Tout ce qui était vécu est devenu une simple représentation is the work of the Swiss artist Didier Rittener, a series of 13 black-and-white pigment prints measuring 66.5 x 47 cm and done on 305 gr. Hahnemühle paper. Rittener borrowed the prints’ geometric shapes from the pictorial corpus of the Russian artist Kazimir Malevich, which also provided the material for the succeeding reappropriations. The pigment prints are a new twist on Rittener’s monumental work Façade Nord, a lead-pencil drawing that could be seen on La Villa du Parc contemporary art center from 2014 to 2018 (the artist used the north façade of the art center for his support). That side of the building was erased in late 2018. Each shape was photographed in isolation and straight on, then reworked by the artist for the pigment print.
Since 2001, Rittener’s work has tapped into a repertory of images that he has sampled without hierarchy, genealogy, or chronology, from both low and high culture, classic and modern, and the history of art in particular. What he borrows is initially passed through the filter of the black-and-white drawing and is subject to all the possible manipulations, including distortion, collage, partial erasure, etc. That body of work, called Libre de droits (Duty Free), counts some 400 drawings on A4 tracing paper; each can then be adapted to different formats and supports, including sculpture, wall drawing, wallpaper, photograph, etc.
Didier Rittener (1969) lives and works in Lausanne. He has shown his work in numerous Swiss and European institutions and is the winner of several awards, including the Prix Drawing Now (Paris, 2013), Manor (2005), the Swiss Federal Art Prize in 2004, 2005, and 2006, and the Prix Fondation Irène Reymond in 2007. He teaches at HEAD Haute école d’art et de design of Geneva, and is one of the active founding members of the Circuit collective.
Publisher: A copublication of La Villa du Parc, centre d’art contemporain, and Gdm éditions, Paris
Number of pages: 13 shapes
Size: 66.5 x 47 cm