On the occasion of his new space opening, Sébastien Ricou is pleased to present “Choses tues”, John Cornu’s second solo exhibition at the gallery.
As eclectic as they are, the works on show – watercolours, installations, sound pieces, ready-mades – develop a range of interpretative games, a plurality of real and intelligible trajectories. Each proposition, like the whole exhibition, begins with a weaving together of significations – in other words, with a tension between clearly established intentions and a more obscure, harder to grasp aspect, the artist marking out “the contours of a manipulated reality where what is presented to us never quite corresponds with what we think we are seeing.”1 This attitude, which characterises John Cornu’s working method, involves what is there in front our eyes – here and now – just as much as a multitude of unspoken things, shortcuts and parallel paths.
With its polysemic title borrowed from Paul Valéry, “Choses tues” reminds us of unconscious, suppressed memories, as well as resistant forms: what Georges Bataille called "the cursed part". However, just discernible on the surface, a sort of Ariadne’s thread joins modernist codes borrowed from a certain radicalism to a dose of romanticism, with all that this carries with it in the way of violence, ruin and destruction.
1. Christian Alandete, « Tant que les heures passent », in art press n° 364, February 2010.
(text source: Ricou Gallery)
John Cornu, Réserves, 2009, Watercolors made with red wine mounted on aluminium, white wooden frames, 94 x 124 cm each; Courtesy of the Artist and Ricou Gallery.
John Cornu [b. 1976, Seclin (France)]
John Cornu was born in 1976. He lives in Rennes and Paris. His work has been shown in both solo and group exhibitions: at the Palais de Tokyo, the Maison rouge – Fondation Antoine de Galbert, Cneai (Chatou and Paris), the Chambre blanche (Québec), at ZQM (Berlin); as well as at the Lyon Biennale of contemporary art, and the Nuits Blanches in Paris, Metz and Montreal. His work is currently exhibitied at the Parvis - Centre d’art (Tarbes) as well as featured in the group shows “Neon – la material luminosa dell’arte” at the MACRO Museum (Rome) and “Temps étrangers” at Mains d’oeuvres (Saint-Ouen), and shortly at the Busan Biennale in South Korea.
(Image on top: John Cornu, Exhibition view; Courtesy of the Artist and Ricou Gallery.)