Artist-in-Residence, Exhibition, Performance
FLAX Project

The Tyranny of Distance

Opening on Thursday, November 8, 6-9pm
Curators’ walk-through at 7:30pm followed by a reading of the book “Sydney, 1981. An Introspection for Two Voices in a Bar” written by Maxime Boidy and Pierre Paulin.

Performances on Saturday, November 10, noon-3pm at Tin Flats, Los Angeles and simultaneously at ESBA TALM in Angers, France
With Jasmin Blasco, David Lamelas, David Horvitz, Pierre Paulin and activation of Spatial Poem #9 by Mieko Shiomi.
All performances will be viewable in both Los Angeles and Angers, France. The full program is available for download here.

The exhibition will be closed during Thanksgiving week, from November 19 to 24.

Taking place simultaneously at Tin Flats in Los Angeles and ESBA TALM in Angers, separated by more than 5614.73 miles (9,036.04 kms), this exhibition explores the various constraints and possibilities posed by distance and the necessary translations that separation implies. This distance separating two geographical, cultural, climatic, historical and linguistic contexts engages the experience of the limits of translation, of the relationship to the other. The impossibility of “being everywhere at every time” or to “make one with someone else” can be felt as hardships. Wanting to “touch at a distance” generates a belief in the possibility of a “language of communication” that, ideally, would not be limited by the burdens of the body and the contexts of enunciation. Indeed, the wish for telepathy, teleplasty and ubiquity lies behind every modern technological invention to establish distant connections (the telegraph, the telephone, phonograph, radio, cinema, television, Internet, Skype, holograms…). These always more efficient tools are far from being ideologically neutral and materially transparent. They require to be experienced and analyzed through a politics of translation concerning their uses and the fantasies they materialize. 

Also, the complex and embodied processes of translation entail the very possibility of considering the other and the reality of specific places in their singularity. Missing parts, gaps, resistances and inadequacies between people, places or languages can either be considered as losses or rather as sites for inquiry to be thought and experienced through an ethics of translation. The embodied practice of the translator (situated in terms of culture, language, gender, « race » and class) also needs to be considered when engaging with a text/object “at a distance”. Translation thus becomes a metaphor and an ethos for the very possibility of difference. 

Artists in each of the sites will produce works questioning these translation issues between one language and another, one medium and another, one place and another, one body and another. The exhibition will emphasize the processes and experimentations of a community of translators, “translating” both within and between the two contexts. The works that will be developed in Angers and Los Angeles will involve repeated or evolving acts of translation, supplementation and dissemination.

The works but also the performances that will happen during the exhibition will generate translation processes, playing with the linguistic difference, the physical absence and the time laps between the two spaces.

As part of David Horvitz’s first solo exhibition with the Los Angeles gallery Château Shatto, FLAX will be one of a network of institutions to receive plumeria trees from the artist’s grandmother’s house. One will travel to be planted at the Art School of TALMAngers, France, while the other will be presented at Tin Flats during the exhibition The Tyranny of Distance before traveling with FLAX’s itinerant program in Los Angeles. 

About Art by Translation:
The Tyranny of Distance has been conceived in partnership with Art by Translation, a research and exhibition program initiated by École Nationale Supérieure d’Arts de Paris-Cergy and École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts TALM Angers and headed by co-founders Maud Jacquin, Sébastien Pluot and Jeff Guess. This itinerant program collaborates with several international academic and art institutions including CalArts and the MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House for an exhibition co-curated by Art by Translation and Anna Milone in February until April 2019. Art by Translation is a post-graduate program that involves 4 selected artists and curators each year. The 2018-2019 participants are Lila Athanasiadou, Jasmin Blasco, Daniel Frota and Slow Reading Group (Bryana Fritz and Henry Andersen).

Included in The Tyranny of Distance, is Interval (2012) by Dominique Blais, which is available for listening here:

The FLAX Projects are supported, in part, by the FLAX Creative Circle including The Skylark Foundation, Arthur W. Forney, Olga Garay English, John-Mark Horton, and Katharina and Thierry Leduc.

FLAX is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.

Fort Point Beer is the Official Beer of The Tyranny of Distance.