FOLDED WAVES VAGUES PLIÉES
Lawrence Weiner has been using language as the primary medium for his works since the late 1960s. Presented in capital letters, his structures consisting of language, or text fragments, often accompanied by graphic marks and lines, are instantly and internationally recognizable as Weiner’s.
Each piece refers to Weiner’s generic description of their content: LANGUAGE + THE MATERIALS REFERRED TO. The work often describes material components, colors, spatio-temporal delineations and interactions, allowing viewers to develop their own personal interpretation and experiences.
One of the leading figures of the Conceptual art scene in the late 1960s, Weiner was one of the first artists to propose a new relationship to art and to redefine the status of the artist: “There was this pseudo-mystical concept that the artist was apart from society. Art and artists are as much part of the society as anyone else. If a work of sculpture is capable of presenting itself within a space in a manner as to create a mise-en-scene in relationship with the viewer, this mise-en-scene will create and ambiance (meaning) that is a material reality.”2 In addition to questioning the nature of the artwork, its production and dissemination, Weiner argued that its reception is intrinsically bound up with the sociocultural context in which it is shown. His philosophy is encapsulated in his famous ‘statement of intent’, published in 1969:
1. THE ARTIST MAY CONSTRUCT THE WORK 2. THE WORK MAY BE FABRICATED 3. THE WORK NEED NOT BE BUILT Each being equal and consistent with the intent of the artist The decision as to condition rests with the receiver upon the occasion of receivership
At the gallery, the artist shows three pieces, each one in the original English version and in a French version:
WAVES FOLDED IN SUCH A MANNER AS TO RENDER THEM DRY
NITER & BRIMSTONE KEPT APART
GOLD SILVER PER SE EMERALDS STEEL DIAMONDS PER SE SALT MOVED CARRIED PER SE PLACED
At Librairie Marian Goodman, Weiner has also placed his work AFTER HERE & THERE both within the space and on its shop window, inscribing it simultaneously in private and public space, on rue du Temple.
AFTER HERE & THERE will also be found simultaneously displayed in the corridors of forty metro stations among the multitude of its advertising posters for two weeks, from 7-21 November.
Lawrence Weiner has been frequently invited to present his text-based works in the public realm, in various international cities. Each linguistic proposition is deliberately accessible, aiming at challenging the viewers’ attention. Although Weiner does not consider his works as site-specific, each piece builds a distinct relationship with each urban and cultural environment it is inserted in.
The exhibition will also showcase another facet of Weiner’s practice: his artist’s books and multiples. Echoing his first exhibition at the Galerie Marian Goodman in Paris back in 1996 (a retrospective of his multiples), a selection of publications and object/editions (such as t-shirts, trays, pens etc.) will be on view and also for sale at the bookshop.
1 « A Public Conversation with Willard Holmes, 1990 » in Lawrence Weiner, Contemporary Artists (Phaidon), Phaidon Press, 1998.
2 « Entretien entre Ghislain Mollet-Viéville et Lawrence Weiner », in Collection Public Freehold, published by Ghislian Mollet-Viéville, Paris / Ecole supérieure d’art et de design de Reims, 2004.