paris

Bernard Bazile

Centre Pompidou

In “IT’S OK TO SAY NO!” Bernard Bazile’s position was one of negation colored by paranoia, one meant to place the spectator simultaneously in a state of liberation and uneasy withdrawal. The title and imagery in the show were borrowed from an American manual designed to prevent children from being sexually abused (pictures on carpeting represented the perversity of adult stratagems). Bazile made an effort to place the viewer in a similar atmosphere of insecurity, of diffused stress, finally more familiar than disturbing or provocative. The flashing neon signs, placed outside the museum, evoked sensory experience: the carrot-shaped sign of the cigarette shop (smell); the glasses of the optician (sight); the red-and-yellow sign of the arab restaurant (taste); the key of the locksmith (touch), and the green cross of the pharmacy, which, in its “stressed and joyous rhythm,” was meant to infuse

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