It's a circus (dark Grey)

Jonathan Monk

Date : 2011

Medium : Photography

Size : 75x60 cm, 150x120 cm

Monochrome gris: acrylic on canvas

This piece is part of a series of 23 monochromatic paintings which were hung at the Yvon Lambert Gallery, Paris, in March 2011 by a circus troop of two floor acrobats, an aerial acrobat, four jugglers and two mimes.
The paintings were hung in a melange of colour and energy, and according to a precise choreography dictated by Jonathan Monk. Having not witnessed this performance, the public can only observe the effervescence of the hanging through the 23 photographs presented in the front room of the gallery.

The guide

Although art should be taken seriously, the role of the artist is to sometimes bend its codes or even mock them.

A provocateur, Jonathan Monk stayed true to his reputation when he asked two floor acrobats, an aerial acrobat, four jugglers and two mimes to hang a series of 23 paintings in an art gallery—23 monochromatic paintings whose grey canvas we can now view.

The British artist focuses here not on the process of creating art but on the process through which the works are hung and revealed to the viewer.
To this end, he called upon a circus troop whose performance served to frame his canvasses. This lively dance, performed behind closed doors, was then immortalised by a photographer. The photograph shows the installation of the canvas. The final work is made up of two inseparable components: a monochrome painting and a photograph of its hanging— an artwork within an artwork!
Monk proposes a very conceptual reflection on the creation and staging of art, but thanks to the circus imagery, the result suggests the innocent and magical world of childhood.

More than a creator, Monk is a facilitator of meetings: that of two worlds, the fairground arts and the visual arts, photography and painting displayed side-by-side, the rigidity of monochrome and the fervour of life.
Finally and most importantly, the artist, lucid and critical, allows himself to parody the world of contemporary art.