The first section of my essay is based around Chaimowicz’s expatriation from France to England as a young boy. My aim was to find information circulating around this subject that could provide me with a stronger insight into how his expatriation affected him.
I started off by exploring again the artspace website which I had used for my introduction. From here I looked at an article written by Michael Archer for ArtForum from which I drew a quote that summarized Chaimowicz’s feelings towards his expatriation. This quote was taken from when Chaimowicz was discussing his work Jean Cocteau, one of his most poignant works on the subject.
“[I have] sort of fantasy about that which is Parisian. This has to do with the reclaiming of what I felt had been taken from me in my formative years. If somebody in his early childhood is removed from a particular cultural environment and then has to process that relatively brutal displacement, that person is liable, is he not, to fantasize?”
This example helped me to understand further how Chaimowicz’s expatriation affected him. From here I felt it only fitting to look at his piece Jean Cocteau and how much of his experience he put in it.
I looked at several articles that spoke about the piece Jean Cocteau. The first of which was a Frieze article that looked in depth at the Jean Cocteau room. It enabled me to see what other artwork was contained within the room and how the room was constructed for Jean Cocteau even after his death. It helped me to follow the ideas of Chaimowicz whilst creating this room.
In order to continue I took the different objects and artwork that were highlighted in the Frieze article. I found another article that breached this subject by Lafuente, 2013. It discusses the artists whose pieces are in Jean Cocteau along with discussing the private and public. The Public and the Private are highlighted throughout all of Chaimowicz’s pieces, in Jean Cocteau it comes in the form of the fact that viewers can look through the 20 centimetre window in order to explore the space. But they can also enter into the room. The decision is entirely their own, do they feel comfortable enough to enter into what Chaimowicz clearly considers Cocteau’s private space. At the end of the article he briefly looks at how Cocteau and Chaimowicz are similar.
The artists that Chaimowicz uses in the piece Jean Cocteau that I have highlighted within my essay are Marcel Breuer, Giacometti, Enrico David and Tom of Finland. My initial exploration aimed to understand why they had been placed in the room.
I found out through my discovery of certain articles, that Giacometti was used due to the fact Cocteau admired and praised his work. Chaimowicz may have chosen to add in Giacometti as he could imagine it is artwork that Cocteau would have wanted in his personal space.This could also be said of the work of Tom of Finland who draws homosexualised figures. Cocteau also drew homosexualised figures and this connection of themes could be the reason for Chaimowicz’s choice. Enrico David highlights that one of his influences is Jean Cocteau. These artists were put into the room for a reason and it led me in a different direction through discovering them.
In connection with this piece I again studied his expatriation through looking at the piece Fade. I found out about this piece through a video that discussed Jean Cocteau’s murals, “Cocteau in Soho”.
This video showed Chaimowicz talking about his interest in the Murals that Cocteau created. He discusses how it influenced his piece fade in which I have looked at how his use of the Annunciation that Cocteau drew reappears within Chaimowicz’s work. I wanted to consider how this could have been appropriation and reproduction.
Images for Section One
Marc Camille Chaimowicz
Isokon Long Chair
Marc Camille Chaimowicz with Colin Naylor
Bibliography for Section one
This article looks into the piece Jean Cocteau and Chaimowicz’s admiration for Cocteau along with other French figures such as Proust and Genet.
Frieze are one of the most renowned names in art and it was for this reason I found this article reliable. It examines the idea of “rooms” within Chaimowicz’s work. It bring into play Jean Cocteau, the most famous of his pieces and explains what artwork was used within the room, how the room was constructed post Cocteau’s death and the significance of the autobiography within a room.
Lafuente P., ‘Marc Camille Chaimowicz’. Art Review, Volume No 12, 2003
This article by Lafuente looks into the idea of space by examining Jean Cocteau. It, just as the Frieze article, states the use of various artists within the piece. It also looks at the theme of the public and private and finishes by comparing Cocteau and Chaimowicz.
Within this article, Cocteau is quoted describing his love of Giacometti’s work. It could explain why Giacometti was added into the Cocteau room.
An article looking at the work of Enrico David. It highlights Cocteau as one of his influences which is crucial to the discovery of why Chaimowicz added his work into the piece.
Franco Cavaliere (2013) Erotic Drawings by Jean Cocteau. Available at https://vimeo.com/ 80980483
A video that briefly looks into the Erotic Drawings of Jean Cocteau enabling a link with Tom of Finland.
Frieze (2014) Cocteau in Soho. Available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqjySaQR0jE
A video that explores the murals in the Notre Dame de France Church in London. The video shows Chaimowicz discussing his love of these murals and how they influenced his piece Fade.