no future without a past, the time to die is now, the time to tremble now is the time to live

Jérôme Conscience’s typographic wall installation consists of four phrases in capital letters, self-adhesive, gold and fuchsia, punctuating the walls of the exhibition spaces. With these serious lithane-sounding phrases, the artist reacts to two strong presences, the Notre-Dame-du-Haut du Corbusier chapel and the Poor Clares Convent under construction by Renzo Piano, which overlooking Ronchamp embrace the small town. Its authoritarian assertions also echo the injunction intended, previously, for the employees of the spinning mill, taken up as the title of this exhibition. In doing so, Jérôme Conscience pushes the limits of his research on language, body, interpretation and the relationships forging between these elements.

In the trace left by Marcel Duchamps’ thought that an artist is capable of rethinking the world and restoring meaning through language, Jérôme Conscience works on the semiology of meaning, the sound and the plasticity of words, like Mallarmé, while questioning their relationship to the body and to the image. The formal simplicity of the Futura Light font and their always white and smooth background places the words in a tension between the sensitive and the disembodied, tension prolonged by the objects often used in his installations (bed, stool, onesie, prie-dieux, mirrors, pumps, panties, nighties, basques) subtly oscillating between eroticism and spirituality. For Defense of cleaning in motion, by invoking the notions of life, death, the past and the future, by thundering the “now” as the only time to live, to tremble and to die, the artist flattens temporality and questions authority in a social moment of exceptional fragility as well as, in the line of Barthes, the notion of author, the position of the artist. His martial-rhythm statements acquire a lyrical dimension through repetition and variations that are both subtle and acute. The sensible is there undifferentiated from meaning, just as the political is nested in the personal. Jérôme Conscience seeks to open up through the mirror effect: the multiplication, the abyss, the inversion, the creation of images, the duplication.

Sandra Černjul