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Orion Giret: After Creation

René Denizot

After creating heaven and earth, God reposes. This pause poses its own question, quite different from the penitent query of well-merited rest and work still suffering delay. It reposes God, after as before. Repose. Eternal repose, without repentance. Creation adds nothing, takes nothing away, leaves nothing ahead or behind. It leaves God be, ahead-behind. To be God everywhere, forever. Granted the possibility to be God. But for so little and God would not be, but for a world. Has God come into the world? The world comes into the world. Is this a world of remains? Does the fixed and stupefied image remain, the fall of a heavenly viewpoint here below, the cut or the coin that an abstract creation assigns to representation? What is the place, what is the time of representation? Can't each image defer to abandonment? Is the image just a mirror? What world does it bring into the world? What turnabout of the situation abolishes the diktat of creation? What revolution of representation traverses screens and frames, exposes both image and world to the multiple bursting of the same field of a appearance? Same place, same time, same field.

Image and world are not double, but a single method, a movement down the same path, whereby the world presents and represents itself, whereby the image settles at the threshold of appearance/disappearance, whereby the apparition finds time and place, and the image brings the measure of possibility to the world. There is the world, here and now. Here and now, the image is not in representation It is not an image of the image, a secondary image, the retrospective image of creation. It is the moment and the place of visibility, where the world is vision. This is everything in the world. The world is vision. Day and night, at every instant, outside, inside, dreaming, waking, the world says world. Without subject or object, without any reason. The world is divined. Not without mirage and camouflage, not without image. Not without illusion. The world invents and betrays the world. It is the enigma of its own present.

It is a vision half-seen, a shadow or a flash, like the clear light of possibility that the image discloses, to close once again. Reality and fiction, the fiction of possibility in real space and time: here and now, the world is vision. As world, the world is vision, before television, before the blindness of world views, before the world's image is fixed on the screen of creation, on the canvas of the painter, on the frame of the picture, on the tables of the law... Before the sacrifice of the world to the image of the image, to retrospective history, to the image of creation. The clear light of the image - where the vision of the world is suspended as world - is the startling evidence of a possibility that neither things nor causes fix tight, a possibility that has its being neither in Nature nor in God. It is the place and time of appearance, where the world's play points to itself, as itself. No creation sires it, no representation requires it: it is an empty visibility, as such unfigurable. Like the field of the visible and the invisible, like a viewpoint and a vision that artifice can situate, like a mote in the eye that blocks out a landscape, like a dot defining a geometric place, like a swallow does not make a summer day... Just like: just like there was nothing to it, outside the visibility of appearance where "the musicality of everything" comes into play. Just like: like the possible, like the possibility of the world like the site in movement, like the world at play, like the play of the world, like the stage of time, and the place of the people who figure there.

Allégories, Allan McCollum, 2000.

Orion Giret, a student at l'École nationale supérieure d'arts de Cergy-Pontoise en Paris, illegally vandalized statues created for the city of Montpellier by the artist Allan McCollum (Allégories, realized in 2000), using silver paint. The repairs cost 30,000 Euros.


To paint is to enter the play of appearance, to embrace it cosmically: in the sense that cosmos is also cosmetics, that painting is pigment, and that appearance weds the world's time to the place of painting, here and now in the decor of the same exhibition, in the fiery play of the carnation where the present is embodied. In the words of Heraclitus: "This cosmos, the same for all, was created by neither god nor man; it always was, is, and will be an ever-living flame, rising to measure, falling to measure." It is from this fiery play, this open field of the world, it is in the cosmic dialogue of appearance that Orion Giret's painting takes its measures. His early experience came from the stage, from the theater where appearance weds world to image. Painting measures itself by such engagements. It plays the go-between, where the seduction of appearances calls for no recognition, for no sacred union, but exposes a shadow or a flash of vision between reality and fiction, at the irresolute threshold of appearance and disappearance: in a place where the theatrical act is no longer action deployed as a drama, but as fiery lights of the stage, the focus of an infraction, where the play of artifice bursts in fragmentary gleams, the tragic invention of figures.

Paradoxically, Giret's painting has no theater, no space set aside, no privileged place. It has no image before it is played. It has no story before it is exposed. It represents nothing before its own presence. It presents itself arbitrarily. There is, here and now, a present of painting - which nothing anticipates or prefigures, which neither culture or nature predetermines. There is the arbitrary beginning that the artifice of painting inaugurates. It is a beginning without history. It cuts pictorial tradition short, it abandons its domination, its knowledge, its schools, its territories and its succession, it gives them all up to the history of art. It comes after the mastery of space on a surveyor's picture-plane, after the death of time in an oblivion locked into the frame, after the effacement of painting in the mirror of creation . After the exhaustion of pictorial art in the infinite reproduction of the already-seen, the abandonment of painting to the world begins. Painting without reference to God, without reference to Man, without reference to Nature. Painting without representation, nor any concept of art, nor any notion of things in themselves. The abandonment is groundless, without fundament. It is more vital than pictorial. It leaves the vanity of artifice to painting. It leaves the vacuity of space and time to the world. Without the protection of the frame, without the support of a panel, the armature of a stretcher, the veil of a canvas, painting is abandoned to the world. The world is left to this local and momentary covering, to the erratic and methodical inscription of pointing. Painting is given over to the signal clarity of its Material being, as a point of view on a possible world. Painting and world are wed, as if there were nothing to it: as if the fiction of possibility were born from this encounter, as if their meeting bodied forth the image that inaugurates the world.

Giret's painting springs from this beginning with no reserve, this exhibition without fundament, this entry into matter without background or backstage, this fiction without trompe-l'oeil, this vision without object of representation, this point of view without any subject of perceive, this material structure of perception, this surface presentation of space and time, this experience with no refuge from the here and now. Materially, painting begins with the election of space and time. Painting is not in space like a picture in its frame. It is not in time like an image frozen on a screen. Painting is the spacing of the place that it situates. It is the present of the time that gives it rise. It is the moment and the place where space and time take body, where they become visible and tangible, where they are experienced physically as the space and time of appearance, as the thresholds and limits of an entry into matter. Focal points of evanescent dwellings, nomadic flames, bursting apparitions where each appearance is a sign of disappearance, where in the blink of an eye, viewpoint and vision are exposed: exposing the transitory reality of a world half-seen, exposing it to fiction, to fission, to the infraction of the possible. Painting flush with the world: not the world beyond the pale, fixed in a frozen image, but the space and time of a gambol into the world. Paint the gambol. Gamble painting on the play of the world. Play the moment and the place where the world makes an image and the image comes into the world. Expose the world's passage to the image, and the passage of the image to the world. Change nothing: wed the world and the image. Risk a change-up, render the exchange of reality and fiction that is possible here and now. Experience the seduction of one and the other. Expose the infraction, open up your heart. Painting means the amorous encounter of here and now. It gives it body.

Painting is a methodical approach, it is the real and material practice of appearance, giving matter and form, color and flesh, to space and to time. It exposes the concrete emergence, renders it present in space and in time: pigment's body, the viewpoint and the fragmentary vision, the infraction of the world into here and now. As though the world were born to the world in an instant, in form and color, in the flesh and fashion of the here and now. The turning of the here-now, the revolution of space and time around the event that brings them out and gives them body: this is what empties places and frees the present, at the very instant when pointing becomes the phenomenon and the method of their emergence to the world, of their advent Painting weds the world and becomes its skin, in the inaugural seduction of the here-now. Painting covers and reveals, penetrates and exposes. It is neither a window opened, nor a curtain closed. It adheres to the world, it surfaces in it. It signs it without signifying it. By entering the world, it puts the world beside itself. It is cosmic cosmetics, impressed with appearances. It incriminates the appearance of reality. It exposes the reality of appearance The process of Giret's painting institutes the trial of appearances. It is convened by the immediate and apparent reality of the world projecting itself upon it, inscribing itself within it. Here it has its body. It seizes hold of the image. It projects it into the world. It inscribes apparent reality with the viewpoint and the vision of the image. Materially, here and now it provokes the appearance or disappearance of a moment and a place for the identification of a reality - an elective and effective reality, but one which, here and now, also brings the differentiation of moments and places into play for the election of other realities. Painting returns an image to reality, the image that was blinded. It returns a reality to the image, a reality illuminated. It returns the inference, the reference and the difference of image and reality to the present. It projects one and the other, one into the other. There is no retrospection, there is retroprojection: the reciprocal project of a world, in the image and in reality, in the work and its unworking, in the place and the moment of the encounter that painting incarnates and exposes, here and now.

In the apparent continuity of the real (architectured, installed, edified on the blind image of permanence and immutability, like the mirror of a creation played out in advance), in the reified representation of bony concepts and wooden words, Giret's painting introduces a break, a discontinuity. It coaxes out an appearance of the risk and the interstice, of the fiction at work on the fissured relief of reality. In living opposition to a cadastral claim on the exquisite cadaver of the real, pointing begins by wedding the world in the present, where it is possible, where the facture of possibility meets the fracture of the here-now. Like the crests of waves, the horizon described by Giret's painting is continuous and broken, closed and open a fault line full and empty: the reinstigated prowess of space and time, wake and prow of the here and now, underscoring and overwriting the undecidable and decisive gap between the world and representation. Ii is the horizon of the possible, of its fiction and its infraction, a horizon that sea level never attains. Here, pointing flows, is applied, is exposed, continually engendering discontinuous views, each the viewpoint and the vision of a real which, though it may not be identified to a unique and total image of reality, is nonetheless an exposure of the world, exhibiting c potential world, exposing its free play The ephemeral life of Giret's works, their working life, is not a matter of dates, of contracts and locations. It is the condition of an oeuvre as the operation of space and time. The work a work produces the space and time of its exhibition. It is the moment and the place that it exposes. It is the vehicle and the generational field of appearance and disappearance, of its birth and death, of its beginning and end, of its present situation, of its existence here and now. It is the fable and the generative grammar of the reality and fiction that it brings into the world, that it brings into play. Reality is not definitive, it is yet to be defined. Fiction is never just given, it is here to be interpreted. Within this double play painting takes place. The work of painting defines and interprets a score, a musical repartition o the world. It is the work of a moment and a place, the work of a possible world. It is a participation in the free play of the world. It is waiting to be played over and over again.

René Denizot, Directeur adjoint de l'ENSAPC
in French: rene_denizot_fr.html
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