Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery is pleased to present Dérive(s), an exhibition curated by Romain Dauriac featuring artists Sylvie Auvray, Sarah Braman, Olivier Kosta-Théfaine, Anita Molinero, Nicholas Pilato, Evan Robarts and John Roebas.
Dérive(s) is a simple French word that has been transformed into an internationally recognized concept through the writings of Guy Debord. According to the original definition, a dérive is a "drift" or "drifting", an act of departing from a given direction. Thus to drift in the wind for example, or in any current - there is a suggestion of passivity, or surrender, in the word. But according to Debord, the dérive takes on a different dimension; in his 1958 Theory of the Dérive, Debord redefines the act as "a playful-constructive behavior and awareness of psychogeographical effects". Debord turns dérive from an innocuous verb into a philosophical concept, a poetic attitude toward life, and above all a revolutionary mode of action.
A dérive combines a sense of letting-go with its flow of acts, its gestures, its strolls, its encounters. A dérive requires a sense of adventurousness, a willingness to explore an unknown environment, as well as a temporary suspension of day-to-day relations, work and leisure activities. The dérive exists outside of one's typical mode of engagement with the world and as such constitutes a "socio-emotional" gesture. The derivers are simultaneously influenced by the urban environment while they struggle against it through artistic production, imagination and play.
"The sense of dérive is naturally connected with a more general way
of taking life, yet it would be awkward to deduce mechanically. I do
not dwell on the precursors of the drift, which can precisely recognize,
divert or misuse, in the literature of the past, or on specific aspects of
passion that causes drift. The difficulties of the drift are those of
freedom. We have every reason to believe that the future will
precipitate irreversible change in the behavior and decor of modern
society. One day, we build cities for drift. We can use the dérive with
relatively slight changes, some areas that already exist. We can use
some people that already exist."
-Guy Debord, Lips naked No. 9, December 1956 and Situationist
International No. 2, December 1958.