The meter, the kilogram and the second are three of the seven basic units of the International System, adopted in its entirety only in 1971, and from which all other physical units can be derived. They draw our relationship to the world and structure our perception, As conventions, they mark a certain standardisation of modern society.
These units are intrinsically part of all works of art, but it is only since conceptual art that they have become content and artistic expression in themselves. Presented as self-referential true statements, they state an obvious, measurable property of the work. This tautological approach, characteristic of conceptual art, points to the very genesis and structure of the artwork. It investigates the very nature and limits of artistic activity by analysing fundamental elements that are usually implicit. In doing so, these measures, like other collective conventions such as language, question the place and justification of any system of signs in our culture.
Since then ‘measuring’, ‘weighting’, ‘counting’,… belong to the artistic vocabulary and have become the base of new artistic practices. This exhibition takes a look at how these methods have influenced current artistic practice, and provide the context for their re-appropriation. Consequently this exhibition lies in the continuity of the exhibition on “time”, questioning the notions of objectivity and measurability, where fundamental and abstract notions define artistic methods.
It is through the pairings “measure / space”, “measure / body” and “measurement / comparisons” that this exhibition is articulated. It is the result of the collaboration with Christophe Veys, where the selection and the way the works of art are set in dialogue follow the very subject of the exhibition, the principle of measurements. (Société press-release)