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Alexandre Singh
The Pledge

The Pledge are seven Assembly Instructions that use as a starting point interviews conducted by the artist with Marc-Olivier Wahler (curator and director of the Palais de Tokyp, Paris), Leah Kelly (neurobiologist and researcher at The Rockefeller Center, New York), Michel Gondry (film maker and director of music- videos and commercials), Danny Rubin (screenwriter and author of Groundhog Day), Donatien Grau (teacher at Paris-Sorbonne University and member of the “Proust” Team at the ITEM_CNRS institute), Simon Fujiwara (artist and performer) and Alfredo Arias (theatre director, playwright and actor).

These interviews were published in a special issue of the Palais de Tokyo’s magazine Palais together with a series of collages created by Singh to illustrate the ideas within. Each interview is the departure point for a rumination on the notion of a beginning, a promise, how the brain understands the world, how we understand a story, our dreams, external reality.

The Pledge (Simon Fujiwara) plays Simon and Alexandre’s conversation throughout forty framed images. Each one developing upon ideas related to architecture, childhood, sky-scrapers, phalluses, The Tower of Babel, paleolithic tools, listener and storyteller, performance, creative writing, audience, Simon Fujiwara’s autobiography, erotic fantasy, Assyrian statuary, lettuce, rabbits, clouds and the Sistine Chapel. As in Simon Fujiwara’s performances, the artwork plays with the gap between reality and imagination, emphasizing the conflict between material and form and exploring the complicity between actor and spectator.

The seven works operate as proxy-portraits for the interviewees, visual essays exploring the subjects’ ideas and as a window into the phantasmagorical universe Singh has created to amplify their thoughts. A common theme throughout the works is the notion of how the mind assembles a coherent view of the world from fragments: from parts of sensory perception, from childhood memories, from personal and historical facts. The very collages used to engage with these concepts are themselves reminiscent of the same ideas. Individually each framed work uses the simplest mechanisms of cutting and pasting, changing scale and orientation to make a coherent whole from two completely different images. As a group, a coherent thread is constructed through the repetition and elaboration on multiple ideas, visual icons and motifs.

This project is featured courtesy of BB5 / Bucharest Biennale 5

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