A Pledge. The First Part of a Trick – 03 – Against Their Reason

Simon Nicaise

On the 19th July, 2013 at 5 pm at Klaipeda Art Center – KCCC (Didzioji Vandens str. 2, Klaipeda) the third exhibition/episode of a project “A Pledge. The First Part of a Trick” called “Against Their Reason” will be presented. The project will proceed till the end of the year 2013 and one after another will present cycle of exhibitions or episodes, if we consider it as a series.

Author of the exhibition/episode “A Pledge. The First Part of a Trick – 03 – Against Their Reason” is a young French artist Simon Nicaise (born 1982). S. Nicaise works with sculptural objects. He lives and creates in Paris. The artist’s works often reveal unexpected and unpredictable, yet somehow possible sides of things and gestures.

A Pledge. The First Part of a Trick

We might think of a trick as something fraudulent. But then, as with a modern conjuror, fraud too requires an exact mimesis of nature. Think of the airplane wing. Think of the blue feather ensuring that the arrow flies straight. So we need to be thinking of the trick as something scientific and real, bearing a scrupulous understanding and manipulation of things, including the human body in relation to such things. But the trick slides, it seduces, it cajoles (“Hey Duchess!”), it knows and enjoys the leap beyond the thingness of things.
Michael Taussig1

 A plasterboard box, four and a half meters long, two and a half meters wide and of the same height, located in the grand floor of Klaipeda Art Centre, is actually a room in a room. The space isolated from the inner space of the building is as an island. A bit like a boat, I would say. Just like a boat, it is stimulating imagination.

Physically it is the remnant from the French-Lithuanian exhibition “Prestige: Phantasmagoria now”, that was held in the autumn of 2012. Art critic Nicolas Bourriaud in his text, published in catalogue of the exhibition2, adverts that the term ‘prestige’  came from the vocabulary of illusionists and is one of three component parts of a magic trick; its outcome, to be more precise. A prestige follows a pledge, when at a first glance ordinary objects are presented in a particular situation; and the trick itself that transforms conventional situation into an extraordinary moment.

I do not consider magic literally. I think about things, about stories things tell, how they tell them; about   relations of those objects, stories and storytelling techniques (with subjects), and dynamics between them. I am thinking about situations that have the ability to create a pretext for rapture or difference to occur in a flow.

The box left from the latter exhibition (being part of the last stage of the trick) here, through the trick itself, turns into its germ – the pledge.  Now it is a trigger for another project, which is extended in time for a season, like TV series.

03 – Against Their Reason

Somehow recently, I have become able to step into moments of misunderstanding. It is not only about language (nails nailed into themselves). It is also about gestures and objects (penetrating whiteness of the wall in front of your half-closed eyes).

I was really baffled at first, but then I realized I can now concentrate on lining instead of linen. This is how the football field has been marked anew. A smell of paint. A whistle of a coach; frightening and hypnotizing simultaneously.

Coronation of misunderstanding (the game is dead, long live the game!) is an opportunity to understand, misunderstand and understand everything anew. There is a space of seven breaths in this playground, where you can add some things or take them away, where you can redirect causality. Here, a windmill does not turn because of winds anymore. Now it is celestial bodies, conceptualized movement of celestial bodies that determine the spin.


After all, these moments of misunderstanding rarely occur in solitude. Even though it is not always obvious, it is still about different kinds of interactions in the end.

Somehow recently...

Author of the exhibition: Simon Nicaise

Curator: Neringa Bumblienė

The exhibition will be held until 18th August, 2013

Organizers: The Purple Swamphen, KCCC

Sponsors: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, Klaipeda City Municipality, L’Institut français de Lituanie, Ambassade de Lituanie en France

[1] Michael Taussig, The Stories Things Tell And Why They Tell Them, e-flux journal#36, 07/ 2012, www.e-flux.com

[2] Prestige: Phantasmagoria Now, exhibition catalog, Klaipėda: KCCC, 2012, p. 24.