Inspired by science fiction, TV sitcoms, comic books, literature, and poetry, Boris Achour draws on a broad repertoire of styles and thoughts that he appropriates and remodels through the filter of his artistic concern. Since the late 1990s, Achour began to stand out with his performance piece Actions-peu and other stagings in the public space, recording traces of these other adlib performances with no real audience except for the spontaneous passers-by. At the beginning of the twenty- first century, Achour’s oeuvre moved from the street to the film set and the exhibition space, embracing video production and sculpture while moving away from dated formats, such as the video library (Cosmos, 2001) or the traditional library–archive (The Grasshopper in the High Castle, 2013).
Since 2006, his Conatus series—referencing Spinoza’s concept of self-preservation—is a sequence of designed spaces serving as stages for performances which, in turn, are recorded and translated into films. The series unfolds in different episodes (Trailer, Pilot, Joy, A Forest, Yes) and favors both minimal and hybrid forms and installations that exude vibrant shapes and colors. Ever-changing, this admirer of Fluxus increases the number of sculptures and other assemblages with frequent references to games. More recently, his Séances (2012)—comprising video, text, sound, and sculpture—is based on the perception of fragment as a primordial element to connecting with the world. In this project, image, sound, object, and setting become one, leading to a “landscape/set to be walked through” with the aim of offering the spectator an immersive experience. Sleeping characters, night scenes, obscurity: In Séances, the presence of night and sleep travels through this poetic piece in an awakened state, in a world of endless night.
Games Whose Rules I Ignore is the title of Achour’s video installation at the 56th Biennale di Venezia. In the film, different participants/characters interact with objects and props, which are also displayed on a projection/ exhibition platform, thereby revealing the relationship between the two mediums. Is it an undefined ritual, a collective game with yet-unknown rules, or a tableau vivant? Achour once again opens up to us a quirky, personal, imaginary world.