Les ruses de l’intelligence (‘The Stratagems of the Intellect’), which ran from October 10 to December 13, 2015, at Parc Saint Léger in France, brought together a group of artists including Harun Farocki, Jeremy Deller & Alan Kane, Gianni Motti, and SUPERFLEX among others. The premise of the exhibition focused on the idea of ‘work’ and explored the definition, effects and convention of the word in the context of our globalised economy and the power politics associated with the current financial model.
The artists responded to the increasingly abstract idea of work and how value is defined. The title of the show is a reference to a book by Marcel Détienne and Jean-Pierre Vernant, translated to English as Cunning Intelligence in Greek Culture and Society, which questions the established order of stratagems and the know-how models behind practical forms of intelligence. Working across sculpture, photography, neon, books, and other object assemblage, the installation brings together varied relationships to ‘artmaking’ and the economics of the art world that is undergoing rapid change.
Farocki, Deller & Kane, and Jean-Luc Moulène, look specifically at industry and disappearance, while SUPERFLEX and Pratchaya Phinthong focus their attention on collapse and the financial crisis. Julien Prévieux takes a personal approach to the consequential situation, addressing his reasons for not entering into the world of business in ‘Lettres de non-motivatio’ (2015). Allen Ruppersberg, Mladen Stilinović and Patricio Gil Flood, look at leisure time and the ways we fill our time in contrast to time spent working. The back-and-forth energy of production and reception is articulated in the objects of Eva Barto, Stefan Brüggemann, Ève Chabanon. An overall anxiety works its way through the pieces, stringing them together in their shared desire to reorganise and understand our commitment to the sphere of art.**
Exhibition photos, top right.