400_Bad Request

Gilles Pourtier

Red pencil on arches paper 300gr

2020

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Gilles Pourtier is dyslexic. This biographical excursus is necessary to understand the importance of language in his work, both as a motor and a support for his creation.

These drawn texts come from the maxims found in fortune cookies that intrigue him in their relationship to orality (ingesting a food that contains words) and the problem of meaning of language. The translation is often bad, but it generates a form of poetry and pushes oneself to think about the use of one’s own language with a form of humor and discrepancy. The “impersonality” of the language of these maxims interests him in association with conceptual artists’ works such as Laurence Weiner, Jenny Holzer or Ed Ruscha.

Here, Gilles Pourtier has kept the typography, the mistakes and the color of the original texts.

His work changes of scale which gives another perspective and perception. The spectator is invested through his own experience and can decide whether to believe what is written on these small pieces of paper or not.

Pourtier has chosen the intersection between the two sentences at the letter “o”, this is a wordgame between “croire” (believe) and “croix” (cross). His interest for the line may be found in the close relationship between line and language, both of which allow the formulation of signs that are both simple and complex.

The title comes from error messages in HTTP protocols. For example, 400_Bad Request means that the syntax of the request is wrong. Here again, language structures all exchanges and relationships.

“Language is the house we live in.” Soren Kierkegaard

  • 100x70 cm
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