What A Bad Place This French Castle Is

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The architecture of the Chateau de Montsoreau is a pioneer of the Renaissance in France. Visiting the comparatively austere, but nevertheless spectacular château(castle) of the Loire Valley in France, we do not only enter a piece of historic architecture, but also into collector Philippe Meaille’s private museum of contemporary art, in which he houses his universe of Art & Language. He collects only works from Art & Language artists – the pioneering Conceptual Art group founded in 1968. Both the castle and the art are pioneers, and now the collector has made his interview with LARRY’S LIST a kind of pioneer among our interviews: as Art & Language have incorporated lyrics and music into their art practice, so Philippe Meaille has answered in the form of a song lyric, making a piece of Conceptual Art in the process.
The interview will begin with the whole ‘lyric’ and then go on to intertwine it with the questions from LARRY’S List.

Art & Language, A BAD PLACE, 2019. Photo: Léonard de Serres. Courtesy of Château de Montsoreau - Museum of Contemporary Art.
Art & Language, A BAD PLACE, 2019. Photo: Léonard de Serres. Courtesy of Château de Montsoreau – Museum of Contemporary Art.

 

A Bad Place 

We are developing concepts on almost everything
This is what words are good for
Sometimes objects are coming out of this conversation
Sometimes conversation is coming out of these objects.

There is a misunderstanding about love
Love is reciprocity
Always look both ways before crossing the street
It is the best weapon against mediocrity
A Mirror and a Bad Place.

We are developing concepts on almost everything
This is what words are good for
Sometimes objects are coming out of this conversation
Sometimes conversation is coming out of these objects

The 1 to 10 million dollars deal
It is somewhere between a Mirror and a Bad Place
Answer “yes” both cases whatever the price is
They are the ones to fall in love with
I was completely drunk
Time didn’t exist anymore
Four words Fast Efficient Wild and Risky
Art is about generosity
The amount of generosity you deliver is life

We are developing concepts on almost everything
This is what words are good for
Sometimes objects are coming out of this conversation
Sometimes conversation is coming out of these objects.

Beauty is out of control
History and architecture can meet beauty
Beauty is out of control
I can’t meet beauty
Women are back in a Bad Place 

Philippe Méaille in Dubai. Photo: Corinne Timsit. Courtesy of Philippe Méaille.
Philippe Méaille in Dubai. Photo: Corinne Timsit. Courtesy of Philippe Méaille.
Art & Language, Incident, Now They Are, Elegant, 1993. Photo: Léonard de Serres. Courtesy of Château de Montsoreau - Museum of Contemporary Art.
Art & Language, Incident, Now They Are, Elegant, 1993. Photo: Léonard de Serres. Courtesy of Château de Montsoreau – Museum of Contemporary Art.

 

Collecting

What made you want to start collecting art? What is the main motivation behind your collecting?
We are developing concepts on almost everything; this is what words are good for. Sometimes objects are coming out of this conversation. Sometimes conversation is coming out of these objects.

Art & Language and the Red Crayola, Kangaroo?, 1981-2017. Photo: Léonard de Serres. Courtesy of Château de Montsoreau - Museum of Contemporary Art.
Art & Language and the Red Crayola, Kangaroo?, 1981-2017. Photo: Léonard de Serres. Courtesy of Château de Montsoreau – Museum of Contemporary Art.

When did you fall in love with a piece of art? What was it?
There is a misunderstanding about love; love is reciprocity. Always look both ways before crossing the street.

Why did you focus on collecting Art & Language movement?
It is the best weapon against mediocrity.

What were the first and the latest artworks you purchased?
A Mirror and a Bad Place.

Art & Language, Mirror Piece, 1965. Photo: Léonard de Serres. Courtesy of Château de Montsoreau - Museum of Contemporary Art.
Art & Language, Mirror Piece, 1965. Photo: Léonard de Serres. Courtesy of Château de Montsoreau – Museum of Contemporary Art.

Why is it important for you to showcase your art collection publicly?
We are developing concepts on almost everything; this is what words are good for. Sometimes objects are coming out of this conversation. Sometimes conversation is coming out of these objects.

Art & Language, Study of Mother, Father, Monday: Map of the World, 2000-2001. Courtesy of Philippe Méaille.
Art & Language, Study of Mother, Father, Monday: Map of the World, 2000-2001. Courtesy of Philippe Méaille.
Art & Language, Study for Guernica in the style of Jackson Pollock, 1980. Courtesy of Philippe Méaille.
Art & Language, Study for Guernica in the style of Jackson Pollock, 1980. Courtesy of Philippe Méaille.

What considerations guide you to make a purchase?
The 1 to 10 million dollars deal; answer “yes” both cases whatever the price is.

What is your most treasured artwork?
It is somewhere between a Mirror and a Bad Place.

How important is it for you to meet the artists who created the artwork?
They are the ones to fall in love with.

Art & language, Three Suprematist Squares, 1965. Courtesy of Philippe Méaille.
Art & language, Three Suprematist Squares, 1965. Courtesy of Philippe Méaille.

 

The Art World

What was your happiest moment being involved in art?
I was completely drunk; time didn’t exist anymore.

Who inspires you the most in the art world?
Four words: Fast, Efficient, Wild, and Risky.

Why has art become important in your life? Is it a passion or an obsession or both?
Art is about generosity; the amount of generosity you deliver is life.

Château de Montsoreau - Museum of Contemporary Art in Loire Valley. Photo: Léonard de Serres. Courtesy of Philippe Méaille.
Château de Montsoreau – Museum of Contemporary Art in Loire Valley. Photo: Léonard de Serres. Courtesy of Philippe Méaille.

 

Château de Montsoreau-Museum of Contemporary Art

What is your motivation behind opening a museum?
We are developing concepts on almost everything; this is what words are good for. Sometimes objects are coming out of this conversation. Sometimes conversation is coming out of these objects.

Why did you choose to set up the museum in a castle? How does the castle’s history or architecture help to present artworks of Art & Language?
Beauty is out of control; History and architecture can meet beauty.

How much do you involve in curating the exhibitions in the castle?
Beauty is out of control; I can’t meet beauty.

What are the upcoming programs in the next months?
Women are back in a Bad Place.

Art & Language, Incident, Now They Are, Elegant, 1993. Courtesy of Philippe Méaille.
Art & Language, Incident, Now They Are, Elegant, 1993. Courtesy of Philippe Méaille.
Issue 1 of Art-Language: The Journal of Conceptual Art. Courtesy of Philippe Méaille.
Issue 1 of Art-Language: The Journal of Conceptual Art. Courtesy of Philippe Méaille.

 

Related: Château de Montsoreau – Museum of Contemporary Art

A selection of artists Philippe collects:
Art & Language: Charles Harrison, Joseph Kosuth, Ian Burn, David Bainbridge, Michael Baldwin, Harold Hurrell, Christine Kozlov, Mel Ramsden, Mayo Thompson, Kathryn Bigelow, Terry Atkinson, Michael Corris, Terry Smith, Philip Pilkington, David Rushton


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