The exhibition «There is no Moon without a Rocket» is an open window on plurality. Each of this set of new pieces stem from «possible worlds» imagined by Gilles Barbier (the World as Thong, the World as a House in a Tree, the World of braided stories, the «Peanut»World…).
As for all the founding myths (Judaeo-Christian, Big Bang, Quantum, Native American legends, etc.), each of the stories invented by the artist gives form and coherence to a potential world. They all hinge on similar principles, according to a logical process.
1 – a postulate, always arbitrary, indefensible and totally subjective (for ex: the Earth is a disk / the world has been created in seven days / the world has the shape of a thong). This postulate gives its shape to the world.
2 – a battery of axioms, theorems or apparent obviousness which drive and order the world within the boundaries of form, giving it a skeleton, an architecture. Those tools are logical when the world has decided to be logical (for any two distinct points, there is a unique line containing them) but otherwise magical, senseless, lunatic, neurotic (for ex: Eve was created from Adam’s rib, the Moon is the sister of the Sun, the Creator’s leg was devoured by the Great Shark).
3 – Once a world is created, it is important to be sure of its «good functioning», to verify the stability, coherence and structure of the complex obtained. Each detail of this world can be linked back to the generative postulate. When a «hole» appears, something unexplained and unexplainable, a new axiom is invented to fill it; on this principle was built Geometry.
It appears that sometimes, the number of «holes» or «bugs» goes critical and there aren’t enough axioms to fill them; therefore, the founding myth has to be abandoned and a new system has to be created… Which can be a dangerous decision to take: Galileo when he places the Sun at the centre of the universe instead of the Earth, Darwin when he suggests that Mankind comes from Evolution and not from Adam, Einstein when he reveals the Theory of Relativity, can all testify of that!
Even so, thanks to science fiction, virtual worlds, information theory, modelling techniques and philosophical work on the plurality of worlds, we therefore have the conceptual and theoretical tools, but also the time, for turning the shape of the world into a poetic and
perfectly free space, because it has been emptied of all truth….
Thanks to those tools, Gilles Barbier is describing a series of Worlds built around his vocabulary (holes, worms, soups, clones, bubble speeches, etc.). Each of them - a sardonic smile to the «Artist’s Universe»- finds its space in a generic structure: the Foam, and therefore reveals its fragile, ephemeral and expansive character.
Those Worlds we will discover through original large drawings and sculptures in the artist’s new exhibition at the Gallery are at least a statement of his own artistic practices: a series of links within his prolific work, a wink to his so-called «producing machines», but also a new and joyful way to take stock of his sprawling Work -just before the next step that the artist already planned...*
*This text is based upon a conversation between the artist and Boris Achour published in the issue n5 of "troubles," 2005, ed. Presses du Reel