Rémi Coignet, Trait d'union

Jean-Kenta Gauthier Odéon

February 3 - March 23

Jean-Kenta Gauthier Odéon
5 rue de l'Ancienne-Comédie  75006 Paris

Opening: Saturday 3 February, 4 - 7 pm
Hours: Wed - Sat, 2 - 7 pm

    On view from 3 February to 23 March in our Odéon gallery, Rémi Coignet, Trait d'union brings together works by Daniel Blaufuks, Raphaël Dallaporta and JH Engström in tribute to Rémi Coignet (1969-2023) and his work.

    An art critic, author, publisher and thinker of the artist's book and one of its recent manifestations, the photobook, Rémi was a friend of fifteen years. A cheerful witness to the birth of the gallery, he was also a supporter. Daniel Blaufuks, Raphaël Dallaporta and JH Engström are three wonderful artists whom I met through Rémi and with whom, over the years, we have undertaken magnificent projects which, in our world, produce meaning and poetry.

    The hyphen - in French, "trait d'union", literally "linking dash" - is a typographic mark. Rémi was a man of texts, and his mission was to be the link among us. The three works in the exhibition have a clear relation with this dimension. Daniel Blaufuks (b. 1963, lives in Lisbon) has recreated pages from his diary dedicated to Rémi, which he has sent to us in an envelope addressed to him by Rémi, like a return to the sender for whom the gallery is a second home. Raphaël Dallaporta (b. 1980, lives in Paris), who questions our society's obsession with recording, has redacted many pages from Rémi Coignet's famous Conversations, retaining only the short off-screen notes, often 'laughs', in memory of his friend's vitality and the moments of joy that many shared with him. Rémi Coignet's conversations are peppered with indications akin to stage directions, making these interviews lively scenes in which the author speaks directly to the reader. JH Engström (b. 1969, lives in Montreuil) enlarged a photograph of a page he has typed using a jammed machine, repeating the word 'poetry' so often that the viewer ends up reading 'try poetry'. Rémi Coignet's written ?uvre is an attempt to produce meaning, like poetry; and as Engström likes to say, only poetry will survive us.

    The hypen was also for Christian Boltanski (1944-2021) the link between the dates of birth and death, the symbol of life. Rémi was a great admirer of Boltanski, whose immense body of work took the form of numerous artist's books.

     Rémi and I spent many hours discussing the relationship between text and image. This exhibition, in which all the works are based on this relationship, is one that we basically conceived together. We dedicate it warmly to Marpessa, his daughter, and Maria, his wife, as well as to all the friends of our beloved Rémi.


? Jean-Kenta Gauthier, January 2024

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