Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Doomsday Celebration

Dear Geoff+Jacqui,

I have duly received yours of February 27 together with the Doomsday Celebrity exhibition photos and, alas, I must decline a review, much to my regret.

.... I find the style turgid, cliché-ridden and the attempted evokation (sic) of French medieval life is pretty dismal. What happened? Well, I don't know; maybe that was not your subject, but at any rate this is not...

Forgive me for being perhaps undiplomatic about my opinion of your work, but I prefer to be clear about my reasons in a situation like this.... and please forgive me for this disappointing letter.

Best regards,


The real must be fictionalized in order to be thought. Jacques Ranciere’s statement seems to be the most apt when I think of Doomsday Celebration, a small-scale exhibition at castillo/corrales gallery in Paris. The title of the exhibition is an allusion to our era, which is getting more and more idiotic with paranoia. In the exhibition space no more than 5 works are installed with an intergenerational approach. A photograph, a drawing, 5 books and a faded photograph coupled with a diary. None of the works in the exhibition are easy to decipher and none of them can easily be classified under a theme. Even though each work differs widely from each other, upon closer examination the series of books make one wary about the bigger picture of the exhibition. The President Kissinger and Kissinger Affair books are attributed to the controversial publisher Maurice Girodias who was in his heyday in the 1950s and 60s in Paris. This work can be taken as a hint of blurring the fiction and reality occurring within most of the works in Doomsday Celebration.

Pelin Uran
Maurice Girodias President Kissinger (1974; trad. Fr. 1997)

I have no idea how people think they can keep getting away with events like these! A whole lot of indecipherable rubbish that someone gives an intellectual alibi for and now you all believe it. I really feel sorry for anyone sucked into this. If I want words I’ll take Gerald Manley Hopkins. What about the rest of us who really care and search for meaning in our lives?


Since ‘Inside the White Cube’ appeared on the bookshelves some thirty years ago, we are used to consider the space in which an exhibition takes place as important as the objects themselves. Whereas the context gains weight not just at the level of art production, and instances of Institutional Critique are incorporated by the very institution itself, Doomsday Celebration brings us a little step further by staging the last show of a gallery which activity is planned by its owners backwards. What at first glance seems just bad fait, ultimately indicates the notion of process and time as the determining factor of this show.
Artists Jay Chung & Q Takeki Maeda show a small photograph that portraits the technical and artistic cast of a film on 35 mm that they shot. Taken by a member of the troupe on the last day of work, this is the only trace of the work, since the artists were the only one to be aware that there was no film in the cameras. Reversing the reproducibility of the medium, Jay and Q’s work resulted in a performance to which the interpreters were the only public. If the failure of the project was an inherent element of this work, in an early work by Vito Acconci this was unplanned. For a determined period the artist was having a relationship with two girls at the same time, recording the ménage a trios in a diary and assigning to each, daily, a score. (Not surprisingly) one of the girls attempted suicide, thus putting an end to the project. Conceptual art and its legacy also informs Gardar Eide Einarsson’s piece: a chart, a work that addresses process, time and procession and that at the same time indicates in the formal expression of early works by Acconci, Kosuth, Bochner, that went under the name of office aesthetics an orientation of the show. The exhibition takes place in what has been a gallery, and then an office. A context, therefore, that perfectly frames the show as it performs and interprets the closing of the shop. A sad last goodbye, and then another activity will replace the gallery. Yet, entering the space, it all feels a bit too staged, thinking of Michael Asher’s seminal work at Claire Copley gallery in 1974, where the removal of the wall that separated the office and the storage from the exhibition room stripped bare the space of its aura and the sense of loss was more provocatively accompanying the recogniction of a gallery as market and adminstration-led activity.

Cecilia Canziani


Damn!!! I Missed the Doomsday Celebration in Paris!!! How could they celebrate without me!!! It better not happen again!!!
However, it must still be on!!! Otherwise I couldn’t be writing this and you can’t see what I am writing now!!! The Celebration could be everywhere!!! So I am going to start my own Celebration right here and now!!! How long can this celebration go for??? Who cares!!! Being happy starts from now!!! Cheers!!! ä±ît!!! ha-ha-ha!!! la-la-la!!! yeah-yeah-yeah!!!
Cheers!!! ä±ît!!! ha-ha-ha!!! la-la-la!!! yeah-yeah-yeah!!! Doomsday!!! Why hasn’t it still not come!!! Come on, come on!!! I am going to lose my patience!!! I hate waiting!!! Come on, come on!!! Don't keep me waiting too long!!! Don't make me worry about the future again!!! Don't make me choose!!! Don't want to pick which is better, or what is wrong!!! Don't want to endure this suffering anymore!!! Tell me tell me please!!! When it is coming??? Don't lie to me!!! Ok ok ok!!! yeah yeah yeah!!! Do I look like a fool!!! Your are all full of shit!!!

Cheers!!! ä±ît!!! ha-ha-ha!!! la-la-la!!! yeah-yeah-yeahÅc

Hao Guo

Conceptual art goes too far

Le truc avec cette expo, c’est le code. Tu dois frapper à la porte, deux fois pas plus, et surtout ne rien dire à celui qui t’ouvres la porte. Alors seulement peut-être tu verras un type qui te conduiras en bas de l’escalier où Vito t’attends, une batte de baseball à la main.
Sérieusement, quel intérêt d’exposer Acconci, disons l’art conceptuel dans un espace alternatif ? Cela signifie trop à mes yeux : il faut en revenir aux fondamentaux ; comme rien de radical, ou de valable n’était survenu depuis lors, et surtout pas en ce moment. Bref, alors qu’exposer Aconcci dans les année 60 dans une petite galerie, c’était fou ; aujourd’hui c’est snob.

Judicaël Lavrador

Doomsday Celebration at Castillo/Corrales, Paris

There is an undercurrent of let-down with this project, an exhibition
I'll never get to see. There is also, it seems, an atmosphere of
pre-destined failure running through the small group of ephemeral
works, documenting a collection of ill-fated or misguided endeavours.

Each of these scraps of productivity, scraps of life, represent an
idea, a plan, an ambition; but one that somehow fell short and was
always going to. Artist, writer, architect; each can craft illusionary
schemes for themselves, designing plots and scenarios to sit within.
In art reality fades, dreams surface. The back-up plan can and
probably will fail, but in this doomsday celebration, there is
evidence of the will that can be found in quiet and desperate

Rosemary Forde

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