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Joseph NECHVATAL - Turning the Viral Tempest
Communiqué de presse
«An invisible circulating virus humiliated our powers of perception. Its human-to-human transmission essentially steers culture towards an increased sense of connectivity, sensitivity and vulnerability.» -Joseph Nechvatal
Jean-Luc and Takako Richard are pleased to present Joseph Nechvatal’s new exhibition entitled Turning the Viral Tempest in their Parisian gallery from September 3 to October 22, 2022. The artist connects the human body to the cosmos, allowing a figurative as well as abstract reading.
In the first space of the exhibition are hung, four paintings of Orlando Manifesting 2022, one on each wall. This presentation suggests a rotating circular dynamic in the piece parallel to the physical rotation of the disc The Viral Tempest by Joseph Nechvatal when played (published by Pentiments). Nechvatal also connects this circular dynamic to his memory of Samuel Beckett’s 1981 TV play Quad, in which four asexual figures in robes turn and turn around a scene with defined patterns.
The second room of the exhibition Turning the Viral Tempest presents diptychs and triptychs presented on a line previously exposed in 2020. Taken in his together, the exhibition Turning the Viral Tempest indirectly addresses the issues of gender plasticity in our viral and socio-political tumultuous era by imagining scenes mythical nonexistent from the casual 1928 novel Orlando by Virginia Woolf (the sto- ry of a young aristocratic poet who turns into a woman overnight and lives 300 years).
The paintings of the exhibition are created with a customized C++ artificial life software modeled as a virus (produced in collaboration with the French programmer Stéphane Sikora) and inkjet archives on canvas Hahnemühle Daguerre. The black knot graph panels in some of the small diptychs and triptychs were made in a similar way to the Markov chains, following the word virus in William S. Burroughs 1970 essay The Revolution electronics. In this essay, Burroughs draws attention to the subversive influence of the word virus on humans and the dangers of using the human voice as a weapon. A script has been written for analyze the text, where, for each transition from the word virus to another word virus, a link has been established between the nodes corresponding to this recurring word. Next, Graphviz, a software for open source graphics, was used to generate the graph, which Nechvatal treated aesthetically.
Born in 1951 in Chicago, the works of Joseph Nechvatal appear in the collections of MoMa, New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Los Angeles, the Jewish Museum, New York, Malmö Kunsthall, Sweden, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, Dôle Museum, France, as well as in the Herb & Dorothy Vogel collection.