- Karthik Pandian, "Confessions", Bétonsalon – Centre for art and research, Paris, 2014 © Karthik Pandian
Bétonsalon - Centre for art and research is pleased to announce American artist Karthik Pandian’s residency at the Centre international d’accueil et d’échanges des Récollets, in partnership with the City of Paris and the Institut français.
Confessions, Karthik Pandian’s first solo exhibition in France organised at Bétonsalon - Centre for art and research, is an intimate engagement with the commodity, technology and craft, the abstraction of thought and the concreteness of the body. Featuring an ambitious new work in sculpture presented in an exhibition design that responds directly to the glass facade of the architecture, the show will also premiere a new 16mm film by life after life, the first public presentation of collaborative work by Karthik Pandian and his partner, Paige K. Johnston.
“I cannot tell a lie,” said the table made of a single American cherry tree. If you turn the story on its head however, it becomes a very queer thing indeed. It is the story of a walnut tree and an aqueduct. To look inside the skull and see what’s in there. Go to the Musée de l’Homme and have a look inside Descartes’ skull. You will see there is nothing there. Thought has evacuated the building. But there is writing on that cranium. A proper name proper to no one. To look without the eye. To make without the hand. This table is no good. Let’s flip it over and 3D print a new one. Speaking of slavery, everyone used to have them back then. It’s one thing to emancipate your slaves on your deathbed and another to churn your own butter Mr. President. Speaking of skin, what a rich nutty brown yours is. And oh how it glows against these white walls. You see, art is essentially hydrology. Some artists fly the helicopter in and dump a stupefying amount of water onto a raging forest fire. Other artists wander the world with a divining rod, seeking out untapped springs in the layers of earth and crust beneath their feet. But… An aqueduct! An aqueduct! To turn water. To direct it but make it think it moves of its own free will. That should put American pragmatism to bed – to dream of new fetishes (like a wide brim hat). At night the lights come on and the work is supine, emanating the horror. A nut glimpsed through a storefront window. An American table dance for an audience of burglars. It’s a pretty good show.