ExhibitionsModernism West / Foreign Cinema
Stéphane ZAGDANSKI: Jouissance du temps (Enjoyment of Time)
Jan 18 — Mar 3, 2018
Check gallery website for hours and additional info
Modernism is pleased to present the first U.S. exhibition of artworks by Stéphane Zagdanski.
Jouissance du temps (Enjoyment of Time) is a series of twelve recent paintings and drawings composed by Stéphane Zagdanski in 2016 and 2017. Each painting is an abstract calligraphic work comprised of the exact text of a short story from a collection that Zagdanski wrote in 2005, published in Paris by Éditions Fayard under the title of the opening short story: Jouissance du temps. The words are handwritten in such a way that the initial short story cannot be read. Zagdanski’s purpose consists of dissolving the frontier between literature and art through what he calls “Word Mandalas,” which are inspired by Tibetan sand mandalas that are erased and dissolved as soon as they are composed.
For twenty-five years, Stéphane Zagdanski has pursued a central theme in his novels and essays that he defines as “the Dialectic of Word and Image in Western Civilization.” In 2013, the French author brought a new dimension to his literary art with an ambitious project named RARE, an autobiographic novel made of 100 unique pieces of art (exhibited in 2016 at Galerie Éric Dupont in Paris). In a new visual and aesthetical form, Zagdanski explored the same purpose as he had explored in a literary and theoretical form with his books: engaging a reflection about the hybrid essence of handwriting, material and spiritual, and making visible what he called “the invisibility of writing.”
His new series, Jouissance du temps (Enjoyment of Time), goes one step further in displaying the paradoxical dialogue between word/image and literature/art through the disappearance of the meaning of text into its own graphic representation. Although the words cannot be understood any longer, they are all there, a whole short story taking place on each painting and drawing, expressing the pure materiality of the text.