Two-volume publication gathering a booklet accompanying Pierre Bismuth's 2015 solo exhibition at Kunsthalle Wien, and a catalogue raisonné indexing his typically serial and often humorous work of the last three decades.
This publication comprises two volumes: a booklet accompanying Pierre Bismuth's 2015 solo exhibition at Kunsthalle Wien, and a catalogue raisonné indexing his typically serial and often humorous work of the last three decades, from five-minute paintings of recipe cards from women's magazines (1986–87) to fried-chicken-flavored polyethylene sculptures (2015). Just like the idiosyncratic mix of conceptualism and appropriation refined by Bismuth throughout his career, Things I Remember I Have Done, But Don't Remember Why I Did Them suggests how easily authorship and intentionality can be undermined, even erased—and Bismuth is not exempt from his own treatment.
For his exhibition at Kunsthalle Wien, titled “Der Kurator, der Anwalt und der Psychoanalytiker,” Bismuth invited a different set of authorities to interpret and give order to his works: curator Luca Lo Pinto, lawyer Laurent Caretto, and psychoanalyst Angel Enciso y Bergé. Each has contributed a text to the booklet that focuses on a selection of works and themes according to his own interests and training. Dessislava Dimova's essay provides a general overview of Bismuth's artistic project, discussing the importance of plasticity, iconography, and simulacra in his visual economy. This underlying instability and ambivalence is also reflected in the catalogue raisonné itself: following the example of Honoré de Balzac, who revised his writings on printer's proofs, this publication is released in the process of its own making. It is a work in progress—an incomplete history of the artist's practice that should be supplemented by its readers.
Published following the exhibition “Der Kurator, der Anwalt und der Psychoanalytiker,” Kunsthalle Wien, from February 4 to March 22, 2015.
Pierre Bismuth (born 1963 in Paris, lives and works in New York, London and Brussels) uses his artistic practice as a tool to examine our perception of reality, especially regarding our relation to cultural productions. With humour and minimal means, Bismuth's work seeks to destabilize the codes of reading for even the most received forms of culture. His procedures seem to follow the laws of entropy by creating effects of constant transformation and spontaneous change, expending the excess energy of a system to reveal its paradoxes. The underlying aim of these strategies is always the same: to destabilize pre-established codes of perception by sabotaging the very logic of his material and to push the viewer to develop critical ideas when presented with cultural objects whose meaning seems obvious.