A + O —
Around the Lucerne magazine on electronic cultures zweikommasieben, Entourage, organised by Think Tank and Call Super, British DJ invited for the occasion exclusively, were inserted the artistic interventions of a young Parisian duo of artists: a + o –, for Arthur Fouray and Nastassia Cougoulat-Montel. The interventions fade into the experience of the Nightclubs, with ‘Nice People Stamp’ welcoming the onlooker inside the nightclub, a ‘Baby Blue Cocktail’ available at the bar, ‘a + o – tarps’ and ‘Glossy Posters’ covering the walls, ‘Rings of Light’ behind the DJ booth, ‘Ice Lighting Gels’ spreading a blue atmosphere, ourshined by ‘Love Disco-Ball’, and finally a vitrine on the balcony of Romandie, a carte blanche to artist Loren Kagny, illuminated by ‘Black Light Lamps’. After a first edition in 2012 in the form of Bring Your Own Beamer, Think Tank tried the total aesthetic immersion in the spirit of a + o – answering their way to the minimalist graphics of zweikommasieben.
a + o – is a collaborative curatorial practice, observing objects as its primary focus. It aims to engage the viewer in a conversation about pop culture, through the mix of objects, from leftovers to art pieces to consumables. Through the prism of a + o –, objects are seen as the notes and tones used to write music, or the combinations of signs supporting languages and speech.
The research process of a + o – starts with a constant onlooker attitude, often discovering objects by chance while being on the move. It is then refined via multiple phases of selection, extraction, juxtaposition, and presentation.
The selection stems from a careful validation process with visual appeal, heterogeneity, social values and cultural idioms as criteria.
A photoshoot of the objects constitutes the extraction phase. The pictures are processed as clipped pack-shots to appear ‘neutral’ and disconnected from ‘real-life’ situations.
The website a-plus-o-min.us is a showcase, a collection, a catalogue, a database connecting, juxtaposing, and mixing cross-cultural elements (objects).
In physical contexts of presentation, such as an exhibition context or a nightclub, objects can be presented and used as ready-mades, gestures, ingredients, or even representations.
Inspired by advertising and merchandising methods as well as attitudes inherited from the contemporary art field, a + o – engages critical thinking on the relations of humans with consumerism.
Nastassia Cougoulat Montel