La Surface des choses
workshop and installation, collaboration with microsillons
During a year we worked with a group of visually impaired people. Instead of trying to simplify things because of their handicap, we assumed that not being able to see with physical eyes could be an advantage to do an artwork.
We did a crash course on contemporary art with three premisses:
- the invention of photography replaced the physical eyes, thus freeing painting from the necessity of representation
- the ready-made allows people to do an artwork by choosing only (no technical skills needed at all)
- conceptual art is further the continuation and widening of this possibility to do art with the mind's eye instead of the physical eye.
The lexicon mostly used to describe a work of art, on a conceptual level, is often made of ocular metaphors. When things don't work on the conceptual level, the visible comes to help. Thus working with people who do not have the visual vocabulary to conceptualize an artwork could be advantageous.
We aimed at doing something that would be valid (on an aesthetical and conceptual level) for both visually impaired people and visually capable people.
Wood came as a means that is easy to work with and is in itself something highly recognizable by touch only. Five people joined the workshop, each one had an object made. A monitor with a video of close-ups of the objects has a background track made of tales and personal stories of the participants.