic, vivid and fresh, the pink, green and red equally able to work together in combination or alone.
The house is both what it is and what it is not, though either eventuality may transpire. It is what will happen and will not happen. What it is that really happens doesn’t really matter, instead intention and misintention are held in balance.
At least today, at this moment, this is the plan.
1 Derrida, J., (2002). Derrida, Retrieved 24 January, 2014, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXnAMgVpehY