Rien de plus tout du moins
Curatorship: Claire Le Restif
More than a simple sculpture, Benoît-Marie Moriceau’s work is conceived as an installation that can be used by the public. This fractured replica of an architecture, like a movie set, is the starting point for multiple possible scenarios. The artist underlines this imaginary potentiality by inviting other artists to intervene on what he also conceives as an exhibition device. According to the invitations, events, objects or works have appeared. These different elements could stay for a few days, disappear, come back and intersect to create a new conversation.
The last contribution was imagined by the artist Kyrill Charbonnel who participated in the assembly of the exhibition and reappropriated scraps of wood from the construction of the “guardian’s pavilion”. The randomness of the cuts generated random geometric shapes. He selected a certain number of them and covered them with a paint that has been used to protect the wood from bad weather since the Middle Ages. These small pieces of wood, forms in negative of the invisible frame, were then reintroduced at different places in the installation.
Between the White Cube and Wild Space (from Psycho to Vertigo)
Benoît-Marie Moriceau (born in 1980) focuses on landscape as concept, idea and the subject of his art. The landscape that interests him is the constructed one of cities as well as that of the vast open spaces of America occasionally modified by the artists of land art. Commanding great amounts of information like many of the artists of his generation, Moriceau draws on art history, cinema, literature, science fiction, and the social sciences. And he has never been shy about his interest in settings that evoke the movies, amusement parks, and places associated with entertainment generally.
Moriceau’s output has taken shape around a definition of the work of art that is “located” in its environment, its physical, economic, social, political, historical and institutional context. The impetus for his work is sparked by the venue he is invited to and in which he integrates mechanisms that are linked with representation.
Since Psycho (2007), the artist’s Hitchcockian-titled piece in which he completely painted over an old house in black (the exhibition space 40mcube in Rennes), Moriceau’s ability to develop through a wide range of art formats is well known, from the most spectacular to the least visible, in every case conjuring up a particular atmosphere or climate.
In this case it is the nineteenth-century “guardian’s house” that the artist has chosen as his subject, because it is both a house and a fine piece of sculpture on a scale equal to that of the American building that slipped in beside, even adhered to the house in 1913.
From Crédac, the view looks down on the roof of this house, which sports chimneys here and there, and is a true trigger of stories and literary and cinematographic echoes. Moriceau amplifies this impregnable promontory overlooking the noisy urban space of Ivry by reconstructing within the confines of the exhibition venue a “replica” of the roof, which has become both a kind of film set and an image.
The double and the historical or architectural replica are indeed part of the themes explored by the artist. In 2005, with Novo ex Novo (once again at 40mcube in Rennes), Moriceau offered viewers the chance to experience both duality and the void. Like Yves Klein in his show Le Vide (The Void) at the Iris Clert Gallery in 1958, Moriceau treated an initial room of the gallery, then invited visitors to pass through a kind of airlock into another room that was a replica of the first one. Viewers thus confronted both an experience of the void and its quotation in the exhibition.
There is little to see in the show, strictly speaking, but much to look at outside. Going beyond the attempt at an illusionistic image, Moriceau brings together a scopic device and a fiction. He reverses the issues and questions normally raised by the site, which becomes a visual tool that opens our eyes to the urban space around it. The artist thus completely highlights the important visual porousness that exists between the exhibition space and the city. He links two spaces here, mobilizing a characteristic element of his work, namely the fact that the exhibition space falls implicitly within the ambit of public space.
Unlike Psycho, which visitors to the show could not enter, here the roof is in fact open and can be clambered over like an urban mountain, a metaphor of a terrain’s natural highs and lows. The play of different scales, which is inherent to the question of space, is a presence that is very much there for the eye to see. The city viewed from the art center looks like an image or a scale model.
In the show, viewers do not face a setting but rather find themselves in the setting. They can, if they want, fulfil a beautiful dream, that of strolling over the roofs of a city.
In these concrete situations, Moriceau introduces fiction from elements that are either absent or simply conjured up.
In his work, a place rarely guarantees that it will carry out the function for which it is designed. Here the white cube serves as an excuse for a novel meeting, making possible what Benoît-Marie Moriceau seeks to create: a point of contact between reality and a suggested piece of fiction.
Born in 1980.
Lives and works between Rennes, Campbon and Paris, France.
He is represented by the Zoo Galerie, Nantes and MÈlanie Rio Fluency, Nantes galleries.
Media partners : Slash, 02