Carte blanche à un collectionneur

Exhibition 19 June > 31 July 2009

For its first “carte blanche”, Bendana-Pinel Art Contemporain asked Guillaume de Saint-Seine, contemporary art lover and collector, to be the curator of the gallery’s eight show.
I chose three students, or formers students, of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts of Paris, and a “sound” Collective, each working with a different medium: photography, engraving, sculpture and phonography.

draws our attention to her familiar universe, the countryside of the Vexin and its abandoned places.She invites us to follow her into mysterious and strange places from which emerges a certain eeriness: a cement factory whose pillars stand skywards like modern menhirs invaded by the vegetation, the rooms of a sanatorium which still carry the burden of pain and death, despite the artificial irruption of nature. Likewise, the viewer needs to transcend the visual opposition of the construction machines that deform the countryside and the quietness of the landscapes, to see that the artist doesn’t present herself as a judge. Without staging it, Morgane Denzler opposes human intervention with all its brutality to the constant renewal of nature.

Julien Deprez confirms the place engravings have as a medium on its own incontemporary art, while at the same time he places himself as far from his work as he can. By stating that “engraving is not very contemporary”, Julien, with his provocative humor, focuses our attention on this raw board that becomes and artistic object. Rather than the highly reductive photogravure, the photographic image is, originally, in Julien’s work, reduced, transformed and magnified to capture the passages of light, to obtain a singular material on paper. Going against traditional engraving, every sheet is unique and its multiplications are as many variations. By creating engraving robots, the artist has definitely stepped away from any intervention because the machines are the ones creating the images. What might seem, because of the technique here employed, a voyage to the past is actually a projection towards a new future.

Jessica Lajard manipulate us, by being on an optimist and intelligent register that transforms everything she touches. When the flicker of an idea comes to her she writes it quickly in one of those small notebooks she’s always carrying with her. The idea evolves and blossoms by finding its corresponding and most adequate materials (stone, neon). Then it materializes as an object, always rendered with impeccable technique. With her neon (Moon, cross and stars), Jessica gives us a very special smiley, from which, according to her, there’s no lesson to be learned. Likewise, to incite young Vietnamese bikers to wear helmets she conceived the new Tonkinese hat. By sculpting a quarry stone into a construction block, Jessica gives it back its noble character as a construction material. With humor, Jessica’s actions on everyday materials question the way we look at things.

Ouïe/Dire develops a series of projects that are “creations to listen to” and that range from sound postcards to live performances. Taking the real world as a source, Ouïe / Dire’s phonography creates actual sound short films. By proposing a black box as a listening station, Marc Pichelin isolates us from the exterior, without totally cutting us from it as headphones do, in this way he creates the conditions for an ideal listening experience. This new “dark room” presents phonography as new type of art. The nocturnal theme is present in Ouïe / Dire’s works since the beginning. It is a very rich listening field, as much by what is happening around us at night, as by the multiplication of our sensitivity to sound when the day is gone. By isolating us to be completely open to listen Ouïe / Dire invites us to reconsider our relation with surrounding sounds and with the emotional charge of the night.

Guillaume de Saint-Seine

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