Peter Briggs shelf life

Exhibition june 12, 2013 - june 30, 2013
6bis cité de l'ameublement - Paris 11e
wednesday - saturday, 2pm - 7pm and by appointment
On the 27th of June, art critic Sandra Delacourt invites Emmanuel Rivière to hang pieces in the Peter Briggs exhibition

Peter Briggs has been working for a number of years on a wall installation comprising samples, off-cuts and test pieces from his archives which have not developed into independent pieces as part of his oeuvre.
Sicilian obsidian, blown glass from India and Sèvres porcelain are amongst the materials the artist has brought into play. Little by little these pieces were organized and then arranged on a specially designed shelf. They bear witness at one and the same time to forty years of activity as an artist and to the geographical diversity of places where Briggs has worked.
Initially conceived of as a chronological sequence, linearly organised, the objects were set at eye level, within grasping distance, and it was in this form that the installation gradually developed into the prototype of the piece we see today – “Shelf Life”.
The piece’s narrative was then reworked using montage and flashbacks as in cinema, steering it away from the pitfalls of autobiography and nostalgic story-telling. History is permanently at work and anything contemporary is pure chance.
The installation is the representation of its own narrative; it is not an artist-at-work narrative. The accumulation of unfinished pieces does not lead to a search for the ‘major’ artwork in Briggs’ case, rather it is the creative impulse in itself which brings together the conditions for true artistic experimentation.
This change of approach brings the beholder to the realization that it is no longer the coming together of thought and experience that make a work; on the contrary, it is how the work evolves into thought and experience.
At the heart of every work of art is the process of creation masked by the enigma of reality and its representation.
The “Shelf Life” shown in Paris at the Scrawitch Gallery is the most recent version. Divided into three separate pieces, it has adapted to the gallery space. Also on show will be a glass display cabinet, a suspended assemblage and two convex mirrors, all of which were made between 1997 and 2013.
Peter Briggs was born in the UK in 1950. He lives and works in France. His work is in many private and public collections, the Centre Pompidou, the FNAC French national art collection, Montreal Fine Art Museum, the Museums of Saint Etienne, Belfort, Poitiers, Châtellerault, La Roche sur Yon, Savannah (U.S.A.), Manufacture de Sèvres-Cité de la Céramique, together with the regional art collections of Brittany, Pays de Loire, Poitou-Charentes, Limousin, Centre, Ile de France and several departmental and municipal collections.
Peter Briggs biography