The exhibition Memoirs of an Amnesiac – !, filled with the absurdity, ro-manticism and existentialism that were already present in the first episodes of the exhibition cycle Truly Flabby Preludes (For a Dog), highlights the bumpy and dev-astating optimism of a Chinese character whose recent life has been bordering on paranoia and insanity, somewhere between being locked up and rediscovering the world.
Afraid, shut off inside a shelter in order to protect himself from a possible catastrophe, he imagines a purely fantastical reality and projects himself in a post-catastrophe era so as to better understand its whys and wherefores. His world is narrow and dark, full of convoluted logic and tortuous schemes. He deliberately plunges into darkness to be able to fight it better (Mains d’Œuvres, September 4 - October 12, 2014). Weary of his own neurosis, filled with obscure images, the fictional character decides to come out of his den and rediscover his city, Shanghai, looking strangely younger. The project Memoirs of an Amnesiac – ! presented at the Bazaar Compatible in Shanghai will be created on site with artists from the art scene in Shanghai. It will echo this new vision of the city.
At the Maison populaire, the character returns from the future and goes back to the past in order to avoid the potential catastrophe already so familiar to him. In response to this Chinese character’s strangely jovial mood and extraordinary itinerary, Laura Gozlan creates a gloomy visual framework while Nicolas Moulin describes various worlds and parallel time spans. Maxime Bondu designs the lights for the exhibition space and Antoine Boute develops a burial revolution and offers us a workshop on the end of the world. Thierry Fournier transforms our relation to the Montreuil environment into a humorous fiction and drama, while Jean-Luc Verna makes the loudspeakers in the concert hall vibrate with the sound of rock ‘n roll. Denis Villeneuve’s short film Next Floor also provides a cinematic glance at a constantly renewed catastrophe which becomes more present each time.
Memoirs of an Amnesiac – ! is a free and fictional interpretation of two contemporary political, social and architectural theories; the theory of an enlightened doom-saying – defined in 2002 by philosopher Jean-Pierre Dupuy – and the Junk Space theory established by Rem Koolhaas in 2001. According to the enlightened doom-saying theory, it is possible to avoid catastrophe by projecting ourselves into the post-catastrophe era so as to examine it retrospectively and thus to avoid its occurrence. Time is no longer chronological, it becomes circular. Junk Space offers an analysis of generic cities and their growth, their aesthetics, their mythology and the emptiness which fills them. Shanghai is an illustrious example.
Fiction, science fiction, humor, paranoia, playful doom-mongering, urban discovery, round-trips in time and traumas from the future, are all part of the narrative and visual framework of this three-part project.