exhibition Du fauteuil de mon roi rose
When visiting Sarah Tritz’s exhibition, everyone is implicitly invited to choose his or her own way. Established categories are of no use to hierarchize and organize the shapes a priori. You must survey the exhibition rather than try to read it. Then you recognize materials (metal, wood, canvas), gestures (bending, welding, cutting, binding), painted images, sculptured ones (or both at the same time), here a face, there an abstraction. These greatly heterogeneous objects and perceptions construct what is nevertheless revealed all at once: a landscape.
Here, Marcel Duchamp’s now canonical statement can be fully used: “ the viewer makes the art work”. Repeating it and playing with the conventions of art, this experiment much too often ends up being limited to an academic game in which the looker-on only identifies the rule which is proposed to him, and finds the sour note which will alert his mind at the right time. The work of Sarah Tritz demands not to leave it to a pre-established reading, it rests on a conceptual, perceptive, formal or structural base. All these dimensions are activated without a recognizable system organizing them straightaway. Each exhibition is the opportunity to reinvent the connections between the forms.
This second solo show in Gallery Anne Barrault is entitled L’allée (The path), a tree-lined lane: a place of circulation defined by its edges. Sarah Tritz often compares the notion of frame (all of them in oak here), quite evident in her work, in the literal as well as figurative sense, with that of the body. For her, the frame is not a limit shutting a space, but a place of exchanges. As a body, it is an area where extremely various connections are made between the diversity of the outer world, and the complexity of inner life. “How is one to decide what comes from the inwardness, and what comes from the outside, extra-sensorial perceptions or hallucinatory projections?” as Gilles Deleuze put it. Sarah Tritz’s assemblages operate like undecidable knots between the world and its perception: in them, the physical body is scattered into pieces (faces, hands…,) assembled and mingled with abstract and concrete, conceptual and figural shapes. Thoughts and perceptions knotted together.
While working out L’allée, Sarah Tritz looked attentively at the paintings Mark Rothko painted in the forties, before his famous abstract ones. In them you can see this strange encounter of space with biomorphism, this high continuity within textures, forms, levels of yet very heterogeneous representations, combined every time in a different way. At that time, he and other American artists such as David Smith, then later, Robert Rauschenberg were looking for a kind of art able to testify to the American experience. Between the history of the American Indians, that of the colonists from Europe and of the deported Africans, it could not take root in one past and one and only experience. Their attempts to link so different experiences have given birth to this unpredictable art. Sixty years later, everywhere, each of us lives an acceleration of the intertwining of histories. In a large city such as Paris where Sarah Tritz is living, everyday you can live the same experience as these American predecessors, as long as you escape the levelling of mass culture and bygone identity reactions. From Saul Steinberg’s humour and plastic intelligence to Otto Dix’s passionate violence, including the large variety of African headdresses seen at Chateau Rouge, she covers her own geographical world. Her work shows the signs of this remarkable intertwining, the witness of an imperceptible whole.