The Scores of Feelings / Frédéric Emprou
“ To construct this piece on love, we ‘edited together’ pieces from a range of different sources.”1
Pascale-Sophie Kaparis invites the viewer and the reader to encounter a mobile which evolves like a moving target. Pièces sur l’amour brings to mind the palimpsest – the work presents a series of successive slides and paths that branch off from its fabric, like a free, uninterrupted invitation to interpretation.
With its collages of visual sequences and superimposed sound loops Pièces sur l’amour develops an aesthetic of plurality and a multitude of different voices. It experiments with different tracks and voices, which serve to underpin the apprehension and elucidation of feelings of love. Intersecting with biographical details, Pascale’s proposition goes hand in hand with the writing in a plastic canvas, whose frame provides the pretext for embarking upon a description of the phenomenon of love.
The polysemy of the title suggests an attempt to shed light on this simple enigma, presenting new aspects we might contribute to the dossier of this hypothetical investigation. This is a hybrid subject of an undefinable genre, the neuter figure suggested by Pièces sur l’amour highlights the impersonal nature of the viewpoint adopted and the resources brought into play.
Using equivocal ideas grasped by the merging of the different filmed interviews, Pascale-Sophie Kaparis pursues an investigation in the form of a narration in the third person. This unusual director exploring intimacy is an artist presenting us with oscillations between general remarks, projections and, in particular, points of view, as one might proceed via a focus that is indirect and extended.
The proposition ‘sur’ (on) seems to refer to the idea of an iconoclastic treatment of the subject, but also to numerous reversibilities, as well as to possible material manifestations. Bringing us places, where multiplicities alternate with particular facets and facial expressions, Pièces sur l’amour emerges like an arrangement of drawings and video artefacts. Haunted spaces, territory in which people pass through briefly or visit – these “pieces” or plays put themselves to the test: they refer us back specifically to the space in the rooms of the exhibition. We wander both mentally and physically through the space that marries demonstration and architecture in the Lab-Labanque art centre.
Having chosen to compose the exhibition around this theme, the artist’s project takes on a musical connotation, such as an elegant ritornello, a rhythmic variation on indistinct tempos. The animated paintings are brought to life and the sinuous, interwoven contours of this mysterious continent are traced as if by an impressionist.
Using the theme of love, Pascale-Sophie Kaparis highlights a topos, making a nod and final reference in the direction of literary tradition. In the same manner, in which she would replay a score of Stendhal’s, she aligns the new contours of these links and turns them into a sensory machine.
Tailoring sensitivity - Familiar with fragmentation, the writer Jean-Jacques Schuhl described his last book thus: “I need a central thread around which to construct a book. And, in the end, all the elements are united by this thread and so to each other.”2 A diffuse body of narrated work, the composite happening of Pieces sur l’amour is held together by assembling surfaces and amplified echoes suspended like an all-embracing montage: Pascale-Sophie Kaparis weaves together a network of real experiences, which is further enhanced by the juxtaposition of drawings and videos.
Talking about love using disparate and scattered fragments suits the atomized, elusive nature of feelings. The phenomena of vaporization and capillarity contribute to the creation of a boundary area, a region infinitely fantastical and prismatic. “This sort of transparent space with undefined borders, where everything that is adjoined, joined, conjoined and disjointed for us resides and wanders, all that is distant is drawn in nearer, so that space and time are rendered immediate and kindred.”3
Abounding in images, accounts and words, Pieces sur l’amour is involved in a blending and a mix orchestrating silences and ghostly presences: this heterogeneous ensemble mimics the movements which can bedeck the emotion of love. Through this truly spiritual, nomadic material, Pascale Kaparis attempts to capture what defines this corpus called “love”.
Notes, touches, faces - The pictorial quality of the video excerpts distils a particular naturalism which is enhanced by stark images and colours we could class as itemized. The sobriety of the shots and the background, the camera zooms and the intervention of the artist’s stance heighten the intimacy of the accounts of the French and Dutch teenagers. Fake monologues are delivered with a fresh and fluid tone, during which the facial expressions, poses and intonation take on very specific qualities. These monologues offer an opportunity to demonstrate the importance of the physical embodiment of love. The subject of the discourse – the fact of love - comes to life now through words expressed in this large space containing parts of the message, of the significant and the signified…
Simultaneous and overlapping words and sound loops with phrases borrowed from the various protagonists highlight the chaotic character of appearance and disappearance. Like the translation of a foreign language, Pièces sur l’amour comes into being through the different condensations and crystallizations of its various manifestations.
Red Sketches - Working in progress pursues the pictorial work in parallel. Pascale-Sophie Kaparis’ drawings reveal suggestive punctuation alongside the video projections in the exhibition space. Anatomies of living beings, these umbilical shapes belong to the organic register and convey matter in gestation that the artist appropriates through regular practice. Cut-outs and visions of an unspecified body, these appendices and intestines could correspond to the desire to examine anyone’s inside.
Landscapes of volutes and sheaths or filled spaces, these drawings serve to enlarge the vast territory of the domain of introspection. A Carte du tendre of a new type, these canvases arrange an interim moment marked by voids and calligraphic strokes, absence and forgetting, dreams and contemplation. As one might say of a painter, Pièces sur l’amour presents itself like a frame, inside which the spectator is immersed and wades through memories, accomplishment and grateful recognition.
A huge hollow portrait, Pièces sur l’amour improvises like a sound box reproducing heartbeats and flashes in this never-ending story. Pascale Kaparis’ rescripting does not purport to be an exhaustive account of the subject, but perhaps an approach characteristic of its time, using both the present and what is already out of date, creating for us an extended moment of new beginnings and incompleteness. A way into Pièces sur l’amour may be to recall the pertinent laconicism of Barthes’ phrase on irreducibility, which is both simple and eternally applicable, “It’s a story about a lover who talks and who says...”4
Frédéric Emprou - 2010
Writer and art critic
Pièces sur l'Amour / Pieces on Love
Exhibition and catalog
1 Roland Barthes, Fragments d’un discours amoureux, Seuil, 1977, coll. Tel Quel.
2 Jean-Jacques Schuhl, Entretien avec Josyane Savigneau, in Le Monde des livres, 15 January, 2010.
3 Hélène Cixous, Entretien avec Aliocha Wald Lasowski, in Le Magazine littéraire, October, 2008.
4 Roland Barthes, op. cit.