London’s Project Native Informant is presenting an exhibition of work by French artist Philippe Thomas with interventions from Bernadette Corporation, Emily Segal and DIS, opening May 31 and running July 9.
The press release is a short essay written by Claire Fontaine in 2011 that discusses the void left by an artist whose life and practice is and was to focus on the act of withdrawal. It describes the life of Thomas who died in 1995 and who throughout his life “was part of a sort of community in which he permanently dissolved himself.”
“One might think that he multiplied pseudonyms, created an advertising agency to relinquish rights of authorship, and built a mirror of the digestive system of institutional memory, all in order to protect his oeuvre and to control its reception”. Thomas instead made blurry boundaries between artist and collector, making statements like “readymades belong to everyone” and showed, “without cynicism, with a cold anger, the effects of capitalism on our ideas and our bodies” elegantly and quietly.
Bernadette Corporation, Emily Segal of trend forecasting group, K-hole and New York’s DIS collective, who presented Image Life at PNI back in February, share common agencies in their work which looks at culture within the production and visualisation of culture itself. The narrative of art is their art.
Although there is no additional information on what will occur amongst Thomas’ works, surely the gesture of the interventions will address how to approach a practice and a hole like this one.
See the PNI exhibition page for more details.**