On 18 and 19 October, Sandberg Institute and If I Can’t Dance present Tell a Vision, a seminar taught by Marie de Brugerolle with guests Clara Gensburger and Anna-Sophie Dinant. The seminar takes as a starting point the impact of television on the structure of French artist Guy de Cointet’s work. A real soap opera’s fanatic, Guy de Cointet discovered this form of entertainment when arriving in New York and then took the habit of watching the series as a daily routine. Later on, the notion of soap operas greatly informed his plays and drawings.
De Cointet could be linked to Andy Warhol’s attitude as the “quiet observer” but also to a certain definition of “camp” as an on-going “way of seeing and expressing the world”. Film was Guy de Cointet’s first goal, and in a way, he found other manners to make films without filming. Editing and cutting are tools and ways of making art beyond traditional manners of assembling and composing and de Cointet established a radical position in this. While viewing de Cointet’s work, one can also reference Dan Graham’s critique of television and entertainment (theater as entertainment) or artists such as Andy Kaufman, Michael Smith or more recently, Dora Garcia, whom are not against the society of the spectacle but take and use the same weapons as a “Trojan Horse”. Based on lectures and films excerpts, the seminar will explore how the soap opera’s rhythm can be applied to theater and how, for example, wrestling programs become a critical tool for exploring performativity.
Marie de Brugerolle has taken part in If I Can’t Dance’s programme Performance in Residence with a study into Guy de Cointet’s performance Five Sisters. Read more about the project here. A book tracking the research process is currently in the making.
10am – General presentation around the issues of seminar and introduction to Guy de Cointet’s work by Marie de Brugerolle. De Brugerolle (FR) is a curator and art historian who has organised several first retrospectives of artists from LA: Allen Ruppersberg (1994, CNAC Magasin, France), John Baldessari (2005, Carré d’art, Nîmes), Larry Bell in Perspective (2010, Carré d’art, Nîmes). In 2004, Who’s that Guy? (MAMCO, Geneva) and Faire des choses avec des mots/ Making Words with Things (2006, CRAC Sète), Tell Me (2007, Tate Modern), were occasions to rediscover the work of Guy de Cointet (1934 – 1983).
11am – Guy de Cointet: Life as soap opera: double entrance to the work: the film as a process, Hollywood context, editing a life: observations of an old lady.
12am – Discussion
2pm – Clara Gensburger, Performance as a combat sport: about wrestling. A lecture performance with films excerpts. Wrestling, as a sport-spectacle, has the special feature to be dependent of a televisual broadcast. Analyzing tv shows, archival videos of performances, artist’s works; wrestling could bring new frames to understand the relationships between performance and audiovisual media. Moreover it illustrates the theoretical thesis of Robert Schechner about selective inattention: “On TV the studio audience becomes part of the show for those watching at home. In short, an accidental audience comes to see the show while the integral audience is necessary to accomplish the work of the show.” Clara Gensburger is an artist who explores relationships between performance, sport and aspects of culture. The starting point of her lecture is a performance created in 2010 with the artist Elsa Bourdot: The society of the wrestling. She is based in Lyon and Paris.
3pm – Discussion
4pm – Acting for the camera/ acting with the camera is a programme composed by Anna-Sophie Dinant of historical film and video exploring the link between performance and film. Each one of these works presents a different angle of the relation between performance and camera, whether it is an action precisely staged for the camera, a documentation of a live performance or TV intervention pieces which introduce a critique of television as a powerful new medium. This selection is concentrates on artists from different background and underlines the individuality of each work. Artists included in the screenings are Ant Farm, Chris Burden, Charlemagne Palestine.
5pm – Discussion
10am – Screening of Who’s That Guy? Tell Me More about Guy de Cointet [dir. Marie de Bruggerolle; 2011; RT 82 min; English spoken]. Who’s That Guy? Tell Me More about Guy de Cointet is a portrait of Guy de Cointet, the French-born artist based in California who created text and sculptural works, often combining them as props and stage sets in theatrical performance pieces. The film is composed of interviews and documents compiled over a 10-year period by art critic Marie de Brugerolle. Artists including John Baldessari, Christophe Bourseiller, Larry Bell, and Paul McCarthy talk about de Cointet and unreleased documents that provide insight into the singularity of his work.
12am – Conclusion
2pm – 6pm – Individual meetings with Marie de Brugerolle