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From: Jean-Pierre Giovanelli <>


"The shepherds, invisible , dwell beyond the deserts of the  ravaged
earth whose sole use henceforth shall be to ensure the  domination  of
man (....) The complete uniformity of all the  human things of the
earth under the domination of the will for will demonstrates the
meaninglessness of  a human  action laid down as absolute . "

Are there "shepherds" today, those poets whose presence is still
desired, according to H=F6ldering ,in  these " times of distress"? Not
quite a poet, (although !) Jean-Pierre  Giovanelli invites us to share
a thought  which unfolds materially , like  a short text by Kafka. This
reference is not haphazard : in both cases, a parable  clarifies not so
much the  exterior aspect of phenomena as their sense, through a sort
of spectral analysis. In both cases, the rigorous economy of means
describes with unheard-of precision the fundamental situation of man in
our post-industrial societies at the end of the XX th. century.

The proliferation  of satellite images broadcast on television screens
should legitimately give a direct and comprehensive grasp on reality,
which is constantly subjected to the feverish investigation of "
information". Man, the prisoner of this kaleidoscope, ends by no longer
making the distinction between reality and "the possible" or impossible
of virtual images. So here  lies an estrangement  from the world which
is translated both by a loss of sense and by a disinterest in the
latter en its future. Frenzied individualism and mass depersonalization
on a global scale contribute to this estrangement which distracts us
from our basic question, the  sole which still deserves to be put into
words : "What  are we doing? "Are we not forgetful of phenomenal
political and economic imbalances, caught as we are betwen the extremes
of consumption- waste and a deprivation, a " de-solation" without hope?
This reality , perplexing and non controllable, is like the sand  which
obscures the cathode images. This sand , does it not come both from
deserts which are only too real, ceaselessly expanding, and from the
spiritual deserts which affect all human activities? It is  not about=20
abandoning  oneself to the commonplace nostalgia of a hypothetical
"Golden Age" ,it is nothing less than a strict " inventory" which
induces us to think and to judge, two tasks which are eminently
political.The hourglass where sand defies movement regulated by
gravitation  also reinforces this parable. Through this inverted time,
J.P. Giovanelli is not referring us to a possible "end of story" so
much as the disturbing stagnation of a story from which no sense now
emanates? As for  the broom, is it not an invitation to proceed with a
regular clear out , to tidy up our thoughts and our actions? This
invitation to think for ourselves and act releases us from stereotyped
behaviours. Finally J.P. Giovanelli offers us a genuine cleansing of
the eyes and the mind.

Jean FORNERIS  - Nice- October  1993


In the nebula of sociological art which has developed in parallel
radiance to the collective hard core ( Herve Fisher, Fred Forest ,
Jean- Paul Thenot ), Jean- Pierre Giovanelli appears as an autonomous
asteroid of great stature. The" sociological artists" or the "
communication aestheticians"  are  measured above all  by effectiveness
of their methodology or rather by  their mythological hold on the
social imaginary.The values which count are above all the elements
which contibute to the logic of the interrogatory process.

Jean-Pierre Giovanelli  has given to his "Interventions " the dimension
of a multiple questioning of art and codes. All his works, centred on
the social tissue of creativity disclose a major objective: the
revelation of a mental and sentimental substance characteristic of the
specificity of the basic human material which the author very
intellingently qualifies as "socially fantasmatic". It is herein that
we percieve the  flexibility and the  suppleness of Giovanelli's humour
:The personal fantasms of individuals subject to creative temptation
are  set against the spectrum of myths deriving from our old
ideological culture. In fact  the author's questioning  works at play
as Eugen Fink would say. And this allows us to preceive the premises of
a new desanctifying  culture: It is about a genuine structural hygiene
of  the being  in his private and direct relationship with creativity.
" We are all writers " declared Giovanelli and Thenot in 1978, with=20
supporting evidence. The following year Giovanelli went  a step further
at the Fine Arts Museum in Nice by developing a "critical" intervention
process on art criticism, which, from 1979 to 1982 all stuctural myths
of creativity underwent: authenticity, identity, celebrity... From
1985, Giovanelli's intervention system approached the specific field of
communication networks . It was then that the sociological operator
transformed himself into an aesthetician of communication. The object
of the questioning became both more technical and more precise by
directing analysis on the impact of  the media message about daily
reality and the binarisation of thought. From then on Giovanelli became
interested in dialogue,in the standard of the imaginary, in the work=20
of exeptional artists , in "intervention by fax " By  dint of bringing
art up to date, it was obvious that Giovanelli's work was going to
become involved in one of the topical issues of the day . And this is
the subject of the operation " SOS THIRD WORLD" which he is presently
showing at the Nice  Modern Art Museum . The  text which accompanies=20
his  video set-up  needs no comment ." Sand  silts up the screen on
which  stream  past  the satellite images of our advanced=20
technological  world, which  the onlooker must ceaselessly sweep

And we are back  at the  beginning , at  the original concept of the=20
intervention   process which can be  summarized  in one phrase "art is=20
essential relativity of its message". Despite  illusory appearances,
the  information/communication macrocosm is not in good health .
=46ashionable viruses aggress it from every direction : cancer, AIDS,
multiple  sclerosis , genetic regression . In this period of recession,
 Jean-Pierre Giovanelli, fringe adventurer of the media, practises a
remarkable  strategy  of hygiene of judgment . And if it  is said that
one day , we are to reach  the depths of chaos, it is perhaps  thanks=20
to the  chromosomes purified and enriched by Giovanelli, that  the
analogical chain of a creative thought  adapted to the necessities  of
post -industrial information  science and post-modern ontology shall be

Pierre RESTANY Paris -October  1993

</underline>TORINO 1998

</bold>                         =20

Unlike artists who maintain a tradition based on painting and sculpture
having formal expositions in galleries and Salons, unlike artists
determined to turn their back on tradition to rely exclusively on
technological means, computer coming in first place, Jean-Pierre
Giovanelli as some others artits close to him shows a completely
different and    original approach. That is the feeling I have when I
am confronted to his "intallations" . Without denying the richness of
the past, they open the way to a new type of filiation.

If "classical" art used classical means, it seems nowadays that a new
art is sketching out . Without disavowing the past, it is open to
"invention" according to new technical conditions. " Man creates
concrete tools and symbols as " Leroi-Gourhan stressed in "le geste et
la parole" (gesture and word). Tools and symbols resort to an identical
fundamental equipment in mans'brain.... language and tool are the
manifestation of an identical characteristic of man.

Thus our challenge is clear: We must take into account at the same time
an emerging technology and the Imaginary in view of the period leading
us to the threshold of next century- and artists should be the first to
do so.=20

This is why some artitistic manifestations are appearing that are
aiming less at being an achieved work than at expressing the very
movement of a search. The question indeed is not to rediscover the
sacred vase containing Jesus ' blood as in the quest of the Graal, but
to "invent" a new object, a new sense.=20

Bet? stake? challenge? There is nothing else to do but resourcing the
deep symbolism so often obliterated by the deviations of a functional
society in the pay of the merchants. Motorists filling up their car at
the gaz station would be very surprised to learn that they are driving
along thanks to microorganisms accumulated during the first milleniums
of our planet. Whereas their only concern is the cost of a liter of gaz
=2E. And for all we know  Esso, Shell or BP are not thinking of replacing
their own logos by an homage to Ga=EFa to whom we owe everything.=20

When rules have been prevaricated, the very status of reality is at a
stake. This is where some artists intervene and among them Jean-Pierre
Giovanelli proving  a particular acuteness. Thus with his installation
showing real pieces of paper  and simulated pieces of paper , the first
ones being stiffened, the others  flying ,as if our world was opening
to implement a neither real nor feigned space the dynamic of which is
moving as well our perception as our Imaginary beyond the millennialist
way of representation. Space-time of a new type that, without calling
on Einstein's relativity, initiates curvatures and branchings, in
short" metamorphosis" due to  interaction between
"installation-spectators in real time". A further long thought should
be given to these points but I cannot do it here.=20

But lets consider Jean-Pierre Giovanelli's installation called "MA".=20

We have a cubic shaped darkroom which is crossed from top to bottom by
a cone . The opening of the cone is plunging on a round of old men's
faces seized in the gyrating movement of milk contained in a semi
visible tub. traces of light on the ground compose a kind of pearl
necklace. The circular movement of the necklace takes up the milk
movement while you can   heard continuous children   babbles through
hidden speakers. What a disconcerting installation at first glance.
There is no direct reminding but is recalls us no doubt of one of the
most penetrating scene from Vichnou's myth: "churning the milk sea",
one of the most beautiful representation that can be seen at Angkor. In
a series of striking bas-relief gods and demons pulling a rope
represented by the snake Naga are churning the milk sea to get the
liquor of immortality to arise. All of them are craving for the liquor.
=46or over a millennium gods and demons have been exerting opposed
tractions , during that time the beauty goddess and the marvellous
Apsaras dwelling the sky with their winged danced appeared . And
finally the liquor of immortality  came out of the heavy churned milk
and  is granted to the gods.=20

Such a parallel and the details I am reporting may surprise you. But I
have recently been to Angkor to have a closer look at Kmer art and I
have been struck as I had been  in Egypt, China, Corea, Japan or South
America , to recognize the "upstream myths" that are the vocation of
some contemporary artists. In order to avoid any misunderstanding, I
make it clear that I am not speaking of "influence" neither of
"inspiration" as it has often be the case in the past. For example when
artists of the Renaissance were expressely paying tribute to classic
Antiquity, even also when some modern artists among the most famous
ones openly disclose their debt to African or Oceanian art.=20

So paradoxical it might look, what I would call the "upstreams of
technology" seem to rejoin the "upstreams of myth", in other words,
their common energetic nucleus that took so many different faces during
the past centuries, give rise to new expressions . Neither the themes
nor the structures are taken up again, even less the representations
even if they are transposed. Interconnection of forces implemanted by
means of our new tools invents from the original symbolic thrust,
appropriate faces to express it in this day and age. . And artists from
our epoch work at "animating"  them and giving them shape and movement.

Might I say that "churning" is going on, that new creatures are born ?
Colostrum, the essential part of maternal milk not only has a
nutritious virtue but also a psychological virtue as scientists have
proved. The baby, child or lamb is bound to his motheer through the
maternal milk he gets and the milk modifies itself as and when they
need . Liquor of life which strengthens the immune system and develops
the formation of the brain. Liquor of the "soul" creating the emotional
bonds of filiation. Epiphanic milk coming down the luminous cone to
plunge into the melee of virtual face. Not scale of ages any more but
wheel of time ?

=46rom the young children's babble to the old men's vestiges, human
beings evacuate to give place to generations crouching in the heart of
the   initial milk.

Immortality means initiating the species. Jean-Pierre Gionvanelli's
installation looks like an antique oracle  with the poignant accent.of
our time.

Ren=E9 Berger avril 1998

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