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© The Livingroom
Curated by: Julie Dunker, qi peng

29 East 400 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
February 5th, 2010 - February 27th, 2010
Opening: February 6th, 2010 4:00 AM - 9:00 PM

United States
Tuesday- Friday 11-6 & Saturday 11-5
mixed-media, digital, installation, video-art, performance, conceptual, modern, sculpture




February 5 - February 27, 2010
Reception: Saturday, February 6: 4 pm - 9pm

THE LIVINGROOM presents its third show entitled "Bunnies in Wonderland" by the French-American artist Emilie Duval which features both political/environmentalist paintings from her series "Extremely Unlikely" as well as two provocative pieces of video art called "My Big Pink Fck... Bunny" and "My BPFB is mad at me." In her uncharacteristic style of post-Marxist deconstruction and subversive design work, Duval mashes up mesmerizing compositions that involve lonely and potentially violent figures within a desolate consumerist landscape dominated by name brands such as Prada.

The artist will be creating an on-site installation inspired by the motif of the BPFB, which symbolizes the fertility of consumerist desire and boundless greed, here at The Livingroom in addition to experimental video projections. Also she will be attending the reception herself, having travelled from her hometown of Beaumont, Texas.

The video pieces of the work are featured online at Viewers can check here for footage of gallery receptions, artist installations, video art, and other visual tidbits.

Duval provides the following statements about her work:

"This series [Extremely Unlikely] represents places of conflict between two entities. The characters in the paintings show an act of domination between individuals. It is represented by the setting of men with provoking attitude.
The shapes and animals seem to be targeted as a reflection of the fragile stability of modern societies.
Those two entities maintain a delicate threat to avoid the real conflict of nature."

"In the video 'My Big Pink Fck... Bunny,' The bunny incarnates the image of regulatory power which has become fat, lazy and unconscious of the reality. At this point, the financial system is on the verge of collapse, investment returns were extravagant without any relation with microeconomics. The Regulations had the power of Deregulations. The bunny’s domination is overthrown by the child who takes power and kills him. As a natural state of living the resilient child returns to his occupation without caring much of the consequences of his act. The second video 'My BPFB is mad at me' features the system’s reversal. With fearlessness and power the bunny returns and kills back the child in a no man’s land where only luxury vestige - Prada shop - remains. At the end the bunny celebrates his victory with his allogenic."

Here the ambiguous combination of freewheeling satire on the excesses of capitalism with the visual slickness of complete/incomplete figuration and well-designed abstractions particularly with the signature outline of shadows carved from either positive or negative space explores contradictions within an artist's practice. Duval becomes fearless in becoming quite political without being didactic. For example, the moose imagery in her "Extremely Unlikely" series seem to represent the Everyman figure in the artist's medieval morality play warning us of the impending destruction of nature by lack of human contact with their forests and its paths. Within her explosive video works featuring the mutual destruction of a child who symbolizes the purity of a young boy losing his innocence through brutal murder and the bunny who symbolizes the manifest desires of the capitalist society molding individuals into primal luxury-munching robots. These video pieces mirror each other where man's contradictory desire and repulsion for material goods are intertwined. In her mysterious world, law and morality are two different objectives and the cynical optimism of her work seems to depict the continual tension between man and nature as well as high fashion and intellectualism.

Surprisingly, Duval's political stance remains ambiguous in each piece and essentially humanist with a sharp attention to carefully shaped details. The viewer will be able to explore a world where threats are common and legal regulations reshape Nature in its own imagery. There seems to be no escape from this deadly fatalism where animals are the object of the hunt of humankind rewriting the forests.

Emilie Duval, who is a conceptual painter and installation/video artist, was born in Paris, France in 1974. She is a graduate of law from the University Paris II Pantheon Assas and art history from the Ecole du Louvre Paris. Her cutting-edge works have been featured through the Slick Art Fair, The Dallas Contemporary, Galleri Urbane, the Houston Center for Photography, Blaffer Gallery, the Lawndale Art Center, Scope Miami Art Fair, Scope London Art Fair, the LAS Gallery, and the Art Generation Gallery. She is also represented by Pascal Vanhoecke Gallery in Paris. Duval was featured in Issue 72 of New American Paintings as well.

THE LIVINGROOM is a contemporary art salon devoted to conceptual projects founded by Salt Lake City artists Julie Dunker and qi peng. The space is located in the Holladay district at 2105 Fardown Avenue. The hours are Friday, 3pm - 6pm; Saturday, 10 am-3 pm; and by appointment. For more information, call (505) 228-1268 or email: