Organs & Alliances (2018)

Organs & Alliances/Paroles imprimées is an experimental art project that brings together a group of young artists, researchers, and graphic designers from the Ecole nationale supérieure d’arts de Paris-Cergy (ENSAPC) in Paris, and the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst (HGB) in Leipzig. The concept was developed by the curator Dr. Clémentine Deliss who is a guest professor at both art schools. Markus Dreßen, publisher of Spector Books and professor of graphic design at the HGB in Leipzig is collaborating with Deliss on the project.This collaborative endeavour stems from a central concern: how do young artists in Europe establish long-term relations of trust and professional exchange between each other today, especially if they come from different cultural and art historical contexts? The project aims to investigate the possibility of forming alliances beyond the ubiquitous networks of biennials, residencies or group exhibitions.

Organs & Alliances/Paroles imprimées deconstructs the term ‘organ’ along several axes. An organ cannot be reduced to a form self-publishing. It is independent of classic structures of distribution and operates as a vital speech-form that is contingent on relational urgency and dialogue. It does not represent a finished work but can be understood as a sequence of printed gestures that find expression through the specificity of their intention and the context in which they are produced. Skeletons, organs, muscles and arteries, these metabolic alliances throw light onto various conditions of aesthetic practice today, including performance, painting, writing, publishing, and graphic design. By extension, the project questions the politics of human trafficking in the context of increased border control in Europe. The organ trade, which operates below the radar in European cities, has become one of the most virulent forms of self-finance for those seeking to move across borders. Collectively, the team will print spoken words and deploy them as tools with which to problematize and question the differing realities of today’s Europe.

Through the collective purchase of a Heidelberg Tiegel letterpress, the team of Organs & Alliances/Paroles imprimées creates its own infrastructure for mobile production between Leipzig and Paris. The Tiegel press has a history of its own: first built in 1914, it was quickly developed by Heidelberg into an item of mass production and exported across the world. Cars were specially customised to transport the Tiegel to the African continent, Latin America and India, where it printed tracts, forms, and newspapers in the service of various colonial powers. In the second half of the twentieth century, the same machine supported the dissemination of acts of emancipation and mobilisation. The Tiegel is still in use today even though it has been superseded by the GTO52 offset printer, and more recently by digital and laser printers.

Organs & Alliances/Paroles imprimées adapts to a metabolic system of production in order to create a variety of organs in situ that will carry over information along the route from Leipzig to Paris. Over the course of two weeks and over one thousand kilometers, stopovers will be initiated in different locations including art schools, archives, factories and even an amusement park. Performances will be part of the activities of distribution and communication in every location that the team prints in.

Organs & Alliances/Paroles imprimées”will begin its journey in Leipzig in early September aiming to reach Paris two weeks later in time to take part in the African Arts Book Fair and the FIAC. The Heidelberg Tiegel will be installed in La Colonie, the arts venue created by Kader Attia in Paris. La Colonie is a family-run institution, which manages to mobilise speakers and practitioners around literary, aesthetic and political conditions of post-colonial existence. Kader Attia’s work as an artist echoes several dimensions of Organs & Alliances/Paroles imprimées, in particular the dismemberment of the body and the uncanny presence of the phantom limb as a psycho-physiological, emotional, discursive, and ideological component of collective memory. Strategically based between the two key train stations of Paris (Gare du Nord and Gare de l’Est), La Colonie shall provide an axis for the dissemination of printed matter throughout this neighbourhood extending to the suburbs and across the channel. Together with La Colonie, the team will collaborate with community centers located in its vicinity. An exhibition of organs printed en route from Leipzig to Paris including media and contextual material will be devised especially for the event.

In cooperation with the Goethe-Institut in Paris, Organs & Alliances/Paroles imprimées will convene a two-part conference that analyses different understandings of contact across Europe, in particular with reference to artistic practice today and those public and private forms of communication that generate relations of trust. The first half of this conference shall include performances, films, and discussions. It will take place on Friday, 19th October 2018 at the Goethe-Institut in Paris. The second part will be held in collaboration with La Colonie.

Team : Organs & Alliances/ Paroles imprimées: Ismail Alaoui-Fdili (ENSAPC), Kévin Blinderman (ENSAPC), Anne Dietzsch (HGB, Leipzig), Sophia Eisenhut (HGB, Leipzig), Thibault Grougi (ENSAPC), Seongju Hong (ENSAPC), Paul-Alexandre Islas (ENSAPC), Nadir Khanfour (ENSAPC), Rosalie Le Forestier (ENSAPC), Philip Markert (HGB, Leipzig), Bocar Niang (ENSAPC), Jonas Roßmeißl (HGB, Leipzig), Araks Sahakyan (ENSAPC), Annika Stoll (HGB, Leipzig), Clara Wieck (HGB, Leipzig)

Curator: Clémentine Deliss (ENSAPC/HGB) with Markus Dreßen (HGB, Spector Books)

Concepts and Reports


Introduction and Notes

Organs & Alliances Reportage