Les roses de Jéricho
Artists: Dove Allouche, Vincent Beaurin, Ulla von Brandenburg, Laurent Grasso, Véronique Joumard, Guillaume Leblon, Gyan Panchal, Pierre Vadi
Curatorship: Claire Le Restif
Although impossible to reduce to any univocal reading, the works collected in the exhibition Roses of Jericho suggest to me the notion of origin : the primal nature of a form of the past that persists, survives the present and crosses the centuries towards the future. Some of the works can be perceived as archaic (Dove Allouche and Gyan Panchal), others as primitive (Vincent Beaurin and Guillaume Leblon) or charged with magic, artifice and mistery (Laurent Grasso, Véronique Joumard, Pierre Vadi and Ulla von Brandenburg).
These objects of mysterious cults, usages or contemplation, play with the contrast between rough and refined, natural and artificial, smooth and edged in both their mode of production as in their forms, which often reveal several technical stratifications. Amongst the materials chosen by the artists, one can find polystyrene (derived from petroleum), flint, soft resin (also a fossil), thermosensitive paint, minerals, weaving and carbon prints.
In these works, the relationship to history is hard to define: neither backward-looking nor futuristic, they rather incarnate the mutation of objects whose identity is both hybrid and transitory. They evoke a persisting and circular notion of time. This is why I entitled the exhibition with the name of that extraordinary « fossil » plant, an archaic species existing since the dinosaurs’ age and designed to survive the harsh conditions of desertic environments. In periods of drought, it looses most of its water and shrivels up as if it were dead. But as the first rain fills the plant with water, it grows green again and comes back to life. A Middle-Eastern plant, the rose of Jericho was called after the city that constantly rises from its own ashes.
Claire Le Restif