The word “partition” means something that divides and separates. In French, the word can also mean a musical score or a sheet of music.
I keep thinking of this exhibition as an exhibition of postcards or as an exhibition that is like a postcard, meaning a two-sided thing, with an image on one side, text on the other, held together and kept apart by a thin wall of cardstock. I keep thinking of the works in this exhibition as postcards, as tracks, as crumbs along the path of my displacements.
Rather than write about these works before showing them, I’d rather write to them once they’re up. I mean write to them in the same way you’d write to someone who’s already left on a perilous journey, whom you will only be able to communicate with once they’re back. Works do not communicate anything, they impress themselves upon the surrounding stream of communication, like a paddle dipped and held underwater. If you’re curious, I’ll stop, though I hope you’ll let me know if you’re tired. Sometimes I’d just like to write the loop of a circuit.
“If you have sympathy, the aspect of humanity is more true to the depths of it than its words; and even in my own land, the things in which I have been least deceived are those which I have learned as their Spectator.” They sit apart like beads.
In 2012, during a residence in Brazil, Julien Bismuth discovers the singular language of the Pirahã tribe, who lives by the Maici river. This language is tonal, as the Chinese or certain African dialects; it can be whistled, hummed, or translated into music; each word has its own melody, which allows the Pirahãs to whistle whole sentences, and so to communicate at distance in the jungle. In September 2016, the artist participates to a research project with M. Gonçalves in the tribe. By articulating a part of the material collected during this trip with other projects he was already working on, the artist is proposing us a new exhibition, “Partition”.
Born in 1973, Julien Bismuth lives and works between New York and Paris. His mode of expression is diverse, from performance to theatre, from text to object, oscillating from written to oral forms and often combining them. His work alternates from minimalist plastic pieces to performances from which the only remnants are the process and objects left as traces and witnesses of the action. Julien Bismuth’s work is an exploration and a reflexion on the conditions of existence and the operativeness of language. Some of his works directly apply concepts of linguistics to concrete situations; in the end, Bismuth’s work is a constant and infinite dialogue between text, image, and object, a necessary dialogue to understand the realm of language.
From 1991 to 1997, Julien Bismuth studies the Art history, the New Media and the Performance to UCLA (Fine Bachelor of Arts) and in Goldsmiths College of art (Master’s degree of Art) with prestigious professors such as Paul Mc Carthy, Liam Gillick or Richard Jackson. He is also working on a thesis in Compared Literature at the Princeton University. He has been exhibited in numerous French and foreign institutions such as Orange County Museum of Los Angeles (2008), Tate Modern in London (2009), the GAK of Bremen (2011), Royal College of art of London (2011), Kunsthalle of Vienna (2012), Le Plateau (2012), Le Jeu de Paume (2008 and 2013) and Palais de Tokyo (2014 and 2015) in Paris or the Guggenheim Museum in New York (in 2016).