Exhibition / Museum
Diamon’d30 Oct 2019 - 27 Jan 2020
The event is over
To mark the outstanding donation of the integral film and video works of Jean-Pierre Bertrand to the Centre Pompidou, this exhibition is an invitation to reinterpret his work via the central thread of the porosity of media as a means of producing and distributing images. Showcasing a vast number of conceptual works, dating from the 1970s onwards, (films, videos, photographs, paintings, drawings, art books and archives), the exhibition explores the principles of repetition and seriality which govern the artist’s work.
11h - 21h, every days except tuesdays
Presentation of the exhibition
Having trained as a cinematographer, which led him to work as a cameraman in the late 1950s, French artist Jean-Pierre Bertrand (1937-2016) began his career as a visual artist in the early 1970s with an algebraic interpretation of Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. It was also at this time that he began to make short art films in 16 mm and Super-8 format that were often silent, sort of sketch pads that he considered less as works of art than experiments. From the streets of Buenos Aires where he sampled the elements for a group of works influenced by the figure of Jorge Luis Borges, the Argentine writer, to the galleries of Egyptian antiquities in the Louvre, Jean-Pierre Bertrand wove through his works a network of relations that constitute, when considered in their complex totality, a questioning of the systems of representation and the notions of time, space and chance.
Presented on the occasion of the special donation of the artist's entire cinematographic and video production to the Centre Pompidou, this exhibition provides a reinterpretation of his work by taking as its central theme media porosity as a means of producing and circulating images. Bringing together a large number of conceptual works made in the early 1970s (films, videos, photographs, paintings, drawings, artist's books and archives), the exhibition is organised around the ideas of repetition and seriality structuring the artist's research.
As illustrated by the installation Racontant trois fois une histoire. Presented in the Galerie Sonnabend in Paris in 1972 and reactivated for the exhibition in the Centre Pompidou, Jean Pierre Bertrand's work Racontant une histoire trois fois functions as a means of going through the looking glass, organising incessant passages between fixed images and moving images and treating the representation surface and the frame as a real space with no exteriority.
As an artist whose work escapes all attempts at classification, Jean-Pierre Bertrand wrote these few lines of manifesto in blue letters on the poster for his exhibition at the ARC in 1981, inviting today's visitors to engage in turn with infinite combinations: "The Diamon’d is the title of a group of elements manifested in space by a form, a content, the way each is positioned and the way they are configured together. The elements belong to the same family in which each is a multiple of the others while different families can correspond to each other in accordance with processes whereby each interpretation reduces its meaning by naming it".
By Philippe-Alain Michaud, Head of the Department of Experimental Film,
And Jonathan Pouthier, Assistant Curator
Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou
In Code couleur n°35, september-december 2019, p. 40-41