Original is full of doubts
Leonor Antunes (born in Portugal in 1972) has put together a series of new pieces for her exhibition at Crédac. In the foreground of the show stands the artist’s sculpture while hovering in the background is a pre-existing work in architecture by Eileen Gray (1878- 1976), although she was known more as a designer.
Indeed, Gray built only two villas in the south of France. They are the Villa Tempe a Pailla in Castellar, which was finished in 1934, and the Villa E1027 (1926-29) in Roquebrune Cap-Matin, for which she created a few pieces of furniture in a rationalist vein, including her Transat armchair (1925-30) and her metal-and-glass tube table E1027.
The objects / sculptures on display have a connection with fragments of the Villa E1027, which Gray built for her lover Jean Badovici, and which Antunes visited not long ago. Sculptures with evocative titles like the lacquer screen of E.G or the sensation of being outdoors, are to be analyzed as sculpture-objects possessing a specific presence in the venue. Antunes evokes, and summons as well, the work of the artist Eva Hesse (1936-1970), in terms of the way her sculptures are installed.
Antunes has focused on the work of Eileen Gray in the past, at the 2007 show Dwelling Place in Turin. Gray’s oeuvre is reconsidered and studied through a free reading that is specific to Antunes, who, as in each of her projects, observes, seizes on, selects a form, fragment or layout.
Duplication, study and in-depth analysis are the artist’s major concerns through the unit of measure and its by-products, «the notion of scale, the ambient volume of an object, lastly its connection with man.»1
Her work manifests her interest in the unit of measure, inventorying, bearing witness, the instruction manual, and the painstaking reconstruction of an intense experience.
For Leonor Antunes, duplicating is not only making an identical copy of something. To duplicate is to make a copy, reproduce, print off several copies, since an «original is full of doubts.» Duplicate is moreover the «manifesto» title of one of her first catalogues.
The production of duplicates and its strange distancing from «the original» is Antunes’ subject here in a way. On the one hand, because she wants to avoid adding information to the information surplus we are living in and, on the other, because she is fascinated with the different contexts and environments we live in, and the way we treat things. She focuses on the systems of architecture and city planning that determine our lives. And above all, because she senses that the observation of details opens an endless spiral.
Claire Le Restif
Born in 1972, in Lisbon, Portugal.
Lives and works in Berlin and Lisbon.
Leonor Antunes is represented by the gallery Air de Paris, Paris and the gallery Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin.