Sanctum Sanctorum

Nouvelles Vagues
JGM. Palais de Tokyo

Paris. France

29 June – 31 August 2013

JGM. Galerie gives the Chapuisat Brothers carte blanche to put
together a group show.

The Chapuisat Brothers’ work regularly refers to the sacred while
basing itself on scientific research or popular beliefs. Their installations,
which often invite visitors to enter close, confined spaces, act
like places that are suitable for introspection. Drawing on an essay by
the neurobiologist Henri Laborit, Éloge de la fuite (1976), and a text
by the famous spiritual guide Anthony de Mello (Awareness, 1992),
the Chapuisat Brothers sought to create an exhibition situation that
underlines the mystical dimension of the artistic experience.
Shortly before Mike Kelley’s death, a friend and resident of
Highland Park Hillside, the artist’s neighborhood in Los Angeles,
decided to create a memorial in his honor. “I was aware that when a
friend dies, especially someone as admired as Mike, it can be really
useful to have somewhere to go, to do something, a place where you
can pour out your pain and honor them. I also think that rituals are
very important, and that mourning can include a creative process,”
he explained.

In this exhibition, the Chapuisat Brothers wish to draw a parallel
between death—and the rituals surrounding it—and the work of
art, in that sacrosanct chapel that the white cube embodies today. By
offering a highly personal view of vanity, the Chapuisat Brothers shift
the object from its status as a work of art to that of a relic. Attention is
no longer paid exclusively to the intellectual dimension of the work
but above all to its proximity to the person who created it, to the point
of becoming an extension of that person. Death is therefore the protocol
in this exhibition project, which features only artists who have
passed away in the last few years (Dennis Oppenheim, Sigmar Polke,
Moebius, Mike Kelley, Oscar Niemeyer, Franz West, Ravi Shankar,
David Weiss, etc.).

Their status as artists allows the Chapuisat Brothers to plastically
rework the show’s layout. Each work/relic is thus exhibited inside a
small pagoda or stupa (reliquary and place of Buddhist worship), and
each of the stupas is customized according to the artist it is paying
homage to. In addition to the work of art (or works of art on display),
the brothers have added copies of fan art, messages, texts, images,
and documents relating to the death of the artist in question. In an
atmosphere deliberately rendered sacred, visitors are invited to enter
the little places of worship and physically experience the introspective
dimension of this mystical experience.

Entitled “Sanctum Sanctorum,” the show lies halfway between
homage to major figures who recently died and a different, radical
approach to the practice of the exhibition and the appreciation of
works of art.

link : Nouvelles Vagues. JGM. Galerie.