In the art world, «psychology» often receives bad press, while «theory» receives the favors and kind attentions: an artwork that is supposed to illustrate a new theory will be valorized, blessed with a new aura, while an artwork that seems conspicuously motivated by psychological reasons will struggle to retain our attention. However, isn’t it exactly there that we can recognize the permanence of these motivations that are precisely psychological? What about the artists’ motivations? Would their readings keep track of them?
The exhibition Psychologie bibliologique and the eponym publication owe their title to the ephemeral discipline founded by Nicolas Roubakine at the beginning of last Century, pursuing the «scientific study of a book, its circulation, its use and its influence.» Both the exhibition and the publication consist of facsimiles of the pages of books that ten artists — who, in the sixties and the seventies, witnessed the renewal of the humanities: psychoanalysis, Marxism, anti-psychiatry... — agreed to share. Ten artists who precisely think and create outside of the subject, the same subject for which psychology was criticized because it pretended it could positively determine the scope. These pages allow us to have a look at the potential origin of an artist’s specific artwork or his whole body of works. An origin that is the own act of a subject. Which is a question of psychology, again.
On display on the walls of the gallery, the annotated and underlined pages — selected by the artists — will be shown facing an artwork by Louise Lawler, The capacity to be alone, that owes its title to Winnicott and artworks by artists of a younger generation. Whether they reveal humanities books of that time (Jérémie Bonnefous), whether they take photographs of the traces of the psyche in analysis or interned traces (Anaëlle Vanel) or whether they find in dated and recurrent motives the pages to read in the objects of the day-to-day (Roland Görgen), we find each time the same dialectic «inside / outside» that convenes psychology as much as it denies it.
The publication of Psychologie bibliologique consists of facsimiles of the pages selected by the artists, that they perhaps have annotated and underlined, coming from the psychology books of their personal library — here in a broad sense. The introduction of the book consists of a selection of philosophical quotes on the question of psychology.