Referring to the everyday objects that surround us as “evidence”, his forensic examinations of what appear to be harmless, optimistic and patriotic design-lifestyle products expose a dismal reality of cultural prejudice, insatiable aspiration, misguided ideology, outmoded bigotry and pick n’mix faith tendencies. By adding no more material to the world other than a call for observation, Matthew Darbyshires works turn shop-bought domestic comfort into fertile seeds of doubt and discontent, suggesting dissensus might in fact be a more productive register than consensus.
“Lunatique” is a table-desk by Florence Doléac tribute to Mathieu Matégot.
Matégot is an important present designer in mind of the gallery Jousse. This pope of the perforated metal and the hole, excelled at the housing, the coffee table, the lounge table, in the 50s. I get myself in to his skin. First of all, I noticed a movement of center of interest, to the works universe, the one which hold most at the moment. The whim turning around the hole then shaped around a spiritual quest, a need of inspiration of the concentrated being who contemplates him.
This collection of “abstract” paintings by Julien Prévieux presents as a choice of geometrical shapes associated with different statements. The combinations are borrowings from the covers of social science books from the 1970s, but with the text / image relationship reversed: it is no longer the image that illustrates the title, but the text which serves as a caption for the image. This reappropriation of graphic material itself inspired by a certain artistic avant-garde refuses to choose between formulation, formalisation and formalism.
Does this connecting of vocables with a system of shapes signal accumulation of knowledge or mere overinterpretation? To what extent can an abstract motif model questions like education, sexual deviation, contemporary psychiatry, economics and the public interest?
On the ground, Julien Prévieux presents a game, a giant checkerboard made with white plates arranged on a black tile. It is a replica of the Game of Life by mathematician John Conway that it has tested for the first time in 1970 with plates on the floor of his kitchen. The Game of Life, famous cellular automaton, makes emerge an incredibly complex and unpredictable patterns from simple rules. The model wowed the public and programmers that offer, even today, still more elaborate versions. There is in the device presented a striking contrast between the simplicity of the elements summoned and sophisticated knowledge involved, between the rules applied and made amazing patterns. Science as art can appear on an ordinary kitchen floor.
If the coexistence of different kinds of buildings is the basis of what we agree to call territorial planning, the size of Julien Prévieux’s “cabins” maintains an ambiguity between furniture and real estate, private sphere and public facade, the inwardness of withdrawal and the outwardness of extrication. These are not so much outstanding buildings or main homes as annexes, places for which residing is not the concern, places where one can escape from coexistence.
The Housing Estate offers a modelling of the concave spaces that served as laboratory, office or workshop for such celebrated figures as Gustav Mahler, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Alexander Graham Bell and Virginia Woolf. These are the withdrawal places in which thought becomes deed, from which is delivered the envelope, the image of a thought transformed into music, text or object.
The Housing Estate can be seen as the interface between withdrawal and extrication. Bringing these buildings together can be seen as thinking out the territorial planning of thought; in other words, of thinking out a public policy of personal commitment.
Do you feel normal? Processus statistique
At the occasion of the exhibition “Niet Normaal”, presented for the first time in Amsterdam in 2009, Martin Le Chevallier has developed a draft survey. It is to examine how a sample of the widest people feels their normality. That is to ask them: “Do you feel normal? “. For this, a form is submitted. It incorporates statistical categories surveys of this type (gender, age, etc..) And request clarification as to the degree of normality “absolutely normal”, “quite normal”, “somewhat abnormal” and “absolutely abnormal” (non response is also accepted). No definition of normality is given, which makes the process decidedly absurd. Asking a question that would never ask a real survey, the project returns the opinion surveys with their goal of categorization of the population, to their formidable normative nature. In the exhibition, a photograph depicting a scene survey summarizes the process. It is accompanied by the form used during its production in Berlin. At each presentation of this piece, a survey has indeed been realized: 2178 people were interviewed in Amsterdam in 2009, 1132 in Berlin in 2011 and 887 in Liverpool, 2012. To protect ourselves from any sociological conclusion, the forms containing the responses were carefully destroyed.