The award-winning fishmonger peddles fish during the day and tours as a drag queen through the French capital’s underground scene at night. We unite once again his many worlds: fresh fish, art performances and queer appearances. The newest edition of the performance festival and fish market taking place in Costa Rica comes with a publication combining the drag queen world and fish recipes.
The publication has a print run of 50 copies. Each booklet contains a series of three photographs of Juliette Chrétien and three fish recipes written by Maurice Maggi.
If Paris were an aquarium, Charly would be its tropical fish, jumping out of the water each night with no one watching. It's true. When day turns to night, the fisherman lets his diva emerge, darting like a tropical fish through the underground rivers of Paris. In placing Charly's fish-market at center stage of the festival at the art center in Costa Rica, we celebrate the grandeur of a man's dreams, desires and duality – each one a stand-in for our own.
On April 29th several international and local artists will turn Despacio and its temporary fish market into an unending stream of performance and fantasy. Artists include: Elyla Sinverguenza, Charly, Grettel Mendez, Dino Real, Oscar Ruiz Schmidt, Javier Calvo, Monsieur Bien, and Roberto Chaves (Costa Rica)
From drag shows, musical contributions, theatrical interventions, to long-durational art performances – all will question the roles we tend to play in life, as well as those we tend to ignore. To transgress the rules of society and fashion is to give rise to an inner creativity and break with conformity.
The first edition the festival was held in Zurich in 2014.
Credits for drag film: Performer: Elyla Sinverguenza, Camera, Directing and Editing: Guillermo Sáenz, Costume and Styling: Marcus Carmon, Production: Nicholas Blevis & David Torress, Music: Arca - Anoche. Credits for film about Charly: Camera: Fabian Niklaus, Animation: Raphael Etter, Concept: Leila Hincelin and Sandino Scheidegger.
Though Pyongyang is the capital city and heart of North Korea, to the outside world it is the epicenter of the unknown. It is surprising then that nine international artists were recently invited by Switzerland's Random Institute to exhibit in Pyongyang.
The resulting group exhibition was organized around the theme of silence, a concept that resonated with the isolated nature of the show’s host country. Additionally, the immediate inaccessibility of this exhibition reflects the widespread, present-day condition of “consuming” art remotely, often online and via secondary media.
In keeping with the theme of silence, only one significant trace of documentation (other than select installation views) was allowed to publicly surface: an enigmatic mention on each of the nine artists’ CVs. This unusual addition to the artists’ resumes points to another concerning phenomenon of our time: the increasingly CV-driven art world. Furthering the theme, while also feeding global curiosity about the hermit kingdom, the artists’ only response to requests to elaborate on their exhibition and experience are and will remain simply:
“I’m not supposed to talk about it.”
The special edition catalogue is strictly limited to 100 unique numbered copies and can be ordered from Mark Pezinger Verlag. The official launch takes place on June 15 at the I Never Read Art Book Fair in Basel, Switzerland.(Facebook Event)
The exhibition All the Lights We Cannot See, which was virtually unnoticed by the general public, was held April 9 – 12, 2016 in Pyongyang, North Korea. It was curated by Anna Hugo and Sandino Scheidegger.
Many of life's most interesting situations arise from unexpected encounters with strangers. Don’t Talk to Strangers was conceived to lead viewers into such experiences by integrating the unexpected into the very structure of an exhibition.
The book retraces some of the dialogues that emerged from the exhibitions, which took place in New York and Zurich, somewhere between the openness of an art space and the intimacy of a stranger’s home.
A chance meeting in the street, a vision on the bus ride home, even a website stumbled upon by accident can channel the power of the unknown into richly evocative new experiences.
The dialogues found in this book are a result of the exhibition Don’t Talk to Strangers, which took place in New York and Zurich. What’s special about it? It was conceived to lead viewers toward new experiences by integrating the unexpected into its very structure.
Artists presented their works in the privacy of strangers’ homes, while items belonging to those same strangers (furniture, books, and personal objects) were reinstalled in a public art space. Once the exchange was completed, gallery visitors were invited to ask private hosts, whose phone numbers were available alongside their displayed belongings, about the opening hours of their newly appropriated “home galleries,” a far more personal experience.
Visitors searching for a contemporary art fix were instead led on a pilgrimage in the name of art, replacing the passive act of viewing with an open and unpredictable experience of exploration. The initial disappointment at the lack of works within the art space thus became a chance to discover far more than the art itself in exchange for taking the time to do so.
A stranger’s home offered the perfect setting, the grand stage from which a narrative could weave itself between host, viewer, and work of art, linking private and public spaces and quite possibly making someone’s personal experience an inseparable part of the art on display.
If Don’t Talk to Strangers offered a more personal system for viewing contemporary works, it’s only because those involved with the exhibition accepted a leap into the unknown. Maybe, by reading through some of narratives we’ve retraced as dialogues in this book, you will too.
September 8, 2015Book presentation at Sundowner, an event series that brings people together every other Tuesday on the terrace of the Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin.
June 18, 2015 Official book release at the Art Book Fair I Never Read in Basel, Switzerland.
Home Stories with Cory Arcangel, Alejandro Cesarco, Peles Empire, Selina Grüter & Michèle Graf, Aloïs Godinat, Federico Herrero, San Keller, Karin Lehmann, Richard Long, Thomas Moor, Karyn Olivier, Linda Tegg, Slavs & Tatars, and Strangers.
With special contributions by Ahmet Bugdayci (New York), Samuel Leuenberger (Basel), Cory Arcangel (New York), San Keller (Zurich), and various strangers.
If you want to learn what strangers from a faraway city said to San Keller when he asked to be let into their homes with a copy of this book in his hand, you can call San Keller (phone number is published on page two).
Publisher: Kodoji Press
Graphic Design: Atlas Studio
Alejandro Cesarco, whose work often explores the relationship between words and images, took part in Don't Talk to Strangers by publishing a booklet that retraces a dialogue he held with the collector Christoph Schifferli. The two exchanged stories (contributed by Cesarco) and images (taken from Schifferli’s collection of film stills), which were compiled for the occasion of the exhibition.
Everything starts with an idea that leads to a dialogue.
During the Don't Talk to Strangers exhibition in Zurich, the publication was placed in Christoph Schifferli’s extensive library on a shelf where Alejandro Cesarco’s previous books were usually stored. Those same books were put on display in the art space.
Cesarco dedicated the booklet to John Baldessari and Raymond Roussel.
The publication is kindly supported by Stadt Zürich and Ernst and Olga Gubler-Hablützel Stiftung.
Images: Selected film stills from the collection of Christoph Schifferli.
Texts: Excerpted from the bookshelves of Alejandro Cesarco.