Alexis Vaillant

  • Options with Nostrils

    Options with Nostrils

    Alexis Vaillant

    Options with Nostrils brings together a collection of previously unpublished essays, both theoretical and visual, by artists, curators, a writer, a scholar, and a group of postgraduates from the Piet Zwart Institute's Fine Art programme in Rotterdam, who together founded the “Office for the Unknown.”

    Published as the outcome of a one-year-long project which curator Alexis Vaillant developed upon the invitation of Vanessa Ohlraun at Piet Zwart Institute in 2010, it investigates notions of the unknown and the unpredictable and looks at ways in which these notions enable a critical view on the conditions of art making within what one may call the “contemporanism” we live in. Revealing this process, the publication presents a series of proposals, ideas, shifts, and continuities. Labyrinthine in structure and outlook, Options with Nostrils aims to destabilize the belief that there is an order of things in response to which the artist holds a decisive position, maybe because, as Sarat Maharaj has said, “the artist has an unknowability, the ability to unknow.”

    Co-published with Piet Zwart Institute, Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam

    ContributorsKathryn Elkin, Anthony Huberman, Raimundas Malašauskas, Nathaniel Mellors, Marco Pasi, Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Dieter Roelstraete, Aaron Schuster, Alexis Vaillant, and Giles Bailey, Martijn in't Veld, Serena Lee, Arvo Leo, Susana Pedrosa, Linda Quinlan, Lee Welch, Camilla Wills, Timmy van Zoelen

    • Paperback $18.00
  • BigMinis


    Fetishes of Crisis

    Alexis Vaillant

    After incarnating the “boom object” of the industrialized nations in the 1950s and 1960s, unaided, the compact object is nowadays regarded at once as cute (minority, superfluous) and disquieting (metaphysical, critical, and mutinous). We hate to love it and love to hate it. The contemporary mini has sex appeal. Even when multiplied, it remains one-off.

    This mini, compact catalogue, written in both French and English and available in six different colors, accompanies the exhibition “BigMinis,” at CAPC museum of contemporary art of Bordeaux. Both explore the fascination that things “scaled down” wield these days, afflicted by the crisis as we all are. If it is possible to see in the mini a harbinger of crisis, as well as a reflection and a critical consequence of this latter, we must also not overlook the fact that it usually represents an unexpected and off-kilter response to the recession. Because a reduction in size conveys the idea of a reduction in cost, space, and time, it likens the production of the compact to an intelligent, reactive production, adapted to its economic and cultural context. A control-production.

    The exhibition “BigMinis” is a dialectical show which brings together 182 works by seventy-two contemporary artists, enhanced by several emblematic historical works all coming from French and foreign public collections, private foundations, private collections, galleries, and artists. It has come into being in the current economic climate, with the aim of questioning the fascinating attraction with what we might call “fetishes of crisis.”

    ContributorsBruce Hainley, Jennifer Higgie, Claire Moulène, David Musgrave, Aaron Schuster, Alexis Vaillant

    • Paperback $14.95
  • Jean-Luc Blanc

    Jean-Luc Blanc

    Opera Rock

    Alexis Vaillant

    “Jean-Luc Blanc mostly paints portraits. A traditional medium and conventional genre, his relate uneasily to portraiture's genealogy.... Like phantoms, the people he paints have no corporeality, much less a developed identity; and like actors, his subjects appear 'in character,' void of self, projecting the lives of others.”—Alex Farqhuarson

    “The only reality is the darkroom of the artist's mind—sensitized by feeling and memory—which develops truth from the minutiae of impressions, to reveal the timeless laws underlying apparent chaos.”—Rhonda Lieberman

    This is the first monograph on the French artist's enigmatic “glam” oeuvre. It documents his retrospective exhibition at the CAPC Musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux, where Blanc's works have been juxtaposed to those of forty-five historic and contemporary artists as well as to numerous artifacts, antiques, jewels, crystals, curios, and naturalia; thus, setting up what shall be considered a “collective retrospective.”

    ContributorsAlex Farqhuarson, Thierry Jousse, Melvin MotiInterview by Alexis Vaillant

    • Paperback $32.00
  • Légende


    Alexis Vaillant

    Traditionally, all legends are conveyed through fables and stories based on secrets, lies, manipulations, and exaggerations of historical and popular truths. Legend is archaic speech that circulates in close connection with images. As such, it comes close to the imaginary. Lodged in a distant past, legend seems initially to have nothing in common with this era's perpetual present. And yet, the present produces its narratives too. Today's stories are digital carriers of information, strung out on “dot-com hysteria” and fifteen seconds of fame. But because this present only exists through the hypothetical future we grant it, and because we can barely process the records it incessantly extrudes, its history is becoming increasingly impossible to write: we walk on the edge of legend.

    This book accompanies the eponymous exhibition at the castle of Chamarande in France (May 25–September 28, 2008) which assembles the recent work of fifty international artists who interrogate the artificiality of the current world and render up intensified visions of it. Artists include David Altmejd, Peter Coffin, Anne Collier, Michaela Eichwald, Jason Fox, Karl Holmqvist, Uwe Henneken, Jason Meadows, Pae White, Lisa Yuskavage, et al.

    ContributorsJean-Philippe Antoine, J. G. Ballard, Craig Buckley, Yoann Gourmel, Will Holder, Karl Holmqvist, Raimundas Malasauskas, Shimabuku, Alexis Vaillant, Tris Vonna-Michell

    • Paperback $26.00