In this new body of work, produced in part in-situ in Basel, Thomas continues his focus on the poetic, drawing influence from the constrained writing techniques of the Ouvroir de Literature Potentielle and the written works of Édouard Levé.
Keenly aware of the crossover between artists and writers, the notion of flow and punctuation is central to Thomas’ approach to installing an exhibition. His focus is on creating an overall rhythm through the space as a means by which to bring together individual elements, this is achieved through the use of built structures. Painted black against the white walls of the gallery, these structures echo the importance given to positive and negative space in poetic writing.
Throughout Thomas’ practice, text is also used more overtly; projected on phone screens, on monitors or painted directly onto the gallery walls themselves. For Roman-fleuve, Thomas experiments with these and new processes, including block printing, as a means by which his text works can occupy a more sculptural territory.
In audio and video works, Thomas sources and re-presents found texts summoned from unlikely places, projecting the words into a space of contemplation and stillness for the listener away from the context in which they were originally written. In a deadpan voice, Thomas speaks the words in a continual loop, pointing us towards the inconsistencies and problems of language.
In addition to the works positioned within the gallery, Thomas will extend his exhibition beyond those boundaries into the surrounding city, with a new series titled ‘Short Poems’. These paper works originate and are exhibited in the streets of the city. Hung on lampposts or pinned to noticeboards, they expand the exhibition out into the public sphere.