Centre of Attention presents Nicolas Schöffer - a found exhibition - 14 January - 23 January 2005
A - ...a found exhibition
B - Like a found object
A - Yes but without placing it in a gallery. This is a real space unmediated.
B - So like drawing people through the terrain of art and visual culture to certain places or sites?
A - Yes. The curator says 'Here! this is it. Here it is,' ...as opposed to the fabrications of facsimile exhibitions.
B - But why Nicolas Schöffer? Stereolab are big fans?
A - He was an artist with far reaching ideas about the future function of art in society and he was disgusted by the bourgeois world of galleries and the art market. As a pioneer of kinetic art he was the first artist to make interactive sculptures. He himself termed his art 'cybernetic art' because, for him the essence of the work...
B - …if we can talk of essence...
A - was not the mere fact of movement, but the composition of the movement, the programme controlling or conditioning it.
B - okay
A - He designed many projects for interactive sculptures and for light environments in public spaces, to intervene in real space
B - Installations
A - In cooperation with several leading film directors he made a number of films based on the shadows and projections of his sculptures. He also made the first experimental video work to be broadcast on television provoking violent reactions from the French audience.
B - This was broadcast from the studio
A - Yes. Also his ballet mécanique style works provide us with a metaphor for life and performance
B - such as man as a soft machine or wet engineering?
A - as well as movement, light and sound...
B - ...and fury, signifying nothing
A - Exactly.
B - So this is the site...
A - The artist is a site, as is the studio, which was also the scene of the artist's death in 1992. The site as un-fabricated, as an endeavour and as a site of contestation
B - and also the site of the first Centre of Attention found exhibition...
A - There's more to Montmartre than a poke in the eye with a paintbrush
B - I suppose, to predict the future you must change the past.