l’étrangère is pleased to present hot, hot, hot, an exhibition of recent works by two artists, Piotr Krzymowski and Cédric Teisseire, who explore the transformative quality of heat as part of their creative processes.
Working independently and using different media, their works connect not only through the processes they employ but also through the uncanny, abstract and bodily connotations. In their practices, both artists embrace controlled chance, found objects, art historical references, and the transformation of materials. Car lights are made fleshy, undulating and opaque. Celluloid film discards its captured scenes to reveal the forms, patterns and potential inherent within its physicality. Paint sags and creases in its assertion of its own corporeality and susceptibility to its environment.
Krzymowski presents a series of works, I believe I can imagine a colour I have never seen before, drawn from discarded strips of 16mm film that he retrieved from the refuse of the students’ film lab and submerging them into boiling water. Through a lengthy process of experimentation he discovered that the celluloid ‘produced’ colours. By stitching the transformed film strips together, Krzymowski made a video which presents a cascade of colours and forms accompanied by the artist's monologue, attempting to define a new ‘found’ colour, considering the relationship between colour, language, and knowledge.
The series of works on paper are scanned and printed images of the strips of film. The artist has transformed the images further by applying gouache paint on their surface. The paint responds to the random composition of the heated celluloid, with its seemingly gestural forms and unexpected patterns.
For his on-going series, Les Avatars, Teisseire subjects mass produced car lights to the transformative action of heat by ‘cooking’ them in a hot oven. The only controlled element is the temperature of the oven and the length of ‘cooking’ time. The forms of the partially melted lights that emerge from this process retain a degree of the coloristic and formal identity of their primary state, but have morphed from slick, technical objects into something fleshy and organic. Both seductive and vaguely repulsive they suggest distorted organs, fleshy parts or abstract paintings.
Teisseire’s series of paintings, Saw City Destroyed Same, refers to a statement made by a pilot who dropped the first atomic bomb on Nagasaki. He saw the city being destroyed, ‘melting’, through the heat impact of the bomb. He was the actor and the viewer at the same time. Teisseire creates his monochrome paintings by applying many layers of lacker, glycérophtalic paint onto the surfaces of the canvasses and letting the weight of the paint sag to form random creases, ridges and folds, seemingly like a ‘melting’ landscape observed from the plane, often extending beyond the frames of the paintings.