Dérive(s) – Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery

NERO is pleased to present Dérive(s), an exhibition curated by Romain Dauriac at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery featuring artists Sylvie Auvray, Sarah Braman, Olivier Kosta-Théfaine, Anita Molinero, Nicholas Pilato, Evan Robarts and John Roebas.

Dérive(s) is a simple French word that has been transformed into an internationally recognized concept through the writings of Guy Debord. According to the original definition, a dérive is a “drift” or “drifting”, an act of departing from a given direction. Thus to drift in the wind for example, or in any current – there is suggestion of passivity, or surrender, in the word. But according to Debord, the dérive takes on a different dimension; in his 1958 Theory of the Dérive, Debord redefines the act as “a playful-constructive behavior and awareness of psychogeographical effects”. Debord turns dérive from an innocuous verb into a philosophical concept, a poetic attitude toward life, and above all a revolutionary mode of action.

A dérive combines a sense of letting-go with its flow of acts, its gestures, its strolls, its encounters. A dérive requires a sense of adventurousness, a willingness to explore an unknown environment, as well as a temporary suspension of day-to-day relations, work and leisure activities. The dérive exists outside of one’s typical mode of engagement with the world and as such constitutes a “socio-emotional” gesture. The derivers are simultaneously influenced by the urban environment while they struggle against it through artistic production, imagination and play.

“The sense of dérive is naturally connected with a more general way of taking life, yet it would be awkward to deduce mechanically. I do not dwell on the precursors of the drift, which can precisely recognize, divert or misuse, in the literature of the past, or on specific aspects of passion that causes drift. The difficulties of the drift are those of freedom. We have every reason to believe that the future will precipitate irreversible change in the behavior and decor of modern society. One day, we build cities for drift. We can use the dérive with relatively slight changes, some areas that already exist. We can use some people that already exist.”

- Guy Ernest Debord; Lips Naked No. 9, December 1956 and Situationist International No. 2, December 1958.

Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery – 505 West 24th Street, New York
10 January 2015 – 14 February 2015