Drumming, e-drumming, book fights and shock waves in Maribor

Good Luck, Archaeologists! is an exhibition that reflects on the 10 years of OTTO-Prod‘s programme of shows, concerts, art residencies and performance in Maribor. You might have never been to Maribor, it’s Slovenia’s second-largest city, it’s charming and it’s actually not that large at all. And maybe you haven’t heard much about OTTO-Prod but i love what these young artists from Marseille have been doing, quietly and with far more talent than money, in Maribor and elsewhere for a decade already.

Antonin Fourneau, R R (a headbanging simulator), 2011. Photo: © Matej Kristovič

Olivier Morvan, Le Cercle de Craie (The Chalk Circle), 2007. Photo ©Matej Kristovič

Paul Destieu, Monsieur Moo, Luce Moreau, and Olivier Tura arrived in Maribor in September 2006. They quickly adopted the collective name of OTTO-Prod, started collaborating with local organizations and individuals (from other artists to beekeepers to seismologists) and coordinated all kinds of artistic events in the city. Traveling back and forth from the South of France to the North of Slovenia, OTTO-Prod gradually built up a structure dedicated to art production. Each Summer, they invite international artists to visit the small city and create new pieces. Some of these works, along with others developed elsewhere in and outside of the country, have been gathered in the Good Luck, Archaeologists! show. Most of the works are by French artists and i think they should be exhibited and discussed outside of the usual circle of french-speaking media art events. These artworks are often bold, sometimes a bit absurd but always relevant and witty. Have a look at the the PDF of the press kit at the bottom of this page for more details.

I haven’t seen the show but i like what OTTO-Prod has done in Maribor so much that i’m now writing the kind of post i always avoid writing. Instead of a personal report from an exhibition, i’m going to copy/paste images from the show along with the little texts that accompany them in the visitors guide. It’s worth twisting your own rules sometimes.

Let’s kick off with a little video tour of the show:

Tour of the exhibition Good Luck, Archaeologists, an exhibition curated by OTTO-Prod at UGM in Maribor, Slovenia

And now for the much promised copy/pasting of visual and text material:

Pierre-Étienne Morelle, Burst, Performance on opening night of the exhibition Good Luck, Archaeologists! in Maribor

Pierre-Étienne Morelle, Burst, Performance on opening night of the exhibition Good Luck, Archaeologists! Photo: ©Matej Kristovič

Pierre-Etienne Morelle pulls meticulously long rubber strings, hooking them step by step together with an undefined blue package located in the centre of the exhibition space. After a minutious and physical fastening, the performer sits in the heart of this installation, lying down face to the ground, getting ready for the triggering of the package. In the frame of the show Good Luck Archaeologists, this performative device will remain in the exhibition space, after its activation on the opening night, together with a video documentation of the performance.

Yves Duranthon, BOOKFIGHTING. Photo: © Matjaž Wenzel

Yves Duranthon, BOOKFIGHTING. Photo: © Matjaž Wenzel

Yves Duranthon, BOOKFIGHTING. Photo: © Matjaž Wenzel

Book Fighting! Just what it says on the tin: 2 people throwing books at each other! I very much approve of the sport!

Yann Leguay, Test Tone, 2016 (Installation at Titanik gallery, Turku, 2013)

Yann Leguay, Test Tone, 2016. Photo: © Matej Kristovič

Yann Leguay’s installation piece Test Tone, 1000 Hz, 33 rpm consists of a vinyl record and a re- cord player whose respective motions have been reversed. The player, arm and stylus revolve around the static record in order to create a 1000 Hz test tone frequency, albeit with a momentary glitch at a slightly higher frequency on each revolution.

Yann Leguay, The Song of the Second Moon, 2011. Photo: © Matej Kristovič

The Song of the Second Moon consists of a vertical 33 LP stack, from which few vinyl discs have been gradually pulled from their lined up covers, cutting out the linear skeleton of a dark half-sphere. The title of the installation The Song of the Second Moon refers to the cover of the front record disc.

Jérôme Fino & Arnaud Rivière, E-Drumming Is Not a Crime, 2014

Jérôme Fino & Arnaud Rivière, E-Drumming is not a crime (Tanger) – ARTE Creative

E-Drumming Is Not a Crime is a collaborative work between the video artist Jérôme and the mu- sician Arnaud Rivière. In E-Drumming Is Not a Crime, he performs on a self-powered 12 V electronic drum kit wearing headphones, in different street locations without any other audience but himself. The urban surrounding is included in his approach, facing the rhythm of the city itself.

Yann Leguay, Trapset, 2014

Yann Leguay, Trapset, 2014. Photo: ©Matej Kristovič

Trapset, by Yann Leguay, is a rudimentary electro-drum prototype made of transformed second hand speakers and available to the public. Its DIY nature alters our common behaviour with such usual equipment. By switching the original function of these products, the hack is as immediate as simple, a subversion of passive consumer habits turned into the potential of a performance.

Chico & Roberto for Labomedia, Projet Bidons (floated projects), 2015. Photo: ©Matej Kristovič

Chico & Roberto for Labomedia, Projet Bidons (floated projects), 2015. Photo: ©Matej Kristovič

The Projet Bidons is an artisanal raft made out of assembled beer barrels (floats) and a PVC deck. Both robust and light, its structure has to carry two passengers on-board with sensitive digital data and leaks from the media lab Labomedia based in Orleans, down to the hacklab Ping, based in Nantes. A raft trip lasting more than ten days and a three hundred km long shipping down the Loire River.

Luce Moreau, L’Avenir – Les Palais (Future – Palaces), Prototype of a sculpture to be made by bees, 2015

Making of wax units, constructions to be submitted to bees in the hives produced from embossed wax slabs used by beekeepers. Photo: © Luce Moreau via Makery

L’Avenir is a prototype of a sculpture to be made by bees. Luce Moreau works with Slovenian bees to work out their own wax organisations, starting with the architecture plans of socialistic uto- pian buildings, such as the Phalanstère by French philosopher Charles Fourier. The project focuses on fascinating natural phenomena, such as bee organisms and eusociality, leading diverse processes towards disrupted results and questioning how instincts could possibly react to human models.

Anne-Valérie Gasc, 194 dB, 2009. Photo: Otto-prod

In 2009, during the residence programme The Branch, Anne-Valérie Gasc created a sound machine of such strength that it reaches the threshold at which point sound is transformed into a shock wave and thus shakes the gallery floor. Three waves spread through the space, turning it into a resonance box, positioning the gallery as the epicentre of an earthquake resulting from a sound explosion lasting 2,8 seconds and heard in a 1 km radius. Seismograph 194 dB remains as one and only trace of this experiment.

Yann Leguay & Pacôme Béru, The Tune the Old Cow Died of, Video of the performance, 2009

Yann Leguay & Pacôme Béru, The Tune the Old Cow Died of. Photo ©Matej Kristovič

A listening session for cows played on a simple turntable and removable loudspeaker which took place in a pastoral landscape reminiscent of old Flemish paintings. The title comes from the Vernon & Burn’s record, played during the performance, which is also an English expression taken from an old rhyme:

There was an old man, and he had an old cow, But he had no fodder to give her,
So he took up his fiddle and played her the tune— ‘Consider, good cow, consider,
This isn’t the time for the grass to grow. Consider, good cow, consider.

Fouad Bouchoucha, Making of for the installation Panorama #1. Photo via Otto-prod

The videos of Panorama #1 document the making of field recording sessions taking place in the Slovenian mountains; a series of blasts that echo through the singularity of each land form.

A couple more images and works from the exhibition:

Lucien Gaudion, TOC, 2015. Photo: © Matej Kristovič

Entrance to the exhibition at UGM | Maribor Art Gallery. Photo: Otto-prod

View of the exhibition during the opening at UGM | Maribor Art Gallery. Photo: © Matej Kristovič

Janez Janša, Janez Janša and Janez Janša, All About You (detail), 2016. Photo: ©Matej Kristovič

Quentin Destieu, Sylvain Huguet, Opération pièces jaunes (Small Coins Campaign), 2013. Photo: ©Matej Kristovič

Guillaume Stagnaro, Dead Objects Raising Machine, from the series Proof of Concept. Photo: Otto-Prod

Guillaume Stagnaro, Guitar player machine (detail), from the series Proof of Concept. Photo: ©Matej Kristovič

View of the exhibition at UGM | Maribor Art Gallery. Photo: Otto-prod

Good Luck, Archaeologists! remains open until 6 November at UGM | Maribor Art Gallery.