Photography and lie detector
Michel Philippot, 2011 © Paulette Phillips
In July 2011, for 10 days, the Michèle Chomette gallery became a centre for secret interrogations carried out by the Canadian artist Paulette Phillips, using a lie detector as part of a project she is developing. In 2009, in Baltimore, she was accredited as an examiner and analyst of a system and a protocol that she is now introducing for the first time into the field of art.
We invited along a panel of personalities operating at the centre of this field, or on its periphery: artists, curators, collectors, gallery owners, theorists, journalists. Some of them, naturally curious and intellectually reactive, and in spite of vacational dispersal, took part in an unfamiliar experiment, passing through the gallery hour by hour, amused or thrilled, impassive or guarded. Informed by the artist about the paradoxical concept of complicity that governed the operation, then strapped to the machine, they conscientiously played the game, providing a series of yes/no answers to the 33 questions put to them by Phillips. As the camera scanned them from face to hands, the polygraph printed out the curves and spikes generated by the body's knowledge of truth. Each then discussed the resulting chart with the artist, and received an authorised, secret interpretation, along with a signed card, in a ritual attesting to their confrontation with the lie detector.
It is in Paris that Phillips will be giving the first presentation of The Directed Lie Project, rather than in one of those locations where, for the last two years, she has been leading subjects through the experiment, and building up a graphic, visual, reflexive archive of attitudes to truth and falsehood in the art world, in keeping with the essential motor of her practice, which is conceptual, but rooted in human experience (film, video, performance, sculpture, etc.). Her aim is to give visibility to doubt, duality and ambivalence in language, judgement and appearance. At the gallery, in the form of an installation, the public will find a book, linked to the projection of individual diptychs: portrait + chart. They can also attempt to investigate the unveilings of the subjects, or analyse for themselves the process whereby untruth is created in the art world.
Michel Philippot who is one of the collaborator of La Lettre passed the test (see picture). You can read his expérience in the french version of La Lettre.
The Directed Lie, Paris 2011 — installation, video, sculpture and works on paper
September 14 - October 29, 2011
Galerie Michèle Chomette
24 rue Beaubourg