Rendez-vous, 1985


Slide, slide projector, easel, plexiglas sheet, collage on wall

Plexiglas sheet 50 x 50 cm, overall dimensions variable

Private collection

1985, Eindhoven, Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum: the work, which was conceived for the group exhibition dedicated to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Don Giovanni, included a music stand instead of the easel and pages from the libretto for Don Giovanni scattered across the walls.
1985, Athens, Dracos Art Center: a plexiglas sheet with squares in black ink (5 x 5 units) is set down on an easel, while scattered across the walls are twenty-five sheets, each of which with the detail from an image divided into twenty-five modules.
1985, Genoa, Galleria Locus Solus: the work assumed its current configuration, with plans of the exhibition site distributed on the walls.
1986, Stuttgart, Staatsgalerie: instead of the plans, on the wall the artist distributed the photographs of the other works on display.

The photomontage projected on the wall presents a life-size image of the complete figure of Raymond Roussel1, half-hidden by the white rectangle that he holds in front of himself, which Paolini added to the original image by cutting out the figure's arm. Before the wall, in the beam of light from the projector, is a plexiglas sheet on an easel, so that its shadow coincides with the white rectangle in the photographic image, while the shadow of the easel becomes the support for this illusory "painting" that Roussel is likely contemplating. On the wall, some plans of the place where the work is displayed – trimmed in the area corresponding to the white rectangle so as to valorize the presence of the illusory painting – define the spatial and temporal coordinates of the "appointment" recalled in the title. The title, in French in homage to Roussel, does not just summon the viewer to an encounter with the writer (the guest of the work or the stand-in for the author via the fiction of photography), but also and above all to the "appointment" par excellence in which the works finds its reason for being, in the here and now of its display.

Portrait of Raymond Roussel taken by Bernhard Wagner, 1910; reproduction from François Caradec, Vie de Raymond Roussel (1977-1933) (Paris: Jean-Jacques Pauvert éditeur, 1972), p. 96 (“Raymond Roussel, Carlsbad, 1910”).

1985 Eindhoven, Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Don Giovanni: Een opera voor het oog, 6 July - 8 September, no catalogue.
1985 Athens, Dracos Art Center, Athènes - Site de la création / Création d’un site, 2-24 September, repr. n. pag. (exhibition view).
1985 Genoa, Galleria Locus Solus, Giulio Paolini. Tra sé e me, 25 October - 20 December.
1986 Stuttgart, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Giulio Paolini, 20 September - 2 November, cited in the checklist of exhibited works vol. 4 no. 38 p. 52, repr. vol. 1 p. 59 (exhibition view Genoa 1985).
C. Ferrari, “Giulio Paolini. ‘Tra sé e me’”, in Domus 668 (Milan), January, 1986, repr. p. 93.
L. Busine, Les Doublures de Giulio Paolini (Brussels: Edition Lebeer-Hossmann, 1986), p. 40, repr. p. 37 (exhibition view Eindhoven 1985).
Sonsbeek 86. International Sculpture Exhibition, exhibition catalogue, Arnhem (Utrecht: Veen-Reflex, 1986), vol. 1, repr. pp. 228-229 (exhibition view Eindhoven 1985).
C. Owens, “Giulio Paolini”, in Giulio Paolini, exhibition catalogue, New York, Marian Goodman Gallery, 1987, n. pag., repr. no. 2 (detail, erroneously dated “1985-86”).
G. Paolini, Suspense. Breve storia del vuoto in tredici stanze (Florence: Hopeful Monster editore, 1988), repr. p. 236 (exhibition view Eindhoven 1985).
F. Poli, Giulio Paolini (Turin: Lindau, 1990), repr. nos. 120 (exhibition view Genoa 1985), 151 (exhibition view Eindhoven 1985).
M. Disch, Giulio Paolini. Catalogo ragionato 1960-1999 (Milan: Skira editore, 2008), cat. no. 553 pp. 562-563, repr and col. repr. (exhibition view Genoa 1985).
Entry by Maddalena Disch , 29/03/2023