Louise Pressager

Nancy (FR), 1985

The chief characteristic of your art research.

Ambivalence (between introspection and commitment, destruction and self-destruction, strictness and madness, sense of humour and melancholia, for example).

Your favourite occupation.

Tidying up. I’m not joking. Arranging things gives me so much satisfaction that I could even mess them up on purpose. This is surely why profusion is so important in my work.

Your idea of happiness.

I think the day I find the key to happiness I won’t no longer be an artist since my work is all about this big unknown. My works are just many absurd answers to this unsolvable question.

Your main fault.

The lack of flexibility, which matches my obsessive-like temperament I was talking about. My worldview is too dichotomous and, although it’s very annoying, I can’t help trying to arrange complex phenomena into simple cells. It is no coincidence that black ink and white paper were the only colours I used for a long-time!

What you hate the most.

I hate ambivalent, maniac and strict people, who have no clue about happiness.

What you appreciate the most in a curator.

I appreciate when a curator is as stubborn as I am but not narrow-minded, and when they manage to make me deeply adhere to the progress I’m making with them after my initial project.

Your idea of a good exhibition.

I consider a good exhibition to be so when visitors leave it feeling like they’ve changed, no matter what the cause of this change is (because they’re moved, they learnt something or they are even annoyed…)

Your idea of a wrong exhibition.

I hate incomprehensible exhibitions whose achievement relies on the awareness that visitors are too proud to admit they didn’t get anything. Or else, those that are so much focused in avoiding style laps that the scenography of the works seems to prevail over content.

If not an artist, who would you be?

A dictator or a homeless person, or both, like Charlot.

Your favourite artists.

I am frequently interested in artists whose work is consistent but also eclectic, multiple, ever-changing, such as Jimmie Durham, Mike Kelley, or the General Idea collective. I highly admire the evocative power of Saul Steinberg, David Shrigley or William Wegman’s drawings as well. And I’m totally in love with children illustration and with those art expressions that are unclassifiable, like art brut, outsider and naïf art.

Your favourite working space and time.

I don’t have any favourite time and space for creation; anywhere and anytime I can sketch something in my notebook is good for me!

Your favourite museum.

Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, a blessed place where I found the majority of the greatest artists ever!

Your favourite art critics.

My favourite art critics are amateurs who look at art with a new glance. However, if I were to quote a real name, I’d say Didier Semin: I was very impressed by his book “La piste du hérisson”. But I’m spoiling my next answer…

Your favourite art books.

My favourite art books have no pictures. It’s rather literature by artists, such as “I remember” by Joe Brainard or “L’intranquille” by Gérard Garouste.

Your favourite musicians.

When I want to make my guests laugh, I show them the collection of Elton John’s discs on my shelf, since I used to worship him as a teenager. He left me a taste for disguise, sad clown characters and melancholic romanticism. Other musicians I like, listed at random: Lucio Battisti, David Bowie, Elliott Smith, Stevie Wonder, The Beatles, Metronomy, Arcade Fire, The Kinks, Franco Battiato, Todd Rundgren, The Beach Boys, Pete Doherty, Archive, Joe Dassin, Michel Berger, Daniel Balavoine and the great Serge…

Your heroes in real life.

My heroes in real life are the people who manage to stay kind in this world where intelligence is easily taken in with wickedness. My brother, a colleague of mine, a shopkeeper from my neighbourhood, a film-editor friend of mine… Happily, a full list would be quite long.

Your favourite title of an art work.

“UnBiloTitled”, it’s the name of a song by Babyshambles. The idea of squeezing a title in the word “untitled” is brilliant.

Your idea of the future.

The future is the time I will realize that my actual idea of the future was totally wrong!

What drawing do you propose for MOULD?

I drew “L’Original” behind the certificate of authenticity that came along with the first copy I sold of “ça va mieux”, a film I made about psychiatric hospitals. There were a few copies of the video and I liked the fact that the certificate of authenticity had a higher value that the copy itself.