With artist Richard Fauget’s solo show, ftc. in Berlin is presenting a new addition to its gallery program.
Fauguet’s works are distinguished by their great diversity, partly due to the innovative materials, but mainly because of the variety of themes. Through continual permutations, Fauguet defends his work against pigeonholing, and especially manages to avoid creating a “Fauguet brand.” Pop Art, Duchamp’s readymades, the great French masters, or Conceptual Art are not sufficient references—Fauguet always succeeds in outwitting everyone and eluding categorization.
Thus, his unconventional, subtly humorous way of appropriating from these traditions, while at the same time breaking with them, is probably the most accurate starting point for his ideas. It is precisely this diverse aspect of his oeuvre that is seen in the show at ftc.: various techniques and materials, which are threaded throughout his body of work, are also presented.
Fauguet has, in a certain way, “remodeled” the gallery space, and this kind of installation-like intervention in given spaces has occurred again and again throughout his career. The wood paneling is ornamented with iridescent oyster shells, the ceramic sculptures are almost clown-like figures, and the lamps are put together out of numerous individual lamp parts, so that viewers oscillate between fascination and incomprehension. Thus, one could almost ascribe a kind of “beauty through defectiveness” to Fauguet’s works, because he takes common, often ugly items and turns them into strangely alluring objects.
Yet another recurring point of reference comprises his allusions to fellow artists or role models from art history. At ftc. a silhouette of a famous performance by the artists Gilbert & George is made out of a piece of adhesive foil. Although it is definitely a real acknowledgement of this pair of artists, it also deals with and questions the theme of the artistic brand.
The notion of avoiding a certain style is also made clear in the title of the show: its approximate translation is “neither hand nor foot.” The irony and contradiction of this expression as it relates to his works is—with regard to the exhibition at ftc.—more than obvious.
Richard Fauguet was born in 1963 in Châtre, France. He has exhibited regularly, mainly in France, since the late 1980s. Recently, he was awarded the 2010 Prix Champagne Henriot.