Guy de Cointet

Artist Novels

Edited by David Maroto, Joanna Zielińska
Texts by Roland Barthes, Liam Gillick, Kenneth Goldsmith, Tom McCarthy, Ingo Niermann, Seth Price, Seth Siegelaub, et al.; excerpts from artist novels by Guy de Cointet, Henry Joseph Darger, Yayoi Kusama, Jill Magid, et al.

This publication is devoted to the phenomenon of the artist novel, and whether it can be considered to be a medium in its own right within the visual arts. Visual artists create different strategies to integrate their novels into their practice. Introducing traits that are particular to narrative literature into the visual arts implies the accentuation of some features over others, such as narration, fiction, identification, and the act of reading and its protracted engagement, as well as distribution in public space. An artist’s approach comes fundamentally from the visual arts. The creation of an artist novel doesn’t differ from any other artwork. Both processes feed into each other as they evolve within the same body of works. Thanks to the contributions of a selected group of artists, writers, curators, and scholars this publication strives to demonstrate that literature, when treated by visual artists, can take place well beyond the space of the book.

www.thebooklovers.info

Copublished with Cricoteka on the occasion of the exhibition “Reads Like A Book: The Book Lovers Project,” January 23–March 15, 2015.
Design by Jakub de Barbaro

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Artist Novels
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Who’s that guy?
Tell me more about Guy de Cointet (DVD)

A film, a portrait of Guy de Cointet (1934-1983), a French-born artist based in California who created text and sculptural works, often combining them as props and stage sets in theatrical performance pieces.

The film is composed of interviews and documents compiled by art critic Marie de Brugerolle over a period of 10 years. Artists including John Baldessari, Christophe Bourseiller, Larry Bell and Paul McCarthy talk about their contemporary Guy de Cointet and unreleased documents provided insight into the singularity of his work.

Guy de Cointet (American, b. France. 1934–1983) was fascinated with language, which he explored primarily through performance and drawing. His practice involved collecting random phrases, words, and even single letters from popular culture and literary sources—he often cited Raymond Roussel’s novel “Impressions of Africa” as influential—and working these elements into non-linear narratives, which were presented as plays to his audience.

Paintings and works on paper would then figure prominently within these performances. In his play “At Sunrise . . . A Cry Was Heard” (1976), a large painting depicting letters bisected by a white sash served as a main subject and prop, with the lead actress continuously referring to it and reading its jumble of letters as if it were an ordinary script. His drawings likewise are almost readable but just beyond comprehension.

De Cointet is recognized as one of the major figures in the Conceptual art movement that emerged in Los Angeles in the 1970s, having strongly influenced a number of prominent artists working in southern California today, including Paul McCarthy and Mike Kelley, for whom both drawing and performance figure significantly in their artistic practices.

Marie de Brugerolle is an art historian, critic and curator (Hors Limites, Centre Pompidou, Paris, Bruce Nauman, Moma, New York, and Gravity, Allen Ruppersberg, Magasin, Grenoble, Guy de Cointet, Mamco, Geneva and Tate Modern, London, John Baldessari, Larry Bell, Carré d’art, Nîmes, Not to Play with Dead Things , Villa Arson, Nice, Yvonne De Carlo, MUSAC, León, etc. ). Her texts have been published in numerous catalogues and magazines (Art Press, Semaines, 20/27, Artforum…).

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Who’s that guy? - Tell me more about Guy de Cointet (DVD)
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GUY DE COINTET’S FIVE SISTERS

The outcome of an extensive research project conducted by Marie de Brugerolle into the 2011 restaging of Guy de Cointet’s ‘Five Sisters’, which took place as part of the Performance in Residence programme of ‘If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want to be Part of your Revolution’, this book reflects the questions that emerged around the meaning, sources and context of the original performance and its reiteration. The play is noteworthy for its presentation of a shift in the artist’s attention to the emotional quality of objects towards light and colour. With contributions by Snejanka Mihaylova and Elizabeth Orr, plus an annotated interview with the performers.

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GUY DE COINTET'S FIVE SISTERS
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Guy de Cointet
Tempo Rubato

This richly illustrated catalogue that includes essays by Magalí Arriola, Jay Sanders and Marie de Brugerolle, presents a retrospective view of the life and work of this French artist, who after emigrating to the United States in 1965, came in contact with a variety of artistic movements including abstraction, Minimalism and Conceptualism.

Guy de Cointet’s oeuvre, which includes drawings, publications, performance and film, intersects many of these areas of investigation, being at once performative, conceptual, minimalist, abstract and inspired by historic events, popular culture and mass media.

Based on codes, ciphers, language, word, and image, de Cointet’s work captured the essence of a foreigner’s experience, one in which language could be at once an image and a code to be deciphered.

This publication includes a facsimile of the script for IGLU, a play he wrote in 1977, and its translation to Spanish.

Published on the occasion of the exhibition Guy de Cointet: Tempo rubato at Fundación/Colección Jumex, 3 December 2012 – 14 February 2013.

English and Spanish text.

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Guy de Cointet - Tempo Rubato
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