Reading time: 3 minutes
Mayeur Projects, Las Vegas, New Mexico, USA
April 15, 2017 – May 27, 2017
Into the West: Ashes of Ashes, on the last frontier of postcapitalism
More than ever, at the time of the first invisible industrial revolution, the work of the artist is to reveal the invisible.
Frank Perrin gets down to the task, as a carrier of fluid energy, an agile trickster, a carrier of light. He clears the fallow lands of the forgotten capitalism. His eye reveals the fission between the reality and the fiction, in vanities made by short-lived architectures, by assemblies of the words of the space which cover the screen of our routes, tracks of memory of wind and shade, in the foliated truth of the postcapitalism.
After megacities and their spots of slippery lights, their gleaming alignments, their radical freedom, Frank takes up in Las Vegas, New Mexico with the question of the crossings: crossings between levels of reality, between reality and fiction, in this city where so many movies have been shot, between Great Plains, Rocky Mountains, Chihahuan desert and Enchanted Circle, between Chicago and Los Angeles with equidistance by the train. Between cultures, between wild western stories and rapid invasion of the civilization, between tumbleweeds and barbed wire. In-between, in-between, in-between. Frank sneaks and reveals.
Frank proposed spontaneously his residence. After only a conversation we had about Las Vegas, he said “I come there”. He came to discover everything. To discover himself too, I guess. He wanted a crossing, a disorientation, he who rather walked on the paths of the fashion, and the art, from Miami to Tokyo or Beirut. He found the disorientation. The day of his arrival, he wrote me: “The strength of the place is certainly going to change a little bit the direction of the project.”
Before that, he bought the available books, of which the untraceable work “The Wildest of the Wild West”, but also essays of John Brinckerhoff Jackson. He looked at dozens westerns shot in the region which speak invisible borders. Of the revival, in mind of the Spanish and Basque farmers who populated a small fertile pond at the foot of Sangre de Christo Mountains, of an improbable Eden of freedom, until the fast fall of this wild freedom under the pressure of the powerful hucksters coming from the East, Las Vegas is the epicenter of a history more filmed than written, a shift of the outlawed towards the law, which took place here even, as in the famous movie by Sam Peckinpah, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.
With Frank, I think of Joe Strummer who slid in the image in “Doctor Chance” as an aviator in a road trip. Frank is tragic in his art, joyful in his life. Fast, effective. There is of Indian Runner and Ouroboros in his movement. An archaeologist comfortable in muddy snow of the hills of the New Mexico as on the asphalt of cities, he searches the image, in what it hides and reveals. He works as a team, made in spontaneous generation or almost, drawing from the relations we weaved around us: with the professors, with Jaime, retired national park rangers who is precious
for finding the outdoor locations, with Paul Ardenne, an author in residence at Mayeur Projects in the same
Frank delivers us the unspeakable truth. The truth which crosses the jumble of the false legends and architectures, the real fictions and the alternative facts. Frank, what he says with his images is true. Nobody makes a mistake there. Neither the warned collector, nor the amateur of photography, nor the inhabitants of Las Vegas. In this place where the postcapitalism lives between scattered vestiges, connections high-speed Internet and multiculturalism, in this city that the local artist Roy Montibon described as “a strange configuration of interesting people”, the work of Frank is colored with the strange and tragic solitude appropriate to the meaningless objects from the early beginning production. Consumed solitude of the postcapitalism on the horizon of its finiteness. When these objects burn, they become ashes of ashes in the desert of the Real.
– Christian Mayeur