Observer of the Techniques at WallRiss / Fribourg, Switzerland

Observer of the Techniques 

Artists: Melanie Akeret, Nora Berman, Valentin Carron, Félise de Conflans, Elise Corpataux, Adam Cruces & Louisa Gagliardi, Basile Dinbergs & Jessy Razafimandimby, Natacha Donzé, Paula Henrike Herrmann, Gil Pellaton, Louise Sartor, Gaia Vincensini, Baker Wardlaw, Romane de Watteville

16 September - 20 October, 2019

Varis 10-12
1700 Fribourg

What is it like to make «subjective» choices for an exhibition? From June 26 to July 31, 1998, Pat Hearn Gallery and Matthew Marks Gallery presented «Painting: Now and Forever», the first part of an exhibition that will be repeated twice. At Part II in 2008, the press release states: «That exhibition was a highly subjective, celebratory survey of contemporary pain- ting, and it is in this spirit that the current show has been organized».

The subjective choice announced here is associated with the «affinity» choice, a method chosen to have an exhibition that reflects a current situation in pictorial production. This method rationalizes a decision-making process, based on subjective judgments supposed to be close to personal experience, unlike an objective judgment based outside the individual.The «affinity» method would thus produce the desired effect: that of gathering pictorial practices that deal with the status of the image, its circulation and saturation.

 However, images are now processed by autonomous algorithmic processes, which develop their own way of classifying images in a new visualization model, independently of the human eye that has long governed these codes and organized their logic. In the context of a new economy that extracts the value of our cognitive abilities, what specificity allows the subjective method «by affinity»? If the goal is to get out of an objective judgment as a form of pure rationality, what are the criteria for this selection? Whose desires, whose goals? Are there decision-making processes that address individual values and preferences and respect integrity outside of an automatic process? 

The artists presented at WallRiss, chosen by affinity, all present a relevant way of dealing with contemporary pictorial issues. WallRiss, by choosing to use the «affinity» method, suggests that its own technique should also be observed here. The individual preferences that form judgments are not based solely on taste, but depend more broadly on a set of values, which can therefore be modified, and thus modify the method itself. Observing the techniques means taking the method as the basis of organization, as the framework within which the different choices are made.