Issue 6 The Total Archive »

The Totality of True Propositions (Before) (2008-2009)


The Totality of True Propositions (Before) (2008-2009)

Julien Prévieux’s artwork The Totality of True Proposition (Before) (2008–2009) is a bookcase surrounded by huge diagrams. The bookcase contains numerous books and user’s guides that have been deemed obsolete by French librarians and slated for destruction. Public library space is often limited, and new books replace the old ones. Prévieux’s work is the result of a lengthy task of collecting outmoded books from public library collections, bringing together manuals and handbooks such as old dictionaries (like Le Nouveau Petit Larousse, published in 1959) and computer books (like Windows 95 for Dummies), as well as historical and theoretical volumes such as USSR, The Country where The Sun Never Goes Down (1971) by Emil Schulthess and The Modern Warfare (1984) by William V. Kennedy, whose modernity and ideas have not survived the inexorable passage of time. Overlooked, scorned, and on the sidelines of state-of-the-art knowledge, these books, once reorganized in a library of linguistic, technical, and historical puzzles, contain knowledge that is no longer germane, but still makes sense on an ironic and poetic level. A particular section of this knowledge freezer contains books that forecast what tomorrow would be, such as Future Shock, the famous bestseller written by Alvin Toffler in 1970. Written 20 or 30 years ago, the content of these predictive books sound offbeat if we compare them with what we experience today. Julien Prévieux traced huge diagrams by means of data mining, transforming the themes of these works into a set of crazy oracles. Like a cartographic exercise, it traces the outlines of a completely uchronic parallel future, not without wit.

See more of Julien Prévieux’s work here.

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Julien Prévieux, Totality of True Proposition (Before), 2008-2009
Copyright images: Julien Prévieux
Courtesy Jousse Entreprise Gallery, Paris

About the author

Julien Prévieux is a French artist and laureate of the 2014 Marcel Duchamp Prize. More »