NATURALIA








Exhibitions

POST-SCRIPTUM (NATURALIA /part 3)
With Jean Biche, Katia Bourdarel, Anna Byskov, Rachel Russell
Performer Diana Chaumontet

Curated by Richard Neyroud

More about Post-scriptum in .pdf


There are times when, even though you’ve told the whole story, a last word remains to be said—one lingering breath that leaves the reader with a crucial detail, as novels or letter so often do.
In the same vein as the naturaliae exhibitions, Post-scriptum expresses the will to create a show in which narrative is central.
A group of four artists—Jean Biche, Katia Bourdarel, Anna Byskov, Rachel Russell—combine their funny, cynical, horrid and sometimes even silly stories.
Marilyn Monroe, at the heart of the exhibition, awaits Diana Chaumontet’s performance piece, Good Girl, Bad Girl (June 8, 7 pm). The artists’ realm, imbued with cinema and literature, boasts a Hollywood ending stripped of its final kiss—except that of the butterfly.

Le Baiser du Papillon (Butterfly Kiss), a series of paintings and watercolors by Katia Bourdarel (France, 1969), uncannily mixes mythology, sexuality, and femininity. Referring to Psyche, the mythological incarnation of the soul and Eros’ lover, the hyperrealist faces observe and confront us. A solemn young woman, surrounded by butterflies, clasps a little robin in her hands. “The dead robin finds his useless wings in the hands of the one who may have stifled it.” (C. Floren, 2008).

Jean Biche's (France, 1985) History Fails portrays the Royal House of Tudor, which experienced a time of great uncertainty during the Elizabethan era. Each one of these figures was struck by failure, and their unfinished portraits convey the bitterness of their generation, lost between two golden ages. Among them, Jane Grey (1537-1554), whose upbringing was as privileged as it was traumatic, was regularly beaten. Forced to marry a man she despised, Jane was then coerced by her family into claiming the throne of England before her cousin Mary ousted and executed her along with her husband and father.

Resonating with the theme of defeat, Anna Byskov (Ecuador, 1984) performs Witold Gombrowicz' play entitled Yvonne princesse de Bourgogne. The fragmented images of the face of the artist in the role of Yvonne are combined with phrases addressed to the hated princess. Ugly, stupid, profoundly wicked, she ends up assassinated by the royal family, choking to death on a fishbone during a formal dinner.
Such pathos is also used in La Piscine (The Swimming Pool), a video in which we witness a dive followed by another dive, and yet another, until the diver loses face: "one climbs onto the diving board one jumps one pulls up one's swimming trunks one climbs out" (Antonia Bellivetti, N. Quintane, 2004)

Rachel Russel’s (U.K., 1971) videos employ burlesque techniques, placing the viewer in a number of absurd situations. A painting by Philip Guston, The Studio, comes to life; a strange, clownesque scene troubles and disturbs. Through the use of video performance, the filmed image becomes an act of representation, of autobiographical fiction.
In this exhibition, the subjects of the naturaliae—the environment, the human being, love, time and death—are constants. While Post-scriptum isn't directly linked to a trilogy, it opens the door to the possibility of failure. The expression of feelings, sexual fulfillment, social and professional success condition our way of living. Failure in any of these domains is often hard to bear and difficult to accept. Luckily, the possibility of failure does not necessarily imply a bitter end so do allow us to take it with a pinch of humor.

"The other day, on the subject of amorous conquests, Marc had concluded that one failure is worth forty successes. Failure is a sign of what is to follow."

Text: Richard Neyroud
Translation: Colette Taylor-Jones and Aleksandra Koroleva





NATURALIA /part 2
With Ruth Gómez, Hjort, Anila Rubiku, Ruud Van Moorleghem

Currated by Richard Neyroud

Naturalia / part 2 shows four approaches of human nature: from mutation to anthropomorphism, from sex to cannibalism. As there is a science for nature, there is also a science for human made in the 18s century by David Hume in A Treatise of Human Nature. For Hume, morality is a history of perceptions and feelings more than ideas. This confusion leads us to reflect on the nature of these impressions and how they operate on us. Our approval of the present will depend on our feelings. From this arises a distinction between vice and virtue. In this case, any attempt of rationality would be futile. Through narration and animation, human nature is sometimes more acceptable beyond the scope of morality. And Naturalia / part 2 is a narrative exhibition in which fantasized or imaged scenes are shown by five artists. Social hierarchies and power relations summon our attention around gallows. Quirks and overflows found a civilization in search of identity in which the human conquered its place in a nature in watermark.

Les personnages de Ruth Gómez (Espagne, 1976), tirés de la bande-dessinée, de la publicité et des clips vidéos, présentent une humanité empreinte de sadisme. Ses films d’animation tracent ainsi un portrait de société : les métaphores en jeu révèlent une dimension humaine malveillante où les rapports de force et la question de survie sont omniprésents. Le mâchage de chewing-gum sous un air de Vivaldi porte la vanité humaine à son paroxysme alors qu’une scène d’anthropophagie tourne au festif.
Hjort (France, 2009) est un collectif de deux artistes, Laurie Enrique & Hélène Letessier, qui mêlent leurs univers dans la réalisation de dessins et animations assistés par ordinateur. De la sérigraphie au walldrawing, elles disproportionnent les corps et leur environnement graphique jusqu’à nous faire perdre nos repères. Les compositions graphiques dans lesquelles animaux mutés, monstres humanisés, silhouettes humaines se combinent et créent par leur onirisme une mythologie nouvelle.
Les dessins d’Anila Rubiku (Albanie, 1970) établissent des relations entre le corps, le sexe et l’environnement. L’Arizona, avec ses paysages désertiques et sa soudaine croissance urbaine et démographique était le lieu idéal pour développer cette série. Des scènes à caractère sexuel, brodées sur papier, surgissent dans un environnement sauvage et désertique.
La performance, le dessin, l’installation, la sculpture de Ruud Van Moorleghem (Belgique, 1988) découlent de ses propres rêves et divagations. Ses folies sont macabres ; même le festif est troublant. Amour, sexe, mort, identité sont des thèmes récurrents dans sa pratique. Entre attirance et répulsion, ses objets et performances questionnent notre rapport à la vie.


de Crayencourt, MurielNaturalia, L'Echo, 4 juin 2011 /in .pdf









Hjort more in .pdf



NATURALIA
with Magali Lefebvre, Glenda Leon, Jonathan Loppin and Miks Mitrevics


Carte blanche for Richard Neyroud



NATURALIA groups together four artists who explore the notion of landscape through different
media: photography, installation and video. Naturalia literally means “natural things” and is based on
the iconography of cabinets of curiosities. The curiosities shown in the exhibition are to be considered
as various potential reconstitutions of a mental landscape.
Landscape is not such an unusual theme. It was particularly developed by painters of the 19th century
and has since often been chosen as a subject by artists as well as for theme-based exhibitions.
Nevertheless, there are aspects yet to be discovered and landscape still fascinates and generates
thought. The notion of landscape not only evokes nature, but also society because it is precisely the
product of the interaction between Man and his environment.
For the series entitled Chemical Valley, Magali Lefebvre (France, 1980) photographs her favorite
subject: industrial buildings, characterized by the absence of man. The obscurity, the light, and the
framing transform these industrial structures into miniature sites. A longer exposure gives the
photographs their unnatural light. Between fiction and glimpses of reality, these pictures have a
cinematic presence, worthy of the fantastic.
The videos of Glenda León (Cuba, 1976) are the expressions of a dream. Cada Respiro sees a flower
grow at each breath of a young woman at rest. Dirigir las nubes is based on an idea from quantumphysics
by which each of us can, through will power and concentration, change the shape of clouds. In
this video, the clouds gradually take the form of a globe…
Jonathan Loppin (France, 1977) attempts to decipher the workings of our world through simple
contraptions. 4h33 is a sink with a tap, connected to electricity. A never-ending flow of water is
created, rending time meaningless. The piece takes on the appearance of a nightmare: water endlessly
flowing, not drop by drop but like an inexhaustible source. Halo is a device comprised of a gas bottle
and a block of cellular concrete which is tested for its resistance to heat. The time-based experiences to
which the artist confronts us play finely on the lines between dream and reality.
As for the installations of Miks Mitrevics (Latvia, 1980), they turn towards small details, sensory
impressions created by places, elements that suddenly attract our attention. They are presented in the
form of experimental laboratories. Through these composite installations, the artist questions our
personal relationship to nature and landscape – playful and poetic landscapes – ceaselessly
transformed by Man.
The pieces shown in this exhibition can be considered as poetic notes on the theme of landscape. From
a simple image, the artists lead us to rethink our own relationship to our environment. The play on
scales – miniaturization, enlargement – conditions the visitor to a distanced approach to landscape.
Between industrial aesthetic, poetic expression and ecological positions, NATURALIA is a story of
gardens, a place to reflect and share.

Works








More in French .pdf
More in English .pdf