Amor vacui, horror vacui
Arranged throughout more than thirty rooms over the museum’s four floors, this exhibition was designed less as a retrospective than as another opportunity for the artist to revisit his work since 1968. The goal of this restaging was to be as multidimensional as the art forms represented in the works (modern, neo-avant-garde, postmodern). The oeuvre of John M Armleder (1948, Geneva) is literally polymorphous. It cannot be identified through just one medium, one process, one style, or one aesthetic universe. It may be that the artist relies so heavily on chance because his whole approach is to play down his role in creating the work. Armleder’s notion of the figure of artist is someone who is a hyperactive idler, a distracted creator, an engineer of the approximate, and a genius of the indistinct. While his art is formally successful, it aims to upset the very notion of success and to construct a system of equivalence between the cultural artifacts of his era.