Critics’ Picks

View of “Le Confort moderne,” 2012. From left: Franck Leibovici, Karesansui: 10th Sequence of an Opera for Non-Musicians, 2012, pebbles, music stands, sheet music, dimensions variable. Charlotte Moth, Behind every surface there is a mystery: a hand that might emerge, an image that might be kindled, or a structure that might reveal its image, 2011, curtain, dimensions variable.


“Le Confort Moderne”

Le Confort Moderne
185 de la rue du Faubourg du Pont Neuf
May 16 - August 19

In the group exhibition “Le Confort moderne,” named for the art and music center where it is on view, curator Mathieu Copeland repurposes modes of looking and listening, via the work of twenty-seven artists and musicians within a series of five expansive “salons” that ask their viewers to suspend notions of a traditional salon. For instance, Olivier Mosset has used wood plinths to construct a large white stage (Sans Titre, 2012); it occupies a central white room that reads as both a monochromatic painting salon, a trope for which the artist is known, and temporary concert venue, as well as a nearby cinema wherein the three-hundred-hour UbuWeb film archive is played. A second screening room features a collection of videos projected at different points along its wall in sequence, so that films are visible one by one; these include Alan Vega’s 1972 Sans Titre (for which he also provides the sound track) as well as Philippe Decrauzat’s Marrakech Press, 2012, and Mai-Thu Perret’s In Darkness Let Me Dwell, 2010, both set to scores by musicians Alan Licht and Ikue Mori, respectively.

The paintings in this show appropriately indicate convergences with rock and pop music elements; among these, Hugo Schüwer-Boss’s articulation of the Black Flag band logo takes the form of four staggered vertical canvases painted black and titled Black Flag 3D, 2012. If “Le Confort moderne” is an extrapolation of what is heard, its most pensive movement is Franck Leibovici’s Karesansui: 10th Sequence of an Opera for Non-Musicians, 2012, a Japanese pebble garden on which several music stands are placed. Covering significant floor space, this abyssal terrain provides the necessary white noise amid the loud music.