Artiste-professeur invité


Patrick Corillon

Born in 1959 in Knokke (Belgium)

Patrick Corillon shows affinities with Borges and with the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa, who propagated fictitious persona, friends and acquaintances, generated by this text, constructing for them lives of their own that build into a network of close relations.

Patrick Corillon has created ten characters who move from exhibition to exhibition incorporating the most fleeting aspects of their biography. In the beginning (1988), he did not divulge their identity. In 1991, the artist changed tack, lifting the anonymity of some of these fictitious figures from former times, such as Oskar Serti, born 1881, died 1959.

In the manner of a journalist, Patrick Corillon plays with the idea of the artist traveling about, staging exhibitions, and filing reports on the adventures occurring to each of these invited personages. The image is of art as adventure, as risk, referencing worlds created during childhood.

Since 1998, Patrick Corillon and Patrick Corillon's stories have left off characters from the past, and now tap into the present in accordance with notions of community; now, it is you, us, who have become the subject.

In opposition to many contemporary strategies, Patrick Corillon's stories reveal themselves only gradually, and if they pass very close to objects in the sites with which are concerned, they do not generate images as such. Mental ones excepted.

This is an oeuvre in the sense Umberto Eco gives to the word; a work that never finishes, a hypertext open to infinity. And also a work that one can pass by without seeing, so much does it melt into its context; the access codes necessary to its manifestation are clearly constituted by reading and text.

The slices of everyday life Patrick Corillon offers up are always anchored in the places where they occur. Fiction is for the artist a postulate of the real; not an escape from reality, but a strategy for engaging with it. An investigative method.

In his understated manner, Patrick Corillon sets the viewer to work as areader of contemporary art since Duchamp. As an actor who gives life to the piece. With his stories, he formulates a screen of mental images in which all can partake. To render the invisible visible, to act in one's own "movie" -- that is what the artist is striving to get us to do.

The project underway at the Fresnoy is centered on topics such as: "How are we to be of our time?", "Why should we be of our time?"