Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A talk with Anne-Lise Coste

(Anne-Lise Coste, all Day long, 2009, airbrush and acrylic on board and mirror)

Molly Stevens: Anne-Lise, in the outside world, I make plans and it works (sometimes). But in the studio, forget about it: Things never go according to plan.

Anne-Lise Coste: No plans in the studio.
I enter the studio and start
with whatever is around
no plans
no projects
no projections
no drafts

what comes comes

MS: So, is that impulse that we see in your work?

AC: It might be

I don’t want any mediation

From whatever it’s called - soul-mind-spirit-conscience-unconscience - through the hand-pencil to the paper for instance

Superquick, no thinking as much as possible, a breath, a scream, a fast construction, a tear, a fuk

A secretion you cannot control

Out of control

In the world of control
Une jouissance aussi [pleasure too]

MS: Do you think that the superquick - which is so fleeting - can last in art? Can it make a lasting impression?

AC: Oui, because everybody knows about fragility.

MS: Well, not everyone wants to know about fragility.

AC: I’m not sure about that sentence, actually. I don’t like to say everybody. I don’t know everybody.

Forget it.

What I mean is that there is no hierarchy for me between a work that lasts 3 seconds and another one that’s high tech, that requires hours of working, a team, a super budget or whatever.

MS: A lot of artists make art to last forever in hopes of transcendence. We could call that macho, I guess. But there’s something very macho in the quick too. It’s brave. In women they call it impulse, I think. In men, they call it boldness, or risk-taking.

AC: You’re right: boldness versus impulse in the vision of what is male and what is female, which ends up being male versus female and then hierarchy again. One thing we should not forget is that it’s also a battle for the poor men who want to be impulsive and not bold.
first of all I believe in a queer progression in the look of the world

And perhaps no more woman-women shows

As soon as you’re a woman and you’re invited into that perspective, you respond. You have to reject this totally passé retrograde vision. That’s over.

MS: Tell me a little more about this: "I believe in a queer progression in the look of the world.”

AC: I mean that it will become clear. It’s impossible to enclose someone in terms of gender and to generalize about a sex. Like this is male, this is female.

Everybody – ha! again - but this time it’s for a joke: someday everybody will laugh when someone says "oh you’re a girl and you like soccer"

MS: I don’t understand.

AC: Funny you don’t understand my example. Yeah it’s so South of France.
What I want to say is that in the normal world, some activities are male and others are female. That’s over in the queer or free world.

It’s the fukin advertising propaganda, which imposes a very narrow world
for commerce
But there’s another world, out of the market, friendship and love.
I say friendship and love to mean that there are spaces of non-conventions, of openness, the bizarre, the ambiguous and out of control again.

MS: To end, what do you think of this image:

AC: Merde. Sais pas. [Shit. Don’t know]

MS: OK. Let's end another way. Just let me think for a second.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The title of this show is now...

(Anne-Lise Coste, installation detail, 2005)

This is a truism: if you don’t feel good about a decision, you always know it’s there, like a sore thumb. Sometimes you can’t treat a sore thumb, but sometimes you can.

Over the past few weeks, it has become clear to me that I’ve been forcing an idea from a previous life (a few months ago) onto a selection of work that has nothing to do with that idea.

What I’m saying is that the name Donkey Trail does not match the work in the show I’m currently putting together. This show, the one opening in May, is off-kilter, looks like instinct and energy, has its own set of rules and is unified, formally, by the line. It’s fresh, it moves, it moves fast. Donkeys? Donkey Trail? Not right.

So, in what has proved to be an act of courage, and also a step towards coming into my own (more), I’ve renamed it.

The title of this show is now: OUT OF LINE.

Name choosing can get wacky. Note the developmental process:

Donkey Trail is a Fast Paced Line
Beast Unburdened
No Dozing Ox
Hook, line and sinker
Electric Ladyland
Electric Skillet
Welcome to the Zoom Boom
Welcome to the Zoom Room
It is I, That I am,
Up, down, all around
The Zoom Boom Presents
Drawing the Curtain
Behind the curtain
Before the curtain goes up
The curtain goes up
Curtains, Kidneys and Candy
Candy Curtain
Certain curtain
The Flow Show
The To and Fro Show
We interrupt this program
Jumping the Fence
Next day, tomorrow, suspense
Walk the Talk
Walk like a Man
Walk the Line
Moving Down the Line
No Easy Walk to Freedom
Zoom Zoom Presents
Bloom Zoom Presents
Vroom Zoom Presents
Moving to Another Groove
Getting the Move On
Leg Work
No Sweat
Ring Up the Curtain
Show Up
The Doozy Show
The Doozy Zoom Boom Show
Behind the scenes
Backstage in Ladyland
Backstage at Pinkrocks
Backstage with Pink Rocks
Backstage and out of line
Up and Over