A Space for Live Art Exhibition

Opening the nothing, or how live art challenges the archive, and vice versa

Béatrice Josse

A Space for Live Art Exhibition/ Exhibition, currated by Béatrice Josse

How to archive live art performances? How to capture the fleeting moment of a live piece of artwork? How to outwit the power of archival images? How to prevent the fetishization of archives? These contradictions have led us, almost naturally, to challenge live art spectators and to preserve the spirit of live art in the very process of archiving.
Triggering the memory to lose it even better: such would be the principle prevailing on the installation of archive boxes which contain images carefully chosen by each of the programming team of the different festivals.
Being in the presence of a living archive and putting it in danger simply by consulting it. Halfway between the artist who has irreparably delivered his secret without any possible reiteration, and the historian constantly opening boxes from the past, the audience will be free to choose its own attitude.
Opening these boxes will eventually destroy the images they contain. The photographs will disappear under the daylight. The spectator, curious to reminisce a live art performance and the instant lived through it, will make the image its own and thus make it disappear as it was in a single movement.
What to do? To open or not to open these boxes? This dilemma turns the spectator responsible for his own actions, single actor of his memory.
“A piece of art,” says Malevich, “has to come out of nothing. It does not proceed from anything being, even from a nothingness in being, but from the nothing it opens. Its manifestation takes place in the openness as long as it opens under the form an artwork’s nothing, which existence, every time unique, is an entrance in presence into openness.” (in Ouvrir le rien: l'art nu, Henri Maldiney, 2003, Klincksieck) (Béatrice Josse)
Organisation: City of Women; In collaboration with: Old Power Station – Elektro Ljubljana.
Exhibition was produced in the framework of “A Space for Live Art Project”.