There are close affinities between Patrick Corillon, Borges and the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa who created numerous imaginary characters, friends and relations through text, always creating their own lives for them and maintaining close relationships with them. Patrick Corillon created ten characters that have been evolving from exhibition to exhibition each time through tiny fragments of their biographies. In the beginning (1988), he did not unveil their identities. In 1991, the artist decided to change the data by bringing his character born in 1881 and deceased in 1959, Oscar Serti, out of hiding.
Following the example of a reporter, Patrick Corillon plays the role of the travelling artist realising his exhibitions and telling the different episodes of his characters’ adventures. Art becomes adventure or risk and reference is made to childhood worlds. Since 1998, Patrick Corillon’s stories have left their characters of the past to join the present and fit in with a community spirit, “we“ and “you“ becoming the subjects. Contrary to typical modern stories, Patrick Corillon prefers to unveil them progressively. They skim past the objects and places to which they are attached but never deliver images, apart from mental images. It is a task in the sense that Umberto Ecco gives to the word ; a work without end, a hypertext that opens up to infinity. A work of art that one may pass and not notice because it blends into the context of its appearance, where the text and reading become the access codes.
  The moments of every day life that Patrick Corrillon shows us are always anchored inside the places where they happen. Fiction is for the artist a postulate for reality and not a flight, it is a strategy for getting as close as possible to it. It is a method of investigation. Patrick Corillon brings the spectator back to an active position with regard to contemporary art since Duchamp. He occupies the position of an actor bringing to life the work of art. Each time he formulates a screen of mental images with his stories. Rendering visible the invisible, summoning us to imagine our own moving pictures.
The AWS proposal plunges us into a world of pictograms. What happens when these pictograms that govern our life in society, our urban behaviour, suddenly start influencing our intimate lives ? When they pass from the walls of the city into the walls of our homes…
Born at Knokke (Belgium) in 1959, Patrick Corillon lives and works in Paris. He also teaches at the Fine Arts Academy of Nantes. His work has been presented at the Documenta IX of Cassel in 1992, at the Sao Paulo Biennial in 1994, at the Lyon Biennial in 1996, at the Tate Gallery in London in 1999. He will be exhibiting at the Sydney Biennial in 2002.
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