ON TWO, 2009
Jeu de Paume, Paris
2 looped synchronised video projections, color, sound, 30’1 soundtrack, 10’12 b&w photographs, 40x60 cm
To coincide with the survey exhibition Ton Image me Regarde!?, Marta Gili, director of the Jeu de Paume commissioned a new work. The artist created the work D'eux/On Two. Through the act of commissioning the exhibition would not solely look backwards at Shalev-Gerz's work but would rather meet her demand to understand the currency of the past as not disconnected from the present.
On Two presents a world inhabited by two philosophers who Esther Shalev-Gerz met in Paris but who, except from her mediation do not otherwise know each other, and two landscapes that do not share the same temporal or spatial zones.
The video projections depict how Rola Younes, originally from Lebanon, and the French philosopher Jacques Rancière strive to sustain their relationships to and perceptions of the world as vital and regenerative. Against the background of the Ile Seguin, west of Paris, and Cortes, an island off the west coast of Canada Rola Younes speaks of her passionate investigation of the cultures of languages (Yiddish, Hebrew, Persian, French, English, Arabic) that she has undertaken since her arrival in Paris in 2003. Jacques Rancière reads a passage from his text The Emancipated Spectator, in which he describes an important moment in the development of his thought that led him to “reformulate the established relations between seeing, doing and talking”, and comments on the function of contemporary art.
The installation is completed by a soundtrack of Rola singing in different languages and by photographs of the Ile Seguin, subtitled by the use of those songs lyrics.