Rémy Markowitsch’s works take their cue from his engagement with literature and research, travel and discoveries, the appropriation of things alien, colonialism, a passion for collecting and the nature of addiction. At the same time they reflect on his chosen media of photography, books, video and language. Light – transluminating, illuminating, elucidating, enlightening – plays a central part in his work. For the series Nach der Natur/After Nature (1991–98) and On Travel (2004), for instance, Markowitsch made expeditions into the pictorial worlds he found in books. In the metaphorical and the literal sense, he sheds light on and through these photographic interpretations of the world, photographing motifs on two sides of the same page so that they are superimposed. All his photographic works are guided by the same principle. When it came to Bibliotherapy (2001–03) with the huge, glowing sculpture Bonsai Potato at its centre, Rémy Markowitsch was engaging with the book as a repository of knowledge, feelings and experiences. While Bibliotherapy and On Travel variously explore the archetypal human desire to accumulate knowledge and reflect on reading and looking at pictures as imaginary journeys, passions and addictions, You are not alone, vol. 1 (2004) additionally examines states of consciousness and human perception under the influence of alcohol, an entirely legal drug.
With an explorer’s thirst for knowledge, Markowitsch has combed through, brought to light and reinterpreted many of the traces left in the Coninx Villa by those who once lived there and by the art they collected. One fundamental aspect of his approach lies in his handling of light. Rooms as bright as day alternate in a crescendo and diminuendo of light with dimly lit spaces and still others that are shrouded in darkness. This score of light and dark not only influences and interprets the effect of the works presented in these rooms, but also points up the architectural changes to the building.
In his projects, Rémy Markowitsch creates imaginary contextual spaces by drawing on an immense store of references, but these spaces can only be accessed through his objects, photographs and his installations. Whether it is an expedition into our reading of foreign cultures as in On Travel, or the exposure of the convoluted links between money, the stock market, desire, power, politics and industry, as in The Onion Option: all of Markowitsch’s projects are the result of extensive forays into literature and research, history and politics, colonialism, the appropriation of the other, a passion for collection and addiction. In Emma’s Gift, inspired by Flaubert’s novel Madame Bovary, it happens that Emma Bovary gives a present to her author while the artist presents a gift to his public in the form of a song by the band The Hillbilly Moon Explosion,Madame Bovary, c’est moi.
-via artsy.net, http://thenewcollectorsbook.com/