«Tout mon travail consiste à déplacer très légèrement quelque chose qui existe déjà. C’est à chacun de lire ce déplacement comme il l’entend. Il n’y a pas de vérité dans mon travail.»
— Jean-Michel Alberola.
Some people say Jean-Michel Alberola, is at the same time one of the best-known and one of the most mysterious French artists of his generation. I’ve just discovered him in a solo exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo called “L’aventure des details“. A a very peculiar and curious experience that managed to amazed me in many ways.
Right at the beginning of the exhibition there’s a statement by Alberola that inform his work in general and the foundation of this exhibition in particular: “Any show, even a solo one, is a group exhibition.” The artist’s influences are always there with him, in the case of Alberola that presence is -more often than not- explicit and playful. From Franz Kafka to Guy Debord, from Heidegger to Picasso (and Pikachu).
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Alberola is a French artist born in Algeria in 1953 from a Spanish dad. His art is a peculiar juxtaposition of texts, images, sculptures, photos, neons, collected objects, words, comics, dices, notebooks and even blueprints. He stands “between conceptualism, abstraction and figuration, artistic reflection and political questioning”… with an omnipresent touch of humor. I guess that’s one of the things I enjoyed the most, his ability to shed some lightness into art. Somehow his work seem playful and unpretentious but at the same it’s complex and challenging in all seriousness. He’s a very sensible reader of what they called le sprit du temps.
Jean-Michel Alberola’s solo show at the Palais de Tokyo, curated by Katell Jaffrès promises to initiate a journey stimulating both the eyes and the mind. And in my case, that’s exactly what it did. Initiate a journey. In LSD. Doodling a Moleskine. While eating pizza.
The exhibition will be open until the 16th of May, if you’re in Paris, you should definitely go and have a look!