«LAUNDERETTE»

FRONT SPACE :

The front space will be a space which evoques a launderette. A launderette is a very bright-lit space with many different machines, tumblers, washing-machines, dryers, money change- machines, pay machines, soap machines. In the launderette, there are always a lot of very similar and recognizable elements as chairs, tables to sort the laundry, baskets, flowers, garbage bins, benches. Sometimes these elements are secured by chains. In the launderette there are a lot of information, information about laundry functioning, about prices and the rules, but as well little local neighborhood announcements. The launderettes are spaces with hand-made furniture, to cover and protect the machines and give a tidy and clean aspect. The machines are always elevated to stabilize the machines and in case of flooding. All this architecture is very functional and appropriate for the space. There are mirrors, plastic bags, pillars, magazines, and written information on the shop window. So I want the Stephen Friedman Gallery to take on the visual aspect of a launderette. I want to create a space. It is neither a fake laundry nor a ready-made of a laundry. It is the will to create a space where I can find the same atmosphere as in a laundry. I mean these bright full-lit spaces where people go to do something that they have to do often, and where there is an uncomfortable place with all these very well- known objects. The first time you use a launderette you must read the information to find out how it work and then it becomes normal, banal. It is a space without architecture, and mostly, it is a space where spending time becomes a real question. There is often not enough time to go back home or to stay here, so time is stopped. Time is open time is empty. People are sitting there, others go to the post-office, others are through and leave. There is time to think, there is time to do nothing, there is time to just look at the machine revolving and spinning. So of course, at first impression, this space at Stephen Friedman Gallery looks like a launderette, but it is an exhibition. An exhibition with machines, with hand-made furniture, with tape, with mirrors, with plastic, with fake floor-tiles, fake wooden walls, with information about very different things happening in the world, death penalty, conflict, philosophy, fashion. The machines are made to include 16 televisions of different sizes (screen minima 16cm) that will show brief sequences of past human activities, and that will be playing all the time. I want to make a space where you can sit down and have a look at the machines, where you can turn around and get information about things that are irrelevant. I want to make a space where you can read a magazine without interest for you. I want to make a space where you can look out through the window on the street. In the gallery, I want to use the front window. Of course, you will have to break down the new wall hiding the window and parallel to it. You also will have to break down the entrance wall, because I want people to walk into the space directly.

BACK SPACE :

In the back space I will do something really different. Unfortunately it doesn’t really depend on me for the moment. I want to use the back space to present and sell the book « Public works the bridge » that I have made with Bookworks. In the back space, I want there to be a documentation about the Bridge Project and a sales point for the book. I want to create a link with this project that I have made in London not so long ago, and that perhaps people have not seen. I want to make this link: Stephen Friedman Gallery – Whitechapel Art Gallery – Freedom Bookshop – Bookworks. Of course it is absolutely necessary that the book is there at the opening on June 2. I called Craig Martin at Bookworks to ask his opinion. He is very pleased and willing to do this. I think it is a reinforcement of my position. But of course things are a bit more complicated because the printing of my book is now delayed from March/April to later. So for the moment, there is no guarantee that the book can come out in time. But I really want to do this. So Craig will very soon check out the possibility to make the book sooner. The elements are ready, it is only a question of organization.

T.H. 2011

PLANNING

OPENING : June 2.

SET-UP PHASE : May 28th to June 1.

TRANSPORT PARIS/LONDON : May 23.

REALIZATION : April 30th to May 22.

DOCUMENTATION : April 16th to April 29th.