Elspeth Diederix

Le parti pris des choses

19 November 2022 - 18 March 2023

Le parti pris des choses

An exhibition with Anna and Bernhard Blume, Ulla von Brandenburg, Thorsten Brinkmann, Robert Cumming, Elspeth Diederix, Alina Maria Frieske, Barbara Iweins, Baptiste Rabichon, Augustin Rebetez, Patrick Tosani

from November 19th 2022 to March 18th 2023

When Francis Ponge wrote Le Parti pris des choses (The Nature of Things) in 1942 the war was global and terrible. As bombs rained down from the skies of the European continent, the poet began to scrutinise the most ordinary objects of his daily life. Prose poems dedicated to the crate, the bread or the candle follow one another in this Parti pris des choses that has become a monument of literature.

“It is by starting from the ground up,” explains the author, “that one has some chance of rising (…) If I devote myself to such a subject, it is because it makes me engage entirely, because it challenges me, provokes me (…) it is a head-to-head game, to the point of losing one’ s mind.”
In fact, what the author of Le Savon and La Crevette dans tous ses états takes seriously, this thing, the object of all his attention, which he will pursue for the rest of his life, is language.

Within the walls of their studio or their house, the artists gathered here take as their subjects spoons, potatoes, toothbrushes and even the now essential cell phone: all things conveniently ordinary. In their company, the artists undertake to “disaffect” their medium, be it photography or video. Nothing is more pleasing,” the poet once said, “than the constant insurrection of things against the images imposed upon them. Things don’t accept to remain still and silent like images. The artist, like the writer, has this recurring daydream: he chooses an object, approaches it, turns around it; yet he fails to depict the object portrayed, which slips away, or even rebels. Stubbornly, he returns to it to resume the dialogue with the thing. The exhibition shows these secret conversations. Whether they are solemn or absurd, ascetic or long-winded, they all express the tenacious desire of each of them to find their way of being in the world.