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Brûler, recommencer, pour jaillir.
« […] cette conception qui exige de tout nouveau poème qu’il soit une refonte totale des moyens de son auteur, qu’il coure son aventure propre hors des chemins déjà tracés, au mépris des gains réalisés antérieurement. » André Breton
C’est petit, mais c’est immense.
Ce n’est pas nouveau, mais ça change à chaque fois.
Jérémy Chabaud semble concentrer dans chacune de ses œuvres un geste qui incarne la signature d’une pensée illimitée et discontinue. Signature, dont le paradoxe saute aux yeux, tant l’ensemble paraît véritablement piquant — puisque qu’il ne vise rien de personnel, mais une sorte d’universalisme particulier, où, l’humour, souvent plus que noir, la mélancolie, mais aussi, le désespoir se révèlent ensemble dans leur trivialité, leur idiotie, leur violence. Point d’idées pour articuler tout ça, mais un vécu, qui coule et qui brûle. …
Jérémy Chabaud ne nous montre rien d’autre que sa propre incapacité à finir les choses, mais cette incapacité n’est jamais que la pompe à feu qui lui permet de continuer à vivre, sans espérer fixer quoique que ce soit, mais plutôt de toucher du doigt ce que constituerait l’essence d’une vie vécue, c’est-à-dire, rêvée d’un bout à l’autre, et belle « comme la rencontre fortuite, sur une table de dissection, d’une machine à coudre et d’un parapluie » (Comte de Lautréamont).
Loïc Blairon, 2012
For Julien SERVE, whose drawings are simultaneously shown at Art on Paper and published today inIVORY HONEY, the hand is an essential subject and object of his art, his primary model as well as his beloved tool. For Art on Paper, Serve offers these intimate drawings as well as his latest color aquarelles: hands and mushrooms, reminiscent of the morel harvests he used to go for as a child, together with his grand father. The sensuality of the aquarelles leaves any interpretation of their beauty to the viewer’s imagination.
“The hand and its unlimited possibilities is a condition of civilization. It’s also the first part of the body that touches the other; it is the primary intersection between society and intimacy. The hand thinks, builds, connects, feels, breathes,“, writes Julien Serve.
In IVORY HONEY, OH MY HANDS is dedicated to Julien Serve.
I don’t know what to do with my hands
Hold my baby hold my body
Touch your face or touch your cock
I don’t know what to do with my hands
Plunge my thumbs into your eyes
And caress your brain from inside
Cook witchy potions with the right one
Write bad stories with the left one
I don’t know what to do with my hands
Hide them in my bottomless pockets
Hide them in your pocketless bottom
Or walk on them, hand by hand
Cut them off and write with my eyes
Cut them off and worship my wrists
Then finally everybody could grasp
How handicapped I am
Her animated film bear a strong resemblance to the sound and film montages of VJing, while her unconventional still images blend the characteristics of photography, freehand drawing and painting. In the drawing series and the video Invisible Drawings, subtitled for My Father, the artist represents her grief, extending it to the more general experiences of fear and vulnerability. She seeks to understand the workings of the memory that accompanies the passing of our loved ones, and attempts to arrest involuntarily retained mundane moments as much as carry out thought experiments to virtually resurrect the mourned person. Eva Magyarosi offers us the IVORY HONEY of memory and forgetting.
For mounir fatmi, drawing is essential ; and video is like another way of drawing. One of the remnant beauties of the work of mounir fatmi is always the emotion it generates. A motion in the true sense of the term: the setting in motion of the one who looks, a strong, profound, ineluctable and productive motion opening the doors of meaning.
mounir fatmi, le dessin fondateur
The series The Island of Roots is to be seen @art on paper in New York until march 11 ; and a selection of 21 videos will be presented @ Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland, on June 23rd.
“Confronted with this machine of history that constantly repeats itself, the roots tell us about freedom : their freedom to grow in a random, wild and free manner.” Says mounir fatmi. And recalls that at the beginning of last century, and for a long time, the United States of America were a land of welcome. Ellis Island was an obligatory passage, that mythical gateway where so many hopes of new lives were sealed. mounir fatmi then takes hold of this story and, according to a habit that is dear to him and which constantly enriches his work and the scope of it, refers to another artist that Ellis Island inspired, namely the famous documentary photographer Lewis Hine, who photographed at the beginning of the 20th century so many different immigrants, from the Italian family to the Armenian Jew, from the Finnish young man to the Syrian migrant – already – and so many others.
Starting from these portraits, mounir fatmi draws their roots. These roots, which are plucked out, and which return, become more complex; Vegetal roots, organic, horizontal, floating, dendritic (as our central nervous system’s cells), sometimes sanguineous, rhizomatous (a word used by the philosopher Gilles Deleuze); roots which go from one drawing to another, which embrace, like Philemon embraced Baucis. Roots of exchange and sharing; inclusion roots: the type of roots that one makes when walking.
For mounir fatmi the bonds have always been essential. All the bonds : between countries, languages, civilizations, people, men and women…
L’anneau, à la recherche du lien perdu
Depuis qu’il a quitté sa famille et son pays d’origine, sa culture en somme, mounir fatmi cherche à créer des liens, liens interpersonnels, interculturels, interreligieux… L’anneau pourrait il symboliser, permettre ces liens ? Il est peut être à la fois la plus réelle et la plus illusoire des illusions de l’artiste, lui qui se plaît à créer des illusions pour les utiliser comme matière à penser, à rêver. L’anneau constitue une tentative de lien primordial, le maillon premier d’une chaine de liens, le cercle qui unit. L’anneau primordial ? Celui fait de pierres, autour du foyer.
En lire plus, ici
Grown up in the music and scents of Trinidad, the young Curtis Santiago was dancing his life. Canada then put him on stage, as he was only 14 years old. Long legs, fine waist, deep voice, Santiago soon became TALWST, and what they call success, he got it all with his music. But ten years later he quit. TALWST loves to sing and loves the people; Santiago loves authenticity and working alone. In that balance, the taste for solitude and inwardness took over: Santiago left the stage for a while to create new worlds. Worlds in tiny boxes (they call them Dioramas even when the boxes are from Gucci), boxes reminiscent of the shoe boxes he worked in at primary school, but much smaller than shoeboxes… Santiago’s new worlds represent the old ones with irony sometimes despair, always beauty. Santiago’s interest in storytelling, in particular narratives from African and Caribbean culture, comes alive in his practice, which aims to animate and reinsert these silenced histories into contemporary art.
In his last exhibition in Geneva though, entitled HISTORY BOX OFFICE, TALWST and Santiago got somehow re-united…
Curtis Santiago. Sour tasting of the imminent History
Curtis Santiago is, what we can formally say, a “mixed media” artist. Painting, performance, music, sculpture- this Canadian native of Trinidad has many strings to his bow. Favouring a popular art approach, broken with the willingly direct expression of autodidacts, street art and Soul musicians (he was, in the 1990s, a member of the Canadian group of Edmonton The Hi-Phoniqs), he considers art, above all, as a form of writing the contemporary world: the continuation of life lived trough other means, its recording, its aesthetic quote.
Marked by recent history, filigree permeated by the transcultural spirit of Post Colonial Studies, the work of Curtis Santiago is neither unionist nor soothing. How having the illusions, as a member of the African-American community, if the daily life is to endure racism, police violence, humiliation, and an economic status that is frequently under-privileged? The artist includes a lot of symbolic and social wounds in his plastic and musical creations.
“Through my artistic work, I explore the narration of the art history by incorporating elements of different cultures in order to gain the attention of an enlarged audience, and to expand the rules.” says Curtis Santiago. The plasticity artist’s intention, always comprehensible, never elliptical, conforms to this purpose. His paintings evoke, in an elementary and realistic style sometimes with family or friendly figures, transformed into icons, those here, of a necessary solidarity, or even some, brutal rather than pacify, scenes of American life.
Better known than his paintings, his sculpture series Infinity, takes the form of a singular inventory. In small-recovered jewelry boxes, the artist realizes in miniature skits of the public or private life. The themes are varied: the police hitting a black man on the ground (Por Que, 2014), a demonstration of Chicanos (Frida Enters Iguala, 2015), the dramas linked to migrations of misery (Deluge series, 2015-2016) … About his dioramas, the artist says: “The work’s small scale allows me the opportunity for a very particular kind of meditation. The overarching theme to my sense of the vastness and the fragility of the world which I inhabit; and my fleeting memories of this world. Both are modeled after personal experiences.” His goal is to capture present moments that the passage of time would make disappear, in a memory perspective but also in a didactic way of giving to think. The Infinity boxes exceed the status of precious artifacts breaking with the real or fragile models dedicated to the only decorative exhibition. They contain History, not in a synthetic way but in a man perspective. The universal, sometimes, is in the details, more than in a global vision.
The dioramas presented in Geneva this winter continue to feed the fetish representations of Curtis Santiago. Far from the world, time is passing, it pacifies itself, it remains prodigal of tension situations and harmony ruptures. Sheltered from such a box, a man masturbates watching a woman dancing lasciviously in front of him, in a closed room; there, mounted on holds, immobilized without its wheels in a luxuriant landscape, an abandoned car is invaded by the wild vegetation; on the other hand, a cow-headed man is bending over a parked Porsche Boxter Convertible, driven by a horse; again: a visibly intrigued policeman is opening the trunk of an Audi break, a trunk in which he could make an unexpected discovery, macabre who knows? ; a Ferrari caught in the mud, muzzle planted in the ground, seems to have been the victim of a past flood, that one of New Orleans perhaps, or having accompanied the passage of the Katrina hurricane… Small moments of history, ephemeral black or gray reveries; all of them write a mythology of disjunction, of disorder that insinuate in things – the irreparable loss of Paradise.
Sometimes, it seems that the sweetness comes back, as in this box crossed by a river, in line with a quiet landscape. Is the artist, as we most of the time, lacking Eden? Does art save us from disaster? Can the world, according to Curtis Santiago, be anything else than sour? Let’s look, let’s think.
In a very different way, drawings by Jérémy Chabaud, Alexandre d’Huy & Shaun Gladwell are linked by their exploration of vanitas. Far from the classical representation of vanitas, these three artists interpret their own vision of ‘Vanity of vanities, all is vanity’ – transience of life, time going by, the futility of pleasure, and the certainty of death.
The young Parisian painter Alexandre d’Huy depicts the immediate consequences of contemporary war—impersonal and digital. Certain drawings are almost pixelated, aerial views from the eye of technology (from videos uploaded every day on the internet), a perspective impossible for man to experience—blending rural landscapes into a form of camouflage. The drawings of the artist reach to the core of the issue of war, cold but possessing a rich texture in an abstract language. Alexandre d’Huy shows ghostly landscapes that highlight reality and surpass it boundlessly. It results in the aestheticization of these destructive masses—masses that seem autonomous as no human figure is detected. ENTER THE VOID. By this absence, the human condition is however even more omnipresent. D’Huy’s vanitas link worthlessness and the certainty of death…
Gladwell’s work exhibited at ART ON PAPER is about more than the strange landscape-like beauty of the human skull. It is no coincidence that Gladwell has titled them Vanitas, a clear reference to the 17th-century Dutch still-life paintings that featured objects that symbolised death. The vanitas spoke of the transience and vanity of human endeavour and earthly pleasures. After all that furious spinning and striving, we arrive at the still point of death.
On the other side of death : life – and the futility of pleasure. In Chabaud’s hands, the phalluses are all joy, pleasure, bliss. The artist claims: “I know them all” and there are about 300 “portraits”, whether ink or aquarelle, of which Analix Forever presented a best of at ART ON PAPER. The presence of the butterflies stems from a nap Chabaud took naked in the nature then being wake up by one of them. But is the artist’s series really on the other side of death though ? Some butterflies can live almost a year but many of them only live for one day. Living their life without knowing when it will end. Like us, humans. Vanitas.