The Angel's Share Philippe Mayaux
When you distill a spirit (such as cognac, brandy, or whisky), the angel’s share is the amount of alcohol that is lost to evaporation when the liquid is being aged in porous oak barrels. This almost alchemical process infuses the exhibition. Echoing the very essence of Tin Flats as a production space, this exhibition gathers artists from various generations, focusing on the idea of process. The term process, derived from the technical and industrial world, is used in a daily manner, in all kinds of contexts. Somehow, the technical origins of the word haven’t erased its poetic potential. No matter what the process is for, whether it is distilled spirits or another object of creation, the angels will always take their cut. The angel’s share becomes a mental image used as a reference for any transformation – artistic creation, production, learning, growth, translation – both in a technical and evanescent way. Something always goes missing or unseen. This intangible element could refer to what Duchamp called the personal “art coefficient” contained in any artwork. In a talk given in Houston at the meeting of the American Federation of the Arts in April 1957, Duchamp analyzed the creative act and formulated this concept of “art coefficient”. He described it as the gaps between the several subjective reactions going from the artist’s intention to realization. The art coefficient contained in every artwork somehow escapes the artist’s conscience.
Embracing the intangibility and the impossibility of fully perceiving any process or transformation, including the creative act, the artworks gathered in this exhibition offer a perspective on these spaces and times which become a place of encounter with the audience. This phenomenon becomes almost a tool of mediation opening a free space of dialogue for the public; a social, esthetic and/or emotional exchange.