Chez-soi et d’autres lieux de fiction | PARTIE 1 : LA RUE // LA MAISON DES AUTRES

Dias & Riedweg
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Bendana | Pinel Art Contemporain is pleased to present “CHEZ-SOI ET D'AUTRES LIEUX DE FICTION”, the third solo exhibition of Dias & Riedweg at the gallery. This evolutive exhibition takes place in two parts.

Keen to reach out to the Other, it is from the territory of reality, in the street, that Dias & Riedweg develop diverse narrative forms bearing reflections on our contemporary society. The two parts of this exhibition approach the themes of the street and the home as juxtaposed metaphors to visualize the meaning pairs: outside/inside, self/other, individual/collective. Right from the title, it's the determined place of what we call "home" and "the other" that is questioned, notably the consensus that everyone has a home, and that the home of those we vaguely consider "the other" is the street. In this way, the exhibition is about everyone and everyone else, at home and on the street, bringing together realities and fictions that question the place of everything and everyone.

In the first part, "LA RUE // LA MAISON DES AUTRES" [THE STREET // HOME OF THE OTHERS] Dias & Riedweg exhibit for the first time four double-sided pencil drawings made by Mauricio Dias in 1993, in their New York studio at the start of their artistic collaboration. The rain that falls on the street and disappears on the ground and into the sewers appears as a detail, but not without importance, as it determines a specific state that modifies the situation. These drawings mark the starting point of a theme that runs through the duo's work, who finds in the street their inspiration, but also their working methodology and their studio itself. Twenty years later, with music composed by Walter Riedweg mixing piano and the original sounds of the videos, O Espelho e a Tarde [The Mirror and the Dusk] (2011) shows a young man carrying a mirror through a vast favela in Rio de Janeiro, reflecting an inner facet of the city that is nevertheless the most stigmatized and relegated outside its borders. The images revealed by the mirror, which symbolically present invisible realities, as well as the superimposition of shots, document the complexity and paradoxes of this landscape. A casa dos Outros [Home of the Others] (2017) brings together fragments of the daily life of homeless migrants in a refugee camp and in the occupied ruins of a former penicillin factory, hidden among the monuments of Rome. This project highlights the major housing problem resulting from recent mass migratory flows in Europe, where the street, the "Home of the Others", is the living place for many people with no condition of prosperity and return to their countries of origin. Thus, in this first part of the exhibition, the focus is on the street as the place we grant to the other, and on its complexity and uncomfortable territorial situations unfamiliar to the eyes of those who choose not to see them.

In the second part, « LES AUTRES À LA MAISON // LA RUE » [OTHERS AT HOME // THE STREET], the artists propose a line of videos, photographs, graphic posters, and pencil drawings in a flow of small-format images that crosses the entire perimeter of the gallery. The encounter between these works focuses attention on questions of otherness and the "self". The notion of the "self", seen as a fiction that allows us to differentiate ourselves, imperceptibly but constantly determines approximations and measured distances, barriers and walls, access and discrimination between all of us who construct what we call society. Hence, in the self-portrait video Em Casa [At Home] (2021), the visual repetition of the artists' images dissolves the idea of the "self", removing any possibility of recognizing a real identity, and taking the viewer to the border between reality and fiction. Also on view are recent photographs and videos that bring together unusual situations documented from the street (2021-23), and a series of drawings (2023) that produce a kind of visual fake-news from the incongruous mix of images and headlines published in newspapers during the years of the covid pandemic. Lastly, ten phrases on black-and-white posters and in a visual poem in the form of an animated video conclude the "line of images". These vague, interrogative phrases refer to the repeated periods of quarantine and uncertainty experienced almost simultaneously by much of the planet during the pandemic, producing a strange mixture of individualism and collective complicity. These periods of isolation were also a challenge for Dias & Riedweg, who have always found their studio in the street and their operating method in interaction with others. Yet they also brought new reflections and forms of representation of the self and the other, a slightly phantasmagorical look at reality and everyday life, outside their usual place.

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