So, I offered artist Louise Siffert the position of ‘Happiness Manager’. It is a role she already takes in her performance pieces, which question the working world and our incessant injunctions to self-care. A runway show is a stressful moment, and I wanted to highlight that fact with the extension of this offer. Louise, in turn, conceptualized a performance of relaxation for the staff, held in public the day before the show.
I proceeded to give out other job titles following this same conceptual transposition, which sets a blurred boundary between artist and service-provider: Casting Director, Make-up Artist, Set Designer, Sound Designer, and Head of Public Relations. Each operated in a more or less similar mode as artists in relation to the supposed tasks of their staff positions. This is the case with Garush Melkonyan, who has played a special role in the project involving management and organization since the very beginning.
For several years, his artistic work has investigated video aesthetics and their internal dialogues. He hacks them and arranges them into installations. For the last collection, he designed a work on model castings. He actually did the casting of the models with me and was then inspired by a technique called ‘the calliagnosia’ from a science-fiction novel. In this novel, a neuronal device disables the wearer from distinguishing a beautiful face from an ugly one. His idea was to make a documentary of this fictive technique as used in the casting of Nouvelle Collection Paris.