François Curlet - Vintage Discounter

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François Curlet - Vintage Discounter

Verlatstraat 14
2000 Antwerpen
December 6th, 2012 - January 26th, 2013
Opening: December 6th, 2012 2:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Center - Downtown
+32 (0)3 237 11 27
By appointment only


Galerie Micheline Szwajcer is pleased to present Vintage Discounter, the fifth solo exhibition of François Curlet at the gallery. The exhibition centers on a new series of discount store logos, made of laminated Formica tabletops from the charity shop Emmaus, as well as a nightmarish, advertising version of the Native American dream catchers.

According to the artist: “The whole forms a keyboard shortcut to the human food chain, as reflected in the words of French singer Philippe Katerine in relation to the sweaters he purchased at Emmaus: “I love wearing the clothes of dead people.” The film of historical comfort present in the memory of Yves Klein’s Le Vide (1958) and Arman’s Le Plein (1960) at Galerie Iris Clert in Paris­ has burst; its fragments are replayed in the lottery of compulsory compositions. They have fallen into another stratum, namely that of vintage, which amnesic archaeologists devour. What remains is poetry, attempting to create a breathing space in the chinks of the profit margin.”

Born in 1967 in France, living in Belgium for 23 years (as a “belgoïd”), François Curlet has developed since the late 80’s a body of work, ranging from cultural artifacts to domestic objects, in which the world of things and brands is prodigiously dismantled, reassembled and reified. From the philosophical to the trivial, Curlet is interested in reinterpretations, rather than commentaries, in order to raise critical thinking. Shifts in meaning are orchestrated by way of unexpected meetings between forms that mirror our memories and manners. In March 2013, a major solo exhibition will open at Palais de Tokyo in Paris.


"COCA (2007-2008) is a series of prints that brings together images from an old cookbook. "Timbale à l'ambassadrice ", "Langouste Mozart", "Coquille de foie gras à la gelée" are all cheeky homages to a highly sophisticated gastronomic tradition. The prints are accompanied by text and formulas that play with notions of the current mass culture, such as pink coca or black ketchup. By confronting these old-fashioned recipes with their contemporary counterparts, Gert Verhoeven facetiously alludes to new positions within the field of cultural identity."