See below

All in the name of the name

Out-of-doors exhibition at the Rencontres d’Arles
From 01/07/2024 to 29/09/2024

At l’Église Saint-Anne

Graffiti slides with the precarious matter of the real. In pure loss, it is a feeling, an attitude, a modus operandi.

Freed from its aesthetic aspects, graffiti constitutes a mental and physical account of the margins, an original writing of the shadows of prehistory and childhood. Since the signs of the hobos and those who evangelized New York’s decrepit silver subway system in 1970, graffiti has been a kinetic form of writing, borrowing the perspectives of the rails that lacerate the landscapes. A painting of disequilibrium, graffiti arises from the verticality of architecture, its nooks and crannies, its grime, its dead ends. Vandalism is a form of care that illuminates forgotten surfaces. It’s romantic: graffiti kills time. A painting of urgent patience, one must wait to act swiftly. An opaque painting, graffiti (de)composes community languages. It’s about chosen identity, style, erratic flow, draws, colors and head-down, to-the-ground remixes.

Painting of the fault line, graffiti is an outgrowth. A language of protest, it is also a process of domination: toxic masculine writing. Humankind was born a tagger. While the signature is a sign of authenticity, the anonymity creates a self-portrait, yet graffiti emerges to disappear, leaving only traces and wounds, to steal Henri Michaux’s ills. The ultra-visible combines with the unspeakable, absence, belief and complaint —so the photographic medium crosses graffiti from the secrecy of the analog era to the age of digital algorithms, for graffiti is also a network of images and mythologies on sensitive surfaces.

Jamel Shabazz, The Righteous Brothers, New York, 1981, Courtesy of the artist & galerie Bene Taschen (Cologne)

Bringing together some forty international artists, All in the Name of the Name gathers and connects visions of disorder to deploy an imagery of turmoil. Documentary, atmospheric, action photography, intimate archives, burntout, forgotten memories, pictorial, police photography: the exhibition stretches out a thought in the negative of graffiti, seen as a revelation of what city and life stir up.

FROM 01/07/2024 TO 29/09/2024

Exhibition coproduced by Palais de Tokyo and The Rencontres d’Arles.