Each year, gallery owners participating to ART-O-RAMA choose within the Show Room, space dedicated to artists working in the Marseilles-Provence area, the guest artist of the following edition. This year, ART-O-RAMA guest artist is Pascal Martinez (born in 1971. Lives and works in Marseilles).
Concerning the production of his original project for ART-O-RAMA, this year sets a special collaboration between him and the Cirva (International Centre for Research on Glass and Visual Arts) in the frame of Les Ateliers de l’EuroMéditerranée, a workshops programme set by Marseille-Provence 2013, European Capital of Culture.
Regarding my exhibition project as Guest Artist of ART-O-RAMA 2010 edition, my will is to create a link between the ideas of writing and participation that would respond to the edition of my first monographic catalogue.
Secret is this project’s main subject, that is about hidden writing, ban of telling and revealing a part of oneself. Isn’t the obsession about secrets recurrent in human relationships, a sociological rule ?
According to Freud, first secrets appear during childhood in answer to the lack of explanations from parents on some issues. Secret is not always a time bomb. Even if most secrets can prove to be quite disappointing, it is mostly the way people deal with them that really matters.
Secret in Latin simply means "withdrawal of something", as something being in the background. This definition builds my exhibition project : the creation of a "library of secrets".
In our western cultures, artworks are protected, and made sacred. The exhibition space is a mostly secured and supervised venue where the public is allowed to look but not to touch. It is allowed to absorb but not to borrow. The perfect place to exhibit without stripping ; An outlet without danger.
Serge Tisseron describes the search for a new territory as "extémité"; word that first appeared in 1969 with Jacques Lacan. It consists in people exteriorizing and re-appropriating elements of their private life through the exchanges they convey with their relatives.
My project is not quite compliant to this problematics, as the participant will not have their secret revealed. They are not to put themselves prominent as any reality show participant. What I want is to create a line, a frontier between intimacy and "extémité".
The difficult thing about the project was to find a way to keep the secret shut up. A secret imprisoned within a visible medium. Glass appeared to be the ideal material, for its transparency and also its density – and the Cirva, the ideal place to produce this piece.
My participation as Guest Artist to ART-O-RAMA goes with the edition of a monographic catalogue which construction will reflect the link between all the pieces that belong to my corpus since 1998 : writing, the participation of a group of persons to the building of a wider project and the ambiguity of the medium. As for, I decided no images would appear in the catalogue. I asked about forty persons to describe a work. Each of them chose a piece according to their affinity with it. The text replaces – makes the image, and everyone is free to make their own.
For his participation to ART-O-RAMA 2010 as Guest Artist, Pascal Martinez decided to create a piece which main part would be made out of glass blocks. So he naturally asked the Cirva, based in Marseilles since 1986, for its collaboration to the making of the piece.
The Cirva answered his call with much enthusiasm and launched in an exceptional production : the making of a hundred moulded glass blocks that shut up the secrets revealed to the artist by his friends ; And the artist entered the secret of the Cirva’s workshops : A place where he has been working with technicians, focussing on his project with efforts and means at hand to materialize it.
For the Cirva it is an exceptional collaboration for two reasons : the challenge to get involved in an ambitious, delicate, and risky artist project ; and its exhibition in Marseilles in the frame of ART-O-RAMA, international fair of contemporary art, event dedicated to the art market and which intelligently participates to the opening of the city to international dimensions.
Isabelle Reiher, Directrice du Cirva