Backslash is delighted to announce Variables, an exhibition showcasing the work of four young recently-graduated artists: Jeanne Briand, Valentina Canseco, Florian Mermin and Camille Raimbault. Each artist has taken over a specific space in the gallery with challenging and spectacular installations that create a discreet dialogue with the other artists’ pieces. The different artistic propositions offer both total immersion in each artist’s individual universe and the prospect of impromptu encounters.
Valentina Canseco focuses her artistic explorations on basic, industrial materials. She proposes unshackled interpretations and subversions of these simple materials while taking into account the environmental necessities of our era, which contrast so starkly with our overconsumption. The artist underlines the underexploited visual richness and durability of wooden crates and offcuts with drawings and extravagant installations where the notions of self-build and recycling are strongly present.
Florian Mermin’s highly poetic work takes the form of installations of objects. Planted walls give the gallery’s mezzanine a radically new look under the gaze of the accompanying wax sculptures, designed to imitate the plants. A further room is imbued with the artist’s highly distinct universe: filled with heeled shoes, wax casts of his feet, wilted flowers spilling out of them, the space resembles a strange abandoned shop, frozen in time.
Jeanne Briand’s work plunges the viewer into a world of blown glass shapes that emit a delicate soundtrack created from a studio recording of the artist’s breathing, occasionally mingling with the sound of water and gentle percussion. These ‘gametes’ propose a new form of life, and the origin of the sounds they emit serves to raise questions in the viewer’s mind about the artifice or real existence of the animated forms. Perpendicular floor-to-ceiling steel bars punctuate these future bodies, presenting a radical and inflexible vision of a world yet to be discovered.
Camille Raimbault’s work is marked by a radicality expressed in a series of ‘small ads’ scattered around the gallery. These wall sculptures draw on corrosive humor to underscore the public space and passageways that are never totally empty. Peinture fraîche (wet paint) covers an entire war except for in one place, in the shape of a missing post-it which appears further on. These pieces are remarkable in their use of noble materials to transform and sanctify ordinary objects.