Barto, Eva, Bennequin, Jérémie, Closky, Claude, de Tscharner, David, de Vries, Herman, Donnachie, Karen Ann & Simionato, Andy, Filliou, Robert, François, Michel, Hugonnier, Marine, Jankowski, Christian, JODI, Kelly, Ellsworth, LAb[au], Lacomblez, Sébastien, Mallarmé, Stephane, Man Ray, Mohr, Manfred, Monk, Jonathan, Nake, Frieder, Pichler, Michalis, RAND Corporation, Sérandour, Yann et Fortier, Julie C., Spoerri, Daniel, Struycken, Peter, Young, La Monte, von Graevenitz, Gerhard, Werth, Elsa
‘Process art is chance, contingency and indetermination’
There are many ways to approach ‘chance’, be it on a philosophical, a mathematical or artistic level. Common to all of them is a certain level of unpredictability and uncertainty which brings into its definition the realm of probabilities. Chance is about something to come, a process or something unknown to happen.
In the past century artists have developed various methods and processes to trigger chance. Beginning largely with the DADA movement in the late 1910s, artists have incorporated elements of chance in the creation and presentation of their work. This development is thought to have been inspired by a loss of faith in ordered Western civilization in the wake of World War I, as well by the development of relativist principles in fields ranging from quantum physics to psychology to Eastern philosophy. Jean Arp composed collages by dropping shapes at random while Marcel Duchamp recorded the patterns formed by dropped strings; both reduced the status of the artist’s conscious decisions in creating an artwork.
‘I set the rules but led chance exceed intent’
Since then chance operations have become a recurrent technique, strategy and reflection in art; from automatic writing in abstract art to performative and process-oriented rules in FLUXUS or conditional statements in conceptual art. Stochastic principles entered in artistic explorations in early computational works.
Based on these considerations many contemporary artists use chance without losing control, trying to master, direct or even stage chance. It is precisely this interplay between control and the unforeseen, the planned and the surprise that the exhibition deliberately explores.
The exhibition stages works by artists who let go control and let in chance while exploring operations of probability, combinatory, contingency and serendipity.