Paper engineering: Philippe Ug
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Immediately following the self-dissolution of the proletarian Left, the Éditions du Seuil published The Angel in 1976. With this very dense little book, Guy Lardreau and Christian Jambet, tried to offer a “vade mecum for all, a guide for the perplexed,” based on the observation that “there are no more rebels left worthy of the name, and he who our times calls a rebel is but a shadow of the master”.
Published in 2012,Re-Education by Basque-Spanish artist Juan Perez Agirregoikoa suggests that our world is a place where the word “re-education” has become an ornament for dogs, the shining mark of the master. A world in which sports fervour and political fervour mingle in a reciprocal gesture. A world in which there is an enemy, and “spirit” is its name. A world in which we catch Hannah Arendt at the stadium entrance, and spin her around: “Those who don’t forget the past are condemned to ideology”, here we go! A world in which one discovers the true face of hooligans without even pulling off their hoods. In which we do not know what to think, other than to call for stupidity — with its sweet perfume of the confederacy of dunces. A world in which one requests milk and cookies. In which people are hypersensitive and hooked on softeners. In which Mao’s 1966 Decision concerning the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution is the lining of the stage curtain, or no more than scrap paper, good for recycling. A world in which everything ends with a blue sky, a sky of great clarity, tragically sutured, and ripped apart by a plane dragging an advertising banner: “Lacan I love U. Will U marry me?” In sum, there is a true need for re-education.
Balancing his work wobbly between a modest show, the childish pleasure of pop-up books, ridiculous games, between regressive adult masquerades, a fine product of the entertainment industry, and a critical tool, Juan Perez Agirregoikoa holds
Re-education away from any immediate, positive and recyclable interpretation.
Other than that, nothing serious: Juan Perez Agirregoikoa is an artist after all.