Artiste-professeur invité


Julien Prévieux

Born in 1974 in Grenobe (France)

Julien Prévieux, born in 1974, is an artist, director and professor at the École Nationale Supérieure des beaux-arts in Paris. Winner of the 2014 Marcel Duchamp Prize, Julien Prévieux has recently shown his work in a number of solo and group exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Art Sonje art centre in Seoul, the MAC in Marseille, the RISD Museum of Art in Providence, the ZKM in Karlsruhe, the 13th Lyon Biennale and the 10th Istanbul Biennale. His performances have been presented at the Ménagerie de Verre in Paris, the T2G in Gennevilliers and the Usine C in Montreal.

Prévieux made a name for himself with his Lettres de non-motivation, which he sent for several years to employers in response to advertisements in the press, detailing the reasons why he was not applying. Using various forms of expression, from installation to performance, he interrogates contemporary technological and economic rationalities in their effects and their hold on individual and collective bodies. The projects carried out by the artist often take on the appearance of what they denounce; they blend in, appropriate and then refuse, zealous but mocking. Consciously adopting the posture of the individual confronted with whole sections of society which, in many respects, find themselves dehumanised, Prévieux develops a strategy of counter-productivity, or what the philosopher Élie During called, in relation to his practice, "counter-employment" (contre-emploi).

His recent films and performances share a common framework of research that starts with studying the influence of technologies on the body and similar methods of artistic translation whereby performers set out to reincarnate scientific materials. For example, in Of Balls, Books and Hats four performers presented key experiments in machine learning. Both experimenters and subjects of the experiment, the performers mimed a range of learning processes, from sports movement recognition to buying and selling negotiation techniques. In this strange laboratory, the bodies are mechanical and child-like, precise and stupid, as if they have only the vaguest awareness of the rules of physics or life in society. Technical devices permeate the bodies, but they are always absent or evoked in the form of crude bricolage. It is the impact of generalised computation on bodies and their arrangements that is highlighted, with the means at hand.

During his year at Le Fresnoy, Julien Prévieux plans to carry out two projects. Following on from his work on gestures and movements, he plans to explore the possibilities offered by recent developments in motion capture, physics-based animation and procedural animation programmes to produce a documentary form and a choreographic composition tool. On another level he wishes to complete the filmic form of the Codex Spatium project that is currently at the conception stage. Codex Spatium is an artistic work questioning the rules and laws that govern our relationship to property (private property, public property, social property, access rights, copyright, appropriation/non-appropriation, common goods), taking the form of a game and mobilising a discipline little known to the public: space law. The film will aim to report on different games between players and will take place in a replica of the International Space Station.