From May 31, 2011 to July 16, 2011
Opening on Wednesday November 30, -1
The galerie laurent mueller presents the first solo exhibition in France by the english artist James Brooks.

The exhibition utilises high and low cultural sources from cinema, theatre, music and television as departure points to produce a series of works in drawing, video, print and audio. The work explores the performance based nature of the source material, through employing processes which forefront ideas concerning time, duration and visibility, along with an audience’s relationship to Art production. Folks in part, attempts to spotlight an audience’s role within an auditorium or public space: where to sit or stand, the etiquette of appreciation and participation- with reference to Bertolt Brecht’s (2000) writings on the subject, along with the more recent analysis by Nicolas Bourriaud (1998).

Brooks’ interventions attempt to reaffirm the viewer’s physical position in time and space as an important component, akin to Walter Benjamin’s (2008) ideas on the importance of a physical encounter with a work of art. All the pieces in the exhibition operate with a strong sense of internal logic in relation to the source material. These "slight to laborious" interventions of altering the aesthetics of the specific information are an attempt to forefront a particular aspect or observation, from the whimsical to the austere. One part of the exhibition presents a series of 31 audience seating layout drawings of New York City theatres: seating plans of 24 ‘On’ Broadway theatres and seating plans of 7 ‘Off‘ Broadway theatres. By presenting the crowd or audience as the artwork, Brooks is attempting to question the 20t Century convention of cultural consumption by playing with an intentional, disorientating inversion. Continuing the analysis of an "active" or "passive" engagement of an audience, the audio work Absent friends edits out the narrative and visual content of a generic episode of the American TV series Friends, leaving just the sporadic punctuation of canned audience laughter for its duration. Furthermore, Brooks’ video piece Reversed Performance appropriates the 1970’s Film Performance starring Mick Jagger. By re-filming the rewinding visuals from the reverse of a domestic television, the narrative content of the film is lost and thus becomes an abstract light presentation, akin to music concert lighting projecting out into the audience from a stage position.