curated by Josephine Dupuy Chavanat
May 27 - June 12, 2021
236 rue Saint-Martin, Paris 3
Flavie Audi, Marcella Barceló, Lucien Bitaux, Marguerite Bornhauser, Antoine Carbonne, Ittah Yoda, Michel Jocaille, Lucile Littot, Valentin Ranger, Soraya Sharghi, Villard Brossard
"This is an exploration," Henri Michaux proclaimed in 1955 at the opening of his collection Misérable Miracle. "Mescaline is the explored", he continues, before describing the progression of his visions caused by the absorption of this alkaloid. The exhibition Fantasmagoria follows the vibratory movement of this optical fair. The two enigmatic teenage characters of Marcella Barceló's Over the garden wall welcome us, their bodies effaced behind the tree trunks of a fantastic forest. The girl with the piercing gaze could take us by the hand to accompany us - like a Carrollian heroine - throughout the exhibition. The journey thus begins with a twilight atmosphere, strangely familiar. The orange sky turns to purple. Marguerite Bornhauser photographs a state bordering on the paranormal, where bright colors turn mysterious. The sun gives way to dusk, the shadows return to the light of the night. Our eyes close. The fantasy landscape is formed in the heart of Antoine Carbonne's paintings, projections of mental images inspired by the masters of art history, videos of current events or distant memories. The anthropomorphic tree of Tree of Wisdom - taken from a painting by Bonnard - is transformed into a bubbling and psychedelic brain in front of which a cartoonish character is totally amazed. Michel Jocaille's suspended structure, adorned with fluorescent plastic flowers frozen in kerosene, is composed of prints on velvet panne and mirrored vinyl in which our reflection is totally altered. You are my high appears as a door that opens on new territories in which our saturated senses navigate from now on. "The retinal circus. In the paradise of the glitter", notes Michaux in full hallucinatory ascent. We are now in the heart of the adventure, surrounded by the Resonances of Lucien Bitaux. Encased in a luminous aluminum structure combining polarizing film and thermoformed plastic prints, these works reveal an organic, floating landscape of petroleum colors. Lucien plays with these optical effects by manipulating light, color and material to create an iridescent image that our eye sees in relief, material that he then captures in a darkroom to create a vivid series of polychromatic photograms. In one corner of the room, a strange pearly shape that looks like an alien egg rests on the floor. Villard Brossard's sculpture plays with our troubled photoreceptors. With Original Taste, the duo cultivates the ambiguity of an object coming from elsewhere, from a form of origins or from a distant future where technology would have supplanted us. We find technology in all its ambiguity with Flavie Audi's Fluid rocks. Born from the alliance of traditional glass blowing and its shaping by various digital tools, these sculptures express the living energy, constantly oscillating, of the cosmos. They disorient the eye by the fluctuations of colors due to the changes of light, and embark us in a utopian and speculative future. The euphoria is here at its peak. In this room, we have entered, perhaps by trespassing, the "mescaline hurricane" where Faustian twins, a colony of transient imps, hybrid creatures, and teenage girls reminiscent of the Ikiryō - ghosts visiting the living in Japanese fairy tales - meet. In Lucile Littot's Gothic paintings, these girls are the victims of the Countess of Bathory (1560-1614), who is said to have hallucinated when she saw her facial skin rejuvenated by the blood of her maid whom she had just shamelessly beaten. Denouncing the fascism of stereotyped beauty, the painter exposes the folly of the illusion of the desire for eternal youth, in a Bavarian B-movie setting. In the center, we celebrate the Renaissance in a myth totally invented by Soraya Sharghi, which leaves the viewer free to tell his own story. The beings metamorphose, and from this fountain of youth comes an imaginary country where nature fully and beautifully regains its rights. Equally extravagant, Valentin Ranger's happy monsters - born of the micro-mutations that our bodies constantly undergo - frolic with bees, flowers and pollen in the heart of a multicolored molecular world. They exult in a creative orgy with plants, fungi, and other bacteria. We find them in the film Eromorphosis. Souls in bloom, which reveals the birth of this new extrasensitive species animated exclusively by joy and love, in a rediscovered intimacy where pleasure and tenderness predominate. Finally, we leave this delightfully microscopic world to find the immense and fascinating world of Ittah Yoda, where we gradually abandon ourselves to a profound meditation. The fragments of spinning planets observed in VR inspire the creation of three sculptures in molded resin injected with thermochromic pigments mounted on a metal structure. From the virtual world to the tangible world, Ittah Yoda takes us to the heart of a creative harmony between man and machine for a contemplative journey of the senses and the soul.
Fantasmagorie explores what is hidden: Michel Jocaille reveals what is hidden behind the mirror, where the reflection of our personality assumes its cross-dressing; Marcella Barceló discovers the often buried feeling of the teenager who loses his carefree spirit; Lucien Bitaux looks at the relativity of the image and makes visible the waves coming from the light; Lucile Littot opens the doors of the room of a woman in ecstasy; Ittah Yoda and Flavie Audi reveal the intertwining of the virtual and the real; Valentin Ranger, finally, describes a universe behind the rainbow, a new world devoid of all shadows, stripped of all violence and crushing virility where tolerance, pleasure and concord between all sentient lives are celebrated. Fantasmagoria is a declaration of love to strangeness, an apology for the mysterious, a praise of optical excitement and dizzying fantasy.
Joséphine Dupuy Chavanat
Flavie Audi, Michel Jocaille
Ittah Yoda, Marcella Barceló, Marguerite Bornhauser, Michel Jocaille
Valentin Ranger, Les Âmes en Fleur (Vidéo)
Flavie Audi, Michel Jocaille
Photographe: Aurélien Mole