Are you Ready to Try the Artist’s Habits?
Emmanuelle Lainé & Benjamin Valenza

18:47, HD video, Colour with sound

Exhibition Are you Ready to Try the Artist’s Habits?
Artists Emmanuelle Lainé & Benjamin Valenza
Venue Screen Video | Selected by Elise Lammer
All images Courtesy of the artist and Labor Zero Labor

A woman standing in a summarily furnished interior tells in lip-sync about working in an art center. It slowly appears that the speech is made out of the voices of several women, who were asked to share their experiences as institutional art workers. These words were collected during interviews that the duo of artists Lainé Valenza conducted with the femaie employees of a French art centre. Masterfully performed by Kayije Kagame, the single seamless soundtrack suggests that the same story is being told by several voices, yet a sense of institutional unity slowly appears. Selected for their feminist work methodologies, the workers share similar ethical approaches, which inevitably influences how art ultimately is made, communicated and mediated. Suggesting that a multiple yet collective practice of art is possible, the actor incarnates each voice while sporting different outfits that in turn constrain, exhibit or conceal her body. Like an allegorical figure of an ideal art institution, the polyphony is punctuated with sequences of statues and monuments filmed in outdoor public places, as well as archives sequences showing artists and performers at work.

Emmanuelle Lainé (born in 1973) lives in Marseille. Lainé’s complex installations transform the spaces they occupy into unsettling perceptual environments. The artist brings together familiar objects, organic materials and life-sized, floor-to-ceiling imagery to create disorienting scenes that explored industry, display and the contemporary workplace.

Over the years, Benjamin Valenza has been developing what he describes as “an autonomous media”. Reflecting on the contemporary circulation of images through internet and television, his context-specific projects emerge out of temporary environments, which offer the conceptual backgrounds to produce collective filmed encounters.

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