For his second solo exhibition, Martin Ferniot presents a selection of recent drawings and installations at the Studio of Isabelle Gounod Gallery. Pursuing a practice of drawing mixing vertical hatching and watercolor wash, the artist enriches it this time with a corpus of magazines, the covers of which refer to some important events of the 20th century. Each of his new works operates as a diptych (each drawing is accompanied by a cover marked with a stamp made by the artist) and nourishes a reflection on the notion of time and its markers, so dear to Martin Ferniot and already sensitive in his first solo exhibition at the gallery in 2017.
It is a question here of the value and scope of an instant: how the event becomes a symbol and marks a decisive moment in collective history; how this same event manages to mark the course of great history, but also that of our lives, by signaling a political, cultural or technological upheaval.
The intention of these process of consecration, which the press image both carries and generates, is here formalised by the inscription of a seal, an ink stamping made by the artist with the use of his stamp-sculptures. Some of these pieces are part of the exhibition (not those used to mark the covers but new ones, with an original motif). They are presented in such a way that the spectator can see their hidden side with the help of mirrors and feel physically the latency, the expectation that the gesture of being able to print implies.
The proximity of the events - recognized as memorable - and of more equivocal drawings, less immediately identifiable and as foreign to the events they rely on, offers a poetic way of rethinking our approach to collective narratives which, because they still form our common base of references today, continue to comfort us when everything is put into question. Therefore, the link that is woven between its various elements could not be considered as secondary. On the contrary, it is decisive in our understanding of the work, which is necessarily articulated from the precise context given to us with respect to each drawing. A way for Martin Ferniot to play with time and to subordinate the end of a story which is considered irrefutable - that of the historical event which its transcription in the newspapers confirms - to the birth of another, more intuitive and carefree, which is the one that the imagination creates.