View on Politics and Poetics

A group show with Michael Bauer, Etienne Bossut, Luca Francesconi, Laurent Grasso, Aloïs Godinat, George Henry Longly, David Renggli, Joe Scanlan, Niels Trannois, Donelle Woolford
April 2nd - 30th, 2011.


The collective exhibition, « Views on politics and poetics », gathers together artists whose work is anchored by a practice which is instructed by form; a heritage which is approached through the notion of lineage rather than rebellion. In playing with the categorical ambiguities of modernism and of its possible reversibility, each work emits multiple meanings, allowing its origins to become apparent while also questioning their legitimacy. By using detour strategies, these works avoid blindly opposing the history from which they are summoned which has in turn branded them.

The choice of presenting these works in the same space represents their scattered unity which attempts to re-register the work in a context avoiding both systematic and/or totalising interpretations, global theories concerning the artists practice and any contextual interpretation which has preceded the work. Instead, through the gaze or through reflection, the spectator is invited to simply stop and behold the works, which are now devoid of their original viewing context, and are furthermore subjugated to the limits of their current state, a state that in turn provokes new perspectives of interpretation.

Via their aesthetic and conceptual motivations that have guided the creation of these works, their diverse range of composite materials and the references that they invoke, the works presented in the exhibition together question the notion of the object through the reprisal of symptomatic and/or symbolic motifs within modernity. These elements participate in a visual archaeology, whose pertinence they question through the use of multiple re-appropriations and displacements. Here, the idea of a trace, an imprint or a leftover operates as a visual leit-motiv. Taking into consideration their proper specificities, each work seems to pose questions concerning the renewal of form, pronounced both through poetics and politics or through the act of mental ‘recycling’.

Here the carpet functions as a frame, housing the works which are outside of the traditional binary painting/sculpture categorisation, grouping together works which both invest and exceed their own artistic heritage. Here, painting and sculpture rebound off their own processes. In this sense, the genealogy of the works becomes irretraceable, caught between rebound and renewal, known forms and disjunction, repetition and detachment. These influences are fully assumed and the force of the work is present in its capacity to break boundaries, whether anachronistic, ironic or even nostalgic. The image becomes a symptom: it’s meaning and its form a variable geometry. Allowing time to work it’s own metamorphoses, performing on an open field, the artist affirms the inopportune dimension of his gestures. Summoned to perceive the works with a new gaze, their confrontation with other images permits new and original readings. Thus, it would seem that the discourse promoted by the confrontation of these works, beyond each and every inventorial perspective and equally beyond the crystallisation of categorical oppositions, allows one to consider new solutions, revising unusual points of contact relating to a postponed relevance. The autonomy of the work resounds in affirmation with the notion of a collective, and far from acting in isolation, this ‘self-rule’ opens a dialogue that exists in constant renovation.

Clara Guislain