Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Tatiana Trouve, Centre Pompidou, 15th June – 29th Sept

Written by Robert Dingle

Born in Italy, but now based in Paris, Tatiana Trouve has become recognized for her project Bureau d’Activites Implicites (Office of Implicit Activities), which she initiated in 1997. The BAI immerses viewers within remote environments in which the organisation and classification of objects and activities are particularised according to the artist’s own personal specification.

4 between 3 and 2 is Trouve’s most recent exhibition, held at the Centre Pompidou and is produced in recognition of her reception of the 2007 Prix Marcel Duchamp. On display is a series of Touve’s polders (a term used by the artist to indicate a series of sculptural installations reduced in scale and generated as a point of departure from her BAI series).

Trouve’s exploration of differing registers of duration takes the viewer through a series of dimensional shifts, as implied by the exhibition’s title.

At either end of the main space piles of black sand tirelessly accumulate, pouring out of two small incisions made in the wall. The inexorable flow of sand compels a sense of time as it persistently accumulates. A space of simultaneity opens up effecting the present/future relation. The sand registers the immediate progression of time while indicates a more disconcerting prospect. As every footstep around the sand acts as a potential cause, triggering minor landslides, the viewer implicitly helps perpetuate the slow and inadvertent lose of territory. The piles of sand disperse outwards from their centers as they gradually swallow up everything constituted within the space.

Recessed in the walls of the gallery are a number of waist-high glass doors, which open off into a series of mirrored miniature corridors. Situated behind the walls of black sand they describe an alternative mode of duration. The passages replicate an endless mirroring of space, a constant deferral perpetually evading the viewer as though acting out a Borgian fiction – The library of Babel and its infinite structure of hexagonal libraries containing books on the true narrative of every living person and additionally every misprint and variation of each narrative. In his compendium of selected writing, Two-Way Mirror Power, Dan Graham comments on the mirror:

The mirror’s image connects subjectivity with the perceiver’s time-space axis. The symmetry of mirrors tends to conceal or cancel the passage of time, so that the overall architectural form appears to transcend time.

Occupying the central space, Untitled (rope) 2008 is positioned equidistantly between the piles of sand and the glass corridors. The rope with each end loosely curled on the floor, appears frozen in time. Tossed in the air and fixed at a point of apex it forms a walkway or transitional point within the show. Its smooth linear composition produces a formal association between itself and the series of wall mounted dark monochrome drawings. It appears as a three-dimensional extension of the two-dimensional environments that surround it.

4 between 3 and 2
allows not only the fluidity of movement across multiple dimensions (from four to three to two), but additionally inspects various registers of duration. Generated from the interplay between dimensions (second and third) different relationships are forged between elements: sculptures, drawings, curved perspectives and the continuous fall of sand. As the quest and fascination of the forth dimension led Duchamp to formulate his concept of the infra-thin, Trouve’s search for a sculpture between 3 and 2 leads her to concretely render time in space.

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