Century Pictures is pleased to present Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster’s Tapis de Lecture (dystopie), an iteration within the artist’s series of “Reading Rugs.”
Gonzalez-Foerster often transmutes the meaning of objects by upending their expected surroundings. Presented here is a large blue rug encompassing nearly the entire exhibition space, lined with stacks of books, chosen by the artist. The space elicits an atmosphere or expanse in which to absorb or wander within one’s mind. Renowned curator Lisette Lagnado described the work as “an innocent invitation to travel, it displays the technological revolution reduced to the interweaving of two types of network: from the printing and typography of the Magical Gutenberg, to a flying coverlet taken from the bed of One Thousand and One Nights.”
An unconventional use of, and atypical encounter within the gallery space emerges: a seemingly personal, intimate, perhaps domestic sensibility offers a glimpse into the artist’s psyche as well as attempting an experiential chronotope; an impression of space/time collapsing or expanding, dependent upon the visitor. Many of the volumes are science fiction, alluding to a dystopic future that our current state of world affairs seems to mirror daily. Here again, the real and the imaginary collapse into one another.
While the books are in a multitude of languages (Spanish, German, French and English), Gonzalez-Foerster also considers the capriciousness of language, dependent upon translation, as each viewer’s experience is determined greatly by the language they can read fluently. But even perusing books in languages not of one’s own can offer a useful exercise, perhaps inadvertently sparking an increased desire for communication or understanding that everyday experience so often evades.
Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster (born 1965, Strasbourg, France) is a cross-disciplinary artist based in France and Brazil. Her work has taken form in immersive installation, film, performance, architecture, literature, and sculpture. Her works have been exhibited internationally and belong in the collections of The Centre Pompidou, Paris; The Tate Modern, London; The Guggenheim Museum, New York; and the Dia Art Foundation, New York, among others. She is a 2002 Marcel Duchamp Award recipient, and is currently represented by 303 Gallery in New York.