1st space: It is guilt – Ryan Gander
The first space the visitor enters is a dark empty room containing a projection screen. A soundtrack, seemingly from a film, is perceptible while the screen projects a moving light although no image is really discernible. The visitor gradually realises that he is behind a cinema screen…
It is the behaviour of the viewer, placed in a situation of frustration and illicit voyeurism, which constitutes the work: his curiosity, his apprehension, his desire and his efforts to see.
The film It is guilt has never, and will never exist. Produced from a mixture of elements from different superimposed scripts, it only unveils a phantom story provoking a worrying sensation of déja-vu, or déjà-vécu for the visitor thus placed in the position of the blind. It thus appears as a generic experience, not only of cinema but of the capacities of cinema, acting as an illustration of itself, offering enough clues to generate an interpretation but undermining any possibility of results or a conclusion.
2nd space: Video projection – Aurélien Froment
At the end of a padded corridor, the viewer discovers a projection space in which a film is being projected.
The film takes place in Arcosanti, a prototype city in the Arizona desert initiated by the architect Paolo Soleri, the construction of which took 30 years. A narrator takes us through the city like a tourist guide. The discourse of the guide is aimed at reconstituting the visions of the city that preceded or accompanied its construction: the architect's programme, the stories and predictions of the builder-inhabitants, the memories of visitors, etc. All of these stories, that come together in the guide's monologue, progressively create an image of the town by marrying together the various forms: unfinished, simultaneously stretching towards the future and archiving its own past. The guide’s trajectory is almost circular, suggesting the entropy that characterises Soleri’s project and the cycle that has established itself there since its creation. This distortion of the perception of time takes the form of an even light that plunges the film into the permanence of a day without end. The film thus becomes uchronic by situating the viewer in an indeterminate time, in the near future or in another dimension – temporally and temporarily cut off from the world, following the example of this community that has isolated itself by installing itself in the desert.
3rd space: Aurélien Froment / Ryan Gander
The final space is the result of combined research by the two artists. This space, in its totality, offers the conditions for the setting up of hypothetical relationships and associations of ideas by the visitor through the relationships that may arise between the different elements of which it is composed.
The walls are covered with perforated hardboard, a material frequently used as much for its acoustic qualities as for the possibilities it offers for hanging display units and documents. The floor is covered with a parquet made up of a multitude of wooden blocks arranged to create several generic patterns. In the corner of the room, some extra blocks are piled against the wall. This project is Ryan Gander’s reinterpretation of a previous work by Aurélien Froment which consisted of presenting a similar collection of pieces of wood in a gallery space, left at the disposition of the visitors, without explanations or instructions.
Boxes filled with postcards are placed on the floor, some of which are open and others still closed. The visitors are invited to explore the contents. They are also free to take away some cards. A complete game consists of a hundred different cards - half of them produced by Ryan Gander, the other half by Aurélien Froment, although the cards do not identify their creator. Each card has a photo on one side while on the other side there is a text which comments on the image and suggests possible links to the others.
1st space: It is guilt – Ryan Gander