Jean-Luc Vilmouth

Centre Pompidou

On the heels of his beautiful intervention at the Lyons Biennale, Jean-Luc Vilmouth once again surprises us, this time with a retrospective in the form of an inventory of his procedures and investigations: “nature,” “habiter” (inhabiting), “interaction,” “outils” (tools), and “histoires” (stories).

When he is asked to define his practice, Vilmouth answers laconically, “I am a friend of objects,” rather than holding forth with respect to his extension of the strategy of the readymade. By passing for a “sculptor,” he enables objects quietly to exact a subtle revenge—a revenge against the order of the everyday (their functionality). but also against that of art, which enjoys perverting their normal functions by turning objects against themselves in a kind of paradoxically liberatory closure. It is a fatal circularity, as Jean Baudrillard would say, although one might prefer to attribute to it

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