Artists: Vanessa Billy, Lupo Borgonovo, Michaela Eichwald, Marc Hurtado
Venue: Centre d’art Neuchatel
Exhibition Title: Cocu ou Marron
Date: June 14 – July 13, 2014
Full gallery of videos, images, press release and link available after the jump.
Marc Hurtado, Bleu, 1994. 40 minutes movie filmed on 8mm.
Marc Hurtado, Royaume, 1992. 22 minutes movie filmed on 8mm.
Marc Hurtado, Aurore, 1989. 32 minutes movie filmed on 8 mm.
Video and images courtesy of Centre d’art Neuchatel. Photos by A. Satus.
The title of this exhibition is in reference to Antonin Artaud, for whom “one cannot name something without becoming immediately cuckold or fooled” , (Conference at the Vieux Colombier, January 13, 1947). In consequence the poet must try to attain the strength of a proper and uncorrupted language. The show “Cocu ou Marron” unites artists that are sear- ching for an ineffable language, one that avoids rational thought. For these artists, visuals, materials and its transitory states, light, and assemblages are active organisms that seem to negotiate with shapelessness and the unconscious. By granting a strong presence to the work, language to an object, the artists push expression into unclassifiable and perturbing zones, sometimes on the verge of surrealism. The films, sculptures, paintings and perfor- mances of the invited artists seem to reach poetic spheres where subjectivity and objecti- vity, natural and artificial, can coincide.
The question of surrealism is posed throughout the exhibition, through the materials used as well as in the creation method. In effect, Borgonovo’s, Eichwald’s and Billy’s sculptures often stem from the improbable convergence of objects taken from reality. These combi- nations impose on the spectator their obscure grammar and at the same time their forceful expressiveness. The superpositions of images in Marc Hurtado’s films respond to these collages of objects, giving birth through some miracle, to fantastic and obsessive images.
On opening night, the incantatory music of Ghédalia Tazartès and the more senseless music of Donald Suck will echo through the bowels of the art centre. The Genevan label Wildrfid, which produced Donald Suck’s album, will present their productions in the stu- dio of the CAN.
Vanessa Billy pays close attention to the act of doing, of learning about the materials, to experiment with and reveal the material’s potential to transform. Five sculptures by the artist will occupy the spaces at the CAN. The different constructions are always discrete, made from basic objects and materials; mud, water, cement, steel, plates, plastic bags. Most of these objects seem used, sometimes at the end of their life-cycle. In her artistic approach, Vanessa Billy proceeds through combinations, creating multiple relations between bodies ( those of the materials, the objects, the spectators…). She manages to create a dialectical magic that gives the feeling that the objects are looking at you. We find in the works a reminder of life in what is inert, an intuition of the transformation process, analogies between the physical tensions they give off and our mental dynamics. The artist brings to light an idea of circulation and language between what is natural and artificial. This poeticism reverses the preconceptions we uphold with the material world, it tends to sensitise the energy emanating from the objects and their relational strength.
Lupo Borgonovo searches for the boundless pleasure in experimenting with materials and shapes. He proceeds through mixing and associating materials, confronting solids and liquids, existing and imaginary objects, refined and brut materials. His surrealist sculp- tures seem to (re)become organic and living, edible, adoptable. Yet hard to grasp, since they emerge from a chemical and poetical kitchen which provokes a strange fascination, as if something exotic; extraterrestrial organs, mutant machines, transfigured moods. The impermanence of the process and the instinctive dimension of the relation to the material urges Borgonovo to create sculptures that seem ready to convulse.
Michaela Eichwald paints on canvas’ that she treats badly. Her paintings of garish or muddy tonalities are sometimes nonchalantly left at bay in her work studio, being damaged by the artists daily chaos. These accidents seem to complete and finalize in a judicious manner the improbable pictorial work of the artist. Michaela Eichwald is also a sculptor, assembling diverse detritus and small objects to shape worrying sculptures that remind us of certain works by Rauschenberg. These sometimes take the shape of time- capsules and oddities, when the artist moulds diverse objects in a translucent resin. In the end the meaning and details of these objects are seen in a type of suspension, yet nothing is clearly given or explained. The intense expressiveness of her paintings as well as her objects translate a strong link of connectivity between sensual and intellectual activity.
Marc Hurtado founded in the late 70’s, with his brother, the french experimental band Étant donnés. The band offered a bruitist, industrial music on which poetic texts were often chanted and whispered. Étant donnés were also visual artists, body-performers and film directors. During 90’s Marc Hurtado made seven movie, of which three were legen- dary: Aurore (1990), Royaume (1991), Bleu (1993). These movies, which can be viewed as a triptych, were all filmed on 8mm using a method that consists of recording several times over the same film. This artisanal technique of blindly superposing images does not allow the artist to exactly predict the results, he can only imagine it using the imprint of his memory. He is also prevented from undoing what is done; coincidence, luck and grace, as Hurtado has stated himself, have a very important role in the creation of his works.
Marc Hurtado, for the most part, films himself on a small lake-side. His face, his unclo- thed body, filmed up-close, are mixed through a superposition of images of nature, water and skies to leave behind just one phantasmagoric image. Shots of the sun pierce through the diverse layers of images with bright and saturated colors. Added to these collages of images, on the verge of abstraction, are soundtracks of musical collages, sounds and poetics texts whispered by the artist. Marc Hurtado’s films seem to affirm an existential message, a strong poetic thought that celebrates the unity of man and the cosmos, a rela- tionship as joyous as it is terrifying.
Ghédalia Tazartès is a self-taught musician, an artisan of the sonar material, poet. He sings alone or accompanied by musicians, and also composes music for dance, theatre and movies. He develops an unclassifiable music that he composes, sings and interprets himself. His sound montages place him as one of the precursors of concrete music. He manages to assemble at the same time complaints from the streets, stories of African griots, hassidic songs, diverse languages, sometimes invented, and unidentified elements of sound. The voice, tone and its declamation are of greater importance than the meaning of the words, keys to the shamanic enchantment he uses, binding through sound the material and immaterial world. Tazartès draws and restores the significant noise from the universe that surrounds us.
Donald Suck’s (Moutier / BE) style is situated between avant-garde music and Art Brut. His musical universe is an accomplished merging of electro, lo-fi, if not techno, and industrial, bruitist music. It is mainly during his public performances that this out-of-the- ordinary artist’s music is most spectacular. Donald Suck mixes audio sources, loops and rhythms, that at first seem to not work together, finally give birth to a coherent audible mass. Suck maintains himself above the vacuum with a baffling sureness and pulls from the chaos a music of great subtlety.
The arrival of Donald Suck allows the CAN to present the modern music label Wildrfid. This Geneva based label, held by two Jurassians, Simon Riat and Renaud Marchand, pro- duce surprising and unclassifiable artists coming mainly from the experimental scene in the french part of Switzerland. Wildrfid’s productions are mainly vinyls whose sleeves are created by artists.