Tiéri Rivière

UP . 28.10.2022

While Tiéri Rivière may not favour any specific medium and effortlessly shifts from video to installation to drawing to volume work, the same attachment to the idea of balance runs throughout his work, as he experiments and researches this notion in pieces based on tension and potential collapse. By materialising the expectation for a situation to occur (or not), the artist plays with time and with the way it will affect the viewer’s perception of the art. This temporal variable plays a part in the creative process, whether through the idea of suspension or the idea of repetition. This is especially the case in his videos, all of which follow the same production principle: short, looped sequence-shots of simple and often funny situations, producing burlesque overtones that appear implicitly throughout his entire body of work.
Objects occupy a central position in Tiéri Rivière’s works. Many of these depict the artist playing around with an object. The objects used are simple: a basin, a cinderblock or a sheet of corrugated iron, are all parts of a playful and intuitive plastic vocabulary that grows in time.
Tiéri Rivière’s works are characterised by their economy of means and their precise craftsmanship. This process is also found in the way he constructs his volumes through the use of simple workmanship or minute assemblage (Voyaz, Radeau, Bureau …), as well as in his drawings, in which blank space has a plastic quality, in that it stands out from its base and allows a graphic tension to linger: is the figure emerging from the blank surface or is it going to dissolve in it?


  • burlesque
  • absurde
  • idiotie


Jean-Yves Jouannais, 2003, L’Idiotie : art, vie, politique – méthode, Beaux Arts magazine
Henri Bergson, 1900, Le Rire, éditions Félix Alcan

De l’idiotie aux burlesques contemporains, Beaux Arts magazine, hors-série, 2005

Champ de référence


Buster Keaton
Erwin Wurm
Fischli and Weiss
Roman Signer
Philippe Ramette
Bruce Nauman
Daniel Firman

Champ de référence


Jacques Tati : Mon Oncle, Playtime.
Les frères Cohen : The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.
Buster Keaton : La Maison démontable (One Week).