Topor, Morellet, Spoerri : La volonté de distance

curated by Alexandre Devaux

20 October- 21 December 2016


Friendship, wit, humour and common questions link Topor, Morellet and Spoerri. Each of them, in his artistic purpose, has strived, to a large extent, to implement coincidences. The momentum is managing to seize from the passing flow of ideas and visions those to fix (to trap). Fixing the idea by giving it a shape, or fixing the shape and its infinite potential of meaning. Spoerri, Morellet and Topor are opposed to the one and only meaning and use of things, shapes, bodies and significations. The multiple meaning, the multiple object “multiplication is justice done to the infinite possibilities of transformation” (Spoerri). The fusion of the senses is stimulating.
With geometry, confusion conceals high creative potential for formal psycho- activity. Order can then be seen as incidental.
Geometry is a product of mind, which is seen in the creation of every being: minerals, plants, animals. Geometry’s chances, its “noises”, and its accidents generate new shapes, which mingle with firmer and repetitive generations of shapes. Some artists want to impose an a priori order, by trying to hide the chaos of the world. They do not want to see, but they would have us believe they have seen something. Other people, who do not want to see, follow them and support them. They are cowards, who ease their consciences. Other artists recognize chaos and know order is but a fleeting and derisive proposition. They are not afraid of chance, which can be dangerous, but the danger of order as something unchanging is still greater. Order is always relative, subjective, and fickle. It depends on chance. Morellet, Spoerri and Topor are not serious. This lack of seriousness allows them to maintain a reasonable distance with the tragic brainwashing of so many watchwords we set ourselves, or which we let ourselves be set.
What brings these three artists together in this exhibition is the result, on the one hand, of Spoerri’s heartbeat in “Crocrodrome de Zig et Puce”, a huge work by Tinguely installed in Centre Pompidou. In the belly of the beast created by his friend Tinguely, Spoerri had put up a “musée sentimental”, and “une boutique aberrante”.
Topor and Morellet were there among other artists, all of them Spoerri’s friends. On the other hand, Morellet, Topor and Spoerri have affinities; all three of them are in the tradition of Dada, and before him Alfred Jarry and the incoherent Artists. Last but not least, there are striking contrasts between the formal styles of these three artists. They break our perception and allow us to re-question each of these works in the light of the other. New meanings appear.

Special thanks to Daniel Spoerri, Barbara Räderscheidt, Danielle & Frédéric Morellet, Nicolas Topor, Klaus Kiefer and galerie Georges-Philippe & Nathalie Vallois.

Alexandre Devaux, 2016

 


Daniel Spoerri’s famous essay is going to be reprinted in its complete hitherto unpublished version by le Nouvel Attila and le Bureau des activités littéraires, next november 2016.

«Topor, voyageur du livre», the second volume of Roland Topor’s illustrative drawings, will come out on October 20th 2016, published by les Cahiers Dessinés.
Texts and illustrations by Alexandre Devaux, preface by Jean-Baptiste Harang.

Morellet, Topor, Spoerri - exposition
exhibition view “Une volontée de distance : Morellet, Topor, Spoerri”, 2016
photograph Alberto Ricci

 

 

Daniel Spoerri - sans titre, 2003
Daniel Spoerri
sans titre, 2003
technique mixte, assemblage
49 x 39,5 cm

 

Daniel Spoerri - Background Fürtler, 2008
Daniel Spoerri
Background Fürtler, 2008
technique mixte, assemblage
37,5 x 35,5 cm

 

 

Roland Topor - sans titre, 1978
Roland Topor
sans titre, 1978
crayon de couleur et encre sur papier
21 x 14,5 cm

 

Roland Topor - photomorphose, 1980
Roland Topor
photomorphose, 1980
encre, acrylique et blanc correcteur sur photo de journal
26 x 26 cm

 

Morellet, Topor, Spoerri - exposition
exhibition view “Une volontée de distance : Morellet, Topor, Spoerri”, 2016
photograph Alberto Ricci