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Artists' Artists: Fergal Stapleton

Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Enough Tiranny, 1972

On the matter of influence – in particular, the densely influential, oblique glimpse … A thing seen in 1989 at college over someone’s shoulder: a small monochrome photograph in an art magazine of a ‘scatter environment’ by Marc Camille Chaimowicz made in 1972, titled (as I now know) Enough Tiranny. Then, in that tiny incarnation, as in its subsequent, full-scale, ‘recalled’ versions – most recently in Chaimowicz’s solo show, ‘An Autumn Lexicon’, at London’s Serpentine Gallery last year (where it was also first shown) – it produced the same effect: it is an oblique glimpse of itself. This is why the synecdoche of the little photograph was sufficient, superabundant even, densely informative, formative … and why I dared not pay the work any direct attention for 30 years. And what is that self? It is a manifestation of temps perdu, the shake ’n’ bake of a decade of weekends, the apotheosis – stage-lit, foyer-furnished – of the bits of life between the other bits of life occurring, as Chaimowicz says, in ‘gracious’ time.

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Marc Camille Chaimowicz, ‘An Autumn Lexicon’, 2016, installation view, Serpentine Gallery, London. Courtesy: the artist, Cabinet, London and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York; photograph: © Hugo Glendinning  

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Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Enough Tiranny, 1972, installation view, Serpentine Gallery, London. Courtesy: the artist, Cabinet, London, and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York; photograph: the artist

Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Enough Tiranny, 1972, installation view, Serpentine Gallery, London. Courtesy: the artist, Cabinet, London, and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York; photograph: the artist

Fergal Stapleton lives in London, UK. He is an artist, writer and joint publisher of Grey Tiger Books. In 2016, he had a solo show at Carl Freedman Gallery, London. Grey Tiger recently published a new translation of The Studio of Giacometti by Jean Genet, illustrated by Marc Camille Chaimowicz.

 

 

Issue 6

First published in Issue 6

October 2017
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