Attachements

23 Feb — 22 Apr 2017 at the Galerie Laurent Godin in Paris, France

Attachements, Exhibition view. Courtesy of Laurent Godin
Attachements, Exhibition view. Courtesy of Laurent Godin
6 APR 2017

The title could refer to the fixing principle through which things hold together – and already the technical reason and the allegorical function would be contained in one single word. Based on circumstantial rules and random balance, supported by soft wedges and confident in its elasticity, it stands. In spite of its empiricism, its haste, its lack of virility, in spite of anything, it stands. It even resists strong winds, gravity and defeatism. It also resists the friendly advice of a neoliberal society whose philosophical pitch comes from some vaguely Eastern personal development coaching, that is to say, the tyranny of “detachment”.

The following scene is a flashback, or something more violent, at least in words, a defragmentation of the disc - maybe with an axe. How can we stop at what we see, while the work is still ongoing? How can we look at the past while the present is burning, and sensible catalogues bore us? Here is the setting: an emergency architecture surrounded by flames.

However, this insurrectional pipe dream erected in the Galerie Laurent Godin (II), rather than a fenced assault, functions as a reading grid. With extremely minimal means, this frame highlights prominent edges. It draws clear lines aggregated around nebulas that soon shape a rustic cosmos, a matrix made from next to nothing which embraces everything. If it were a literary structure, it would be a project for an autobiography whose form would render visible the events as well as the textures of the years ; the impersonal and the collective would be united with the intimate ; so that people and things, politics and weather forecast, reasons to be and to do, would become one single story. Instead of a barricade, always precise, here the hand would draw a global and defensive structure against simplification, or, seen under a more playful light, a big top in honor of complexity, housing the great gaps of style and methods making it all “self-supportive”.

One is already familiar with the cohabitation between large machined sculptures and handmade cardboard, tulle, bone constructions. But here, their presence – through various tactics of incarnation, embodiment (the parallelepiped), metonymies, or even relics - are doubled by the figuration of their own part in a scenario as retrospective and open to every possibilities of bringing meaning and fragments back together. It implies however the need to acknowledge the causal and complimentary link existing between concept and and expression, smooth surfaces and rough shells, mind and feelings. Because everything is related and we end up caring about everything – even about dumb animals and empty ideals - while the artist does not give up on anything.

This mood is partly faked in these dramatic sham flames that evoke a pompous baroque setting as well as the leftovers of some pagan feasts. This stylish ardour could be seen as a confession about labour, whose metaphor we grasp whilst we wander through its material reality, and that makes it worth of such expenditure of energy even though a certain irony about the risk of a possible turnaround already peaks. It has been awhile that sculpture wards off the unexpected towards an ambivalent strategy (as well as a certain indifference) often revealed through its value: somewhere, on the flame, a book is put astride, as if an interrupted reading was on the alert, like a resting cowboy.