What is not visible is not invisible, by Julien Discrit
Visual arts

1 min

What is not visible is not invisible, by Julien Discrit

Through a simple installation, Julien Discrit presents a highly poetic interrogation of the relationship between what is seen in our lives and what remains hidden.


© Julien Discrit

An artist geographer

Born in 1978 in Champagne, Julien Discrit began studying geography in Reims before doing a master’s degree in fine arts at the Ecole Supérieure d’Art et de Design in Saint-Étienne.


This course led him to question the relationship between real spaces and imaginary spaces, between the map and the territory, as in Never Neverland (2005) which ironically connects the mercantile island of Gorda Cay in the Bahamas, a Disney cruise stop, to the fictional island of Peter Pan, which evokes eternal childhood.


An artist of many techniques – from video to sculpture to installations – Julien Discrit does not hesitate to mix knowledge and techniques which are often complex.



Playing with appearances

The installation What is not visible is not invisible presents a series of words written on a wall with invisible ink, revealed by black-light spotlights which are triggered by the movements of the audience.


Interactive, the installation is simple and effective. Like a song which gets stuck in your head, it is an indelible experience for the mind and body alike. With a message: Art offers an enriched vision of reality and makes it possible to see what previously seemed invisible.



Not such a simple work

What is not visible is not invisible was created in 2008 for the exhibition “The Consistency of the Visual” ("La Constantance du Visuel"), organised for the 10-year anniversary of the Ricard Foundation prize. The exhibition, directed by Nicolas Bourriaud, sought to highlight the concept of “fetish” as developed by anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss.


Beneath a very simple exterior, Julien Discrit’s installation, like a fetish, provokes a complex response. Here he uses a game of questions and answers that call into question the very existence of the status of “work of art”.


From Lorraine to Asia

 In 2016-2017, What is not visible is not invisible travelled to Asia and even gave its title to an exhibition presented at the National Museum in Singapore.


As part of the Lorraine Regional Contemporary Art Fund collection, it continued its Asian journey – notably in Thailand and South Korea – as part of a tour of French FRAC collections. It fit perfectly into a series of works and installations which included the work of Louidgi Beltrame and Richard Fauguet. These are works that question our perception: that of the real but also that of the art present around us which is sometimes invisible in our daily lives.

The Institut français and the project

What is not visible is not invisible was presented as part of an exhibition of the same name at the Singapore National Museum in 2016, at the Song Eun Artspace in Seoul in May 2017 and at the Bangkok Art Culture Center BACC in Banghok in July 2017, with the support of the Institut français.