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Here Lies
(translated from the french)
Prelude to Lying... 1975

In 1987 in Brussels, Michel Wauthoz had traced some
silhouettes of figures despaired on public phone cabins. These drawings constituted the vertical part of a work of which the horizontal part was to be consisted by painted fragments of anatomy strewing the ground, such of the torn off and bloody members. Not very satisfied with the result, the study remained about it there.

In 1988, two silhouettes of figures had been cut out in vinyl and contours had been carbonized with the blowtorch. At the time of the first "Salon des Refusés" (Brussels May 1988), these figures were installed, lying in a dirty water puddle pool on the ground of the hangar of the "Arsenal du Charroi" which sheltered the exhibition. By their low visibility, these works were noticed little.

During years '90, pieces of found carpets had been transformed into lying figures. Flattened that and there on the pavement or the roadway, they were more beautiful effect with respect to the passers by in upright position. The Lying (the red man on the ground) had a very special presence according to the relation drawn up either with an insulated passer by, or with a group, or with the flood of people, each one observing or a glance, or a variation, or a deviation or one gap like a small island in a river.

A long time these experiments remained outstanding in the spirit of the dialectician who had not found yet their critical entry point, nor their opposite. Indeed, the lying ones and the desperate ones were not in contradiction, but in compassion. They missed the cause what to lie. As in the life, essence remained absent and left a vacuum. As in art, this vacuum became essence and indicated the absence of life.

On his side, Michel Wauthoz works in contradiction towards there commercial publicity (advertising) which is exposed in the space and in the public conscience as neo-culture of which it has all the characteristics. He works with and on advertising bills recovered at the end of the display campaigns to transform them into works of art. In 1995, a work of publicist impression on advertising paper put in scene characters and figures resulting from the advertising imagery and their immaterial presence of fictitious population showed.

There confrontation of art with the artifices of the advertisement, ends up finding a battle field favourable with a confrontation. From face to face between the advertisements and the public, both upright in a mental duel, it is possible to come to thwart, circumvent, turn other the power of the images. This one takes possession of the concerns of the public left to its omnipresence and its positivism, very far from the concerns of the contemporary art. The commercial imagery takes possession of all the place to affirm the only thing which must interest them people :
here all that you can pay of little that one pays you! (money being an abstraction which médiatise a concrete social relation). If one places an effigy of victim at the foot of the protagonists of this relation mediatized by images, the power of these images is some opposed, if not contradicted, by the fact that it does not integrate any negativity relative to this relation, while the public, concerned with the victim, is recalled to the idea of the occulted power, as it is recalled to the memory of the negative of which he is a part in this relation. The truth, whose publicity misses, is that the power is with which the capital holds.

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On the hinge of the millenium, Michel Wauthoz thus designed a public work of art which will take the form of a succession of episodes: Lying & Population Pub planned for thousand years.
first episode appeared in margin of the exhibition Voici, 100 years of art contemporary;
second episode was placed at the input of the International Fair of Art LINEART 2000;
third episode spent the weekend close to "l'Atelier 340".
an interlude in the underground station ARTS-LOI preceded
fourth episode where four lying died of cold in the porch of "Le Botanique" ...

Up to now, the Population Pub remained out of view, only the supernatural image of a Top model ensures some the introduction. The following episodes should see entering in scene the figures of cultural alienation : fiction of happiness in a society of classes.

here lies population pub

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