GET SET FOR ACTION by Allen Ruppersberg at Air de Paris

Get Set for Action is a solo show by Allen Ruppersberg currently on display through to 23 July 2016 at Air de Paris in Paris.

Arranged inside a set of storage drawers, the blown-up pages of a children’s colouring book intermingle and are deployed to form the flexible, open-ended structure of a visual poem each viewer is free to re-compose: Poem #2 (The Eye Level Is Level With The Eye). Reed ‘em Weep a wall covered with obituaries for rock musicians, is a follow-up to the project No Time Left To Start Again which showed in 2010 at Air de France. Four collages from the series Hey, Hey Mr. Art World round off this exhibition, entirely put together by the artist from his collection of Americana.

Using ‘books’ to represent the mythologies and beliefs that define the culture that values them, Ruppersberg sometimes seems to imagine that we are our books—as if we all become books, since our identities and our memories are constructed as mixtures of organized fictions and truths, all in the form of a collection of narratives. I believe it is with this perception that Ruppersberg has often represented ‘collections’ of books – as drawings, photographs, objects, or actual collections of books he himself has printed – as if to present a kind of picture of a consciousness in and of itself . . . Since the late 60s and early 70s, it seems clear, Ruppersberg has been creating his own self-portrait – as well as a portrait of his age – as he depicts his collections of the narratives we carry and are carried by.“²

Ruppersberg belongs to the first generation of American conceptual artists. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1944, he made his initial visit to California at the age of eleven, when his dream was to become a Disney animation artist. By the end of the trip he knew he would go back to California as soon as he could, and the oeuvre that was to follow bears the unmistakable stamp of the spirit and philosophy of Los Angeles and Southern California. He took part in numerous seminal conceptual exhibitions, among them Harald Szeemann‘s When attitudes become forms and Seth Siegelaub‘s January 5-31, both in 1969. The Walker Art Museum in Minneapolis has scheduled a large-scale exhibition of his work for 2018. Inspired by Allen Ginsberg’s poem The Singing Posters: Poetry Sound Collage Sculpture Book will feature in the exhibition devoted to the Beat Generation at the Centre Pompidou from 22 June to 3 October 2016.

1- Interview Allen Ruppersberg / Frédéric Paul, page 95, Allen Ruppersberg, Books, Inc, éd. Frac Limousin, 1999.

2- “What One Loves About Life Are the Things That Fade” by Allan Mc Collum, text on Allen Ruppersberg, page 77, Allen Ruppersberg, Books, Inc, éd. Frac Limousin, 1999.

Air de Paris – 32, rue Louise Weiss, 75013 Paris
21 May – July 23 2016