M/M (Paris): L’île Au Trésor (The Treasure Island)
26 January – 08 March 2008, Air de Paris.
“The Treasure Island” is a pirate fantasy, an adventure starting in 2003, involving the rehabilitation by M/M of some abandoned manuscripts, found in the street before the garbage men passed by: novellas, beginnings of novels, and the letters to publishers accompanying them. “Rehab”: these unselected excerpts have been transcribed with a great deal of care and attention, using a specific typography, a layout as for an anthology, a de luxe tome for bibliophiles with refined binding. It is presented in a small reading cabinet, a dedicated piece of furniture, which unfolds, a library of just one book, and a reading nook for just one reader. This latter is placed on a printed carpet, surrounded by heat-moulded Plexiglas frames, which cover engravings alluding to the nomadic pleasures of reading. These same engravings, in which, for example, there appear the pirate/corsair writings of Pasolini, punctuate the book like an adventure novel. The title, borrowed from Robert Louis Stevenson, conjures up a pirate figure and evokes issues involving royalties, issues rocking the digital age: the book’s contents are all stolen, to put it in a nutshell. As the inhabitant of an island, a small pixellized pirate intervenes as a digital mascot disguised as a light sculpture. And if you take a closer look, the heat-moulded Plexiglas of the frames, which encircle the reading cabinet, bear the positive imprint of this little pirate. Last of all, as the last circle, the walls are covered with wallpaper, which borrows the motif of the flyleaves. Like a Moebius strip, the inside is also outside. The head turns to the bibliophile: this book has a worm hole with spherical symmetry! Gutenberg revolution permitted the production of books aimed at the largest possible readership. The Gutenberg galaxy has seen the critique of the swapping relations between the medium and the message, and this reference is still pertinent.
A few snippets of texts, which have not been used for the printing, are here rehabilitated with extreme seriousness. A copy of this installation is also being shown at the Alexandre Dumas Lycée in Moscow. Mastery, contemporary vanitas, absurd tribute, dialectic of form, or poetic drift?
Mathias Augustyniak and Michael Amzalag are creators and founders of M/M (Paris), graphic studio from 1992. Michael Amzalag (born in 1968) studied in Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, and Mathias Augustyniak (born in 1967) in Royal College of Arts in London. They had personal exhibitions in numerous institutions in France and abroad: Consortium, Dijon; Rocket Gallery, Tokyo; Rectangle, Lyon; Cneai, Chatou; Kunstverein, Francfort; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Haunch of Venison, London.
To see: Exhibition M/M (Paris) « Vision tenace » in Centre Pompidou until February 18th 2008
Download: M/M (Paris) Posters Catalogue 2008
Source: M/M (Paris)
The fate of a designer is not determined by the public system, but by the way he sees his own life