La société du spectacle

"The whole life of the societies in which modern conditions of production reign
promises to be an immense accumulation of shows."

When Guy Debord wrote "La société du spectacle" (1967) at the dawn of the revolutionary movements of May 68, capitalism was booming. He pursues the thought of Marx's "Capital" on the fetishism of the commodity by adding to it the notion of "spectacle" (show, entertainement). The political essay is dense and rich in concepts, all resounding in a very contemporary way with the state of the world in 1968.

When Mary Sue produced the eponymous video installation from Guy Debord's book in 2017, she intercepted by analogy the "cultural" elements of the critical essay by transposing them to the scale of the art market. Initially planned to be shown at contemporary art fairs, this work is excluded from the market (from sales, and therefore from the show) by offering only its display.
Taking on the role of the mountebank, the buffoon, the character caricatures a street beggar in full performance. A hat placed in front of the screen which disseminates a pseudo artistic "savoir-faire" invites spectators (potentially collectors and/or philantropic patrons) to support Creation by giving money. The character's grotesque performance (rigged juggling, amateur tap dancing and barely audible sound of flute) invites us to reflect on the quality of a work and its intrinsic value.
By analogy, the structure of an art fair is the mirror of urban architecture. While the gallery's booth represent the house, the alleys recall the streets. The installation, placed casually on the ground on a cardboard, is at the border of these two worlds, like a half homeless, as if to signify the complexity and the fragility of the artist in his connection to the world (of art).

Under its futile appearance, the video installation is a brutal reflection on the position of the artist, his existence and the commercial potential of the works he creates, on the cultural players in this market and on the very concept of "value" of a work.

It was presented and supported for the first time at Independent Art Fair in Brussels in 2018 by The Merchant House Gallery.

If for Debord "The true is a moment of the false *" here, it is the simulacrum and the caricature of the artist amusing the gallery who relays "the false as a moment of the true."

*(Thesis 9 / Chapter 1 / La société du spectacle)

( left ) View at Independent Art Fair, Brussels, 2018
( right ) Detail of the installation : hat, money.

Situation view of the installation on the booth of The Merchant House Gallery
Independent Art Fair, Brussels, 2018

La société du spectacle
Video installation, mixed media
Cardboard, hat, mechanical soft toy, money, flat screen
Hd video for flat screen, stereo sound, continuous duration, 2017

La société du spectacle
HD video performance for flat screen, stereo sound, continuous duration, 2017

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