01.12.22—05.01.23 — 12:00
Location: argos website

argos tv46: Jacques Lizène

Jacques Lizène, Quelques séquences d'art sans talent (1979) © the artist(s)

argos tv brings new and old works from the soɓɹɐ collection to your personal screen. Each first Thursday of the month, a film will be made available on our website, up for a month, entirely free of charge.

The selected film gets simultaneously shown on a window display at Koopliedenstraat 62 Rue des Commerçants (next to the rile* entrance).

Jacques Lizène, Quelques séquences d'art sans talent (1979)

Séquences d’art sans talent consists of a series of clips highlighting the antics and utterly outrageous behaviour of Jacques Lizèe. In the role of the Petit Maître liégeois, artiste de la médiocrité et de la sans importance [Little Master from Liège, artist of mediocrity and unimportance], Lizène follows a spot on the screen with his finger, pushes the test card away with a snap of his fingers, sings inaudibly, forces his body within the frame, makes a turd by squeezing a paint tube, waddles and disintegrates between two small naked female figures dancing at the edge of the screen with a feather between their buttocks, and ends up waving a white flag. Against the backdrop of a woman shaking her naked breasts, he then assumes the posture of a pitiful burlesque cook with a floured face, slicing up his cucumber, aubergine, carrot… not exactly his sex – well, it might as well be. Finally, he makes a shabby action painting by spitting on the camera lens. Since 1966, Jacques Lizène has taken a stand for talentless art, belittling his own works to head off any judicious criticism. Throughout these sequences, he declares them bad, to be redone, not failed enough, uninteresting, insignificant, glaringly infantile, inept, indefensible, and inexpressive. Claiming the clown’s place, Lizène plays with the ego, emphasises the artist’s presence, and constantly undercuts himself. With a consummate sense of provocation and zaniness, he uses the numerous manipulations that marked the heroic days of video art: split screens, chroma-keying, and colour shifts, thereby turning the great hypnosis machine of television on its head. The latter would not be fooled, though. The film was produced by RTBF Liège in 1979. It was to be shown on the Vidéographie programme in March 1980 but was censored by the RTBF hierarchy just a few hours beforehand and was not broadcast until a year later, in April 1981.

It should be noted that some of these sequences refer to other works by the Petit Maître: Contraindre le Corps, Être son propre tube de couleurs – peinture à la matière fécale, Minable Music-Hall and, of course, Vasectomie, youppie.

Historian and art critic Jean michel Botquin