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maëlle dault

pierre ruault

liza maignan

francesca brugola

florian gaité

Written on the occasion of the personal exhibition "Longlife" at Project Room, Frac Île De France, 2024

Andrea Sparta's discreet installations bring together mundane objects that everyone can recognize, whose nobility usually escapes our gaze. The choice of elements is established in a non-hierarchical, careful, and attentive manner in relation to domesticity, as if composing a still life. The infra-ordinary dear to Georges Perec becomes palpable, almost measurable: "What really happens, what we live, the rest, all the rest, where is it? What happens every day and comes back every day, the banal, the daily, the obvious, the common, the ordinary, the background noise, the usual, how to account for it, how to question it, how to describe it?".

"Longlife" comes from the name of rechargeable batteries used during the creation of the installation. The title evokes the promise of universal durability in a broader context of planned obsolescence of all things technological. Life, good or bad, easy or difficult, full or empty, joyful or sad, would now be reducible only to its longevity, its durability?

The space is minimally invested with recycled objects: extension cords, power strips, a WiFi router, a water bottle, 2024 calendars adorned with silver ribbons, an Amazon box with plastic under which fishing lures can be seen, a nearly invisible phrase cut from a medication leaflet warning of side effects "increased tear flow", locksmith stickers, millet seeds, ant traps.

White mattress cushions laid directly on the floor define a resting area where drowsiness and wakefulness coexist in a kind of long apnea. The standby lights of the power strips, the lit lamp of a building lobby combined with human absence indicate a latency: a vigilant us, irreducible consumers, a us alert for information, a us in constant motion, a us in a state of emergency that will eventually never sleep again.

Walking among the cushions, extension cords and power strips equipped with standby switches create a path charged with electricity. This magnetic field that connects us to energy and technology disturbs this island of half rest and half wakefulness. While dematerialization affects all areas, it is through a shift and an excess of electrical charge that the fragility and instability of our possible relaxation are suggested here. An excess of tangled electrical wires, excessive connections looping around each other, complicate and clutter our minds with a network that we usually delight in concealing.

The usual light sources have been removed, those neutral fluorescents within the White Cube that create the illusion of permanent and stable light or those spotlights that would highlight specific objects. The only sources of illumination now come from this building lobby lamp and the switches of the power strips. So it is primarily natural light that illuminates the exhibition, tinting it variably and atmospherically throughout the day.

During our discussions, Andrea Sparta mentioned Byung-Chul Han's book "The Burnout Society," in which the author considers sleep and fatigue as the last refuge against an injunction to productivity and performance. We also talked about the atmospheric state of our minds during insomnia or phases of lucid dreams, migraines: a vaporous state that creates a particular relationship to reality, the very one in which we seem to plunge here and now.

Just like the white-throated sparrow, a bird whose peculiarity is to fly for several days without sleeping that scientists study dreaming of shaping, in the near future, soldiers, workers, and consumers without sleep. Three calendars of the current year adorned with silver ribbons displayed on the walls are like little gifts cheekily celebrating a stage of this promised Longlife.

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