Le Point d'Ironie

Since last year we are happily distributing Le Point d'Ironie, a free publication that "originates from a talk between agnès b., Christian Boltanski and Hans Ulrich Obrist in 1997. Six to eight issues are published each year. Each of them is made by an artist who makes it his own and brings it up to a singular work of art. By means of its gratuitousness as well as of its size and circulation, the Point d'Ironie is an atypical periodical which is distributed in a scattered way already issued: (one hundred thousand copies are spread out over the world in museums, galleries, bookshops, schools, movie theatres, shops, etc.) Made up by the French writer Alcanter de Brahm at the end of the XIXth century, the Point d'Ironie is a punctuation mark used at the end of sentences (as an exclamation or a question mark) to point ironic passages in a text."

The new issue is by John Giorno, key figure of the New York underground scene and of the Beat Generation, J. G. (born in 1936) fed his poetic work with the “cut up” method. This is a literary technique that was experimented by the American writer William S Burroughs, a technique in which an original text is cut into random fragments which are then rearranged to produce a new text. A true pioneer, Giorno composed his first sound poems in the early 1960s and has never stopped bringing his work out from the book object to explore other mediums. An exhibition/declaration “I <3 John Giorno” was dedicated to him at the Palais de Tokyo, in the fall of 2015, by his partner, the artist Ugo Rondinone. In the summer of 2017, the retrospective is taking place at 13 different locations in New York City to pay tribute to one of the most influential poets of his generation.

Previous issues were by Gustav Metzger, Agnès Varda and Raymond Pettibon and we have still few copies available.

Gustav Metzger

Born in 1926 in Germany into an orthodox Polish-Jewish family, Gustav Metzger came to Britain as a child refugee in 1939; his parents and other members of his family were killed in the Holocaust. Gustav Metzger’s radical vision, foresight and commitment have led to him being acknowledged as one of the most important artists of the post-war avant-garde. From his first manifesto on Auto Destructive Art in 1959 to the Facing Extinction conference and Extinction Marathon at the Serpentine Gallery London in 2014, Metzger has been a pioneer in conceptual and performance art and an uncompromising activist for anti-capitalist and environmental causes.

The concept for point d’ironie was developed through collaboration with artists Bruce Gilchrist and Jo Joelson (London Fieldworks). It began with a handwritten note, an aide memoire, torn from Gustav’s notebook and transformed into a call for action and worldwide campaign for the art world to Remember Nature.

"Art throughout the ages has interacted with nature; as Dürer has said there cannot be art without nature. Our task is to recall the richness and complexity of nature, to protect nature as far as we can. Here is the opportunity for art to extend its functions, to inspire new fields of action, and by doing so entering new territories that are inherently creative and primarily for the good of our world."

Agnès Varda

French artist, born in 1928. Three lives: photographer in the 1950s (Avignon festivals, People’s National Theater, photojournalism); filmmaker " Cléo de 5 à 7 ", " Sans toit ni loi ", " Jacquot de Nantes ", " Les Glaneurs et la glaneuse ", " Les Plages d’Agnès "...); visual artist since the 2003 Venice Biennale, with exhibitions in Brussels, Beijing, Los Angeles, Seville and of course Paris, at the Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art in 2006, the Obadia Gallery in 2014 and the Pompidou Center in November 2015 (vintage photographs of Cuba 1963).

" When I was around ten, I used to design and write a journal on a single sheet of paper folded four ways and, 75 years later, here I am being invited to contribute to this refined and mysterious collection, point d’ironie. I had just made a film featuring a friend of mine, a postman from Provence, and the documentary I’m starting with JR opens with this postman plastered over three stories. Now, here he is folded four ways in point d’ironie, delivering my correspondence. Postmen are the cohorts of destiny! "

Raymond Pettibon & Marcel Dzama


Raymond Pettibon was born in 1957 in Tucson, Arizona. His work embraces a wide spectrum of American “high” and “low” culture, from the deviations of marginal youth to art history, literature, sports, religion, politics, and sexuality. Taking their points of departure in the Southern California punk-rock culture of the late 1970s and 1980s and the “do-it-yourself” aesthetic of album covers, comics, concert flyers, and fanzines that characterized the movement, his drawings have come to occupy their own genre of potent and dynamic artistic commentary.

Marcel Dzama was born in 1974 in Winnipeg, Canada. His work is characterized by an immediately recognizable visual language that draws from a diverse range of references and artistic influences, including Dada and Marcel Duchamp. While he has become known for his prolific drawings with their distinctive palette of muted colors, in recent years, the artist has expanded his practice to encompass sculpture, painting, film, and dioramas.

Their collaboration began in Summer 2015 with the artists swapping the first of a series of drawings to be completed by the other. In a variation of the “exquisite corpse” method in which a partner is only given portions of an otherwise concealed drawing to work on, Dzama and Pettibon developed each other’s compositions through illustrations, collage, and writing. Just as the surrealists invented the technique in the early twentieth century as a playful and ultimately enriching exercise, the present drawings combine the two artists’ distinct styles in a revealing and often seamless fashion. In several works, it is almost impossible to determine who made what, which indicates how both strove to assimilate the other’s vision or anticipate his response.




Chiaralice Rizzi