Miel (honey) – 2019 – exhibition view, Lace Gallery – Paroxysm of sublime – FLAX, Los Angeles , USA
Miel, makes various allusions and references, as much in the field of art history (J. Beuys), as in that of geographical history (the conquest of the West), or contemporary anthropology (Modernism – Animism – Totemism), and finally the field of the history of science (Darwin’s concept of natural selection, with the observation, by the Birch tree, of the evolution of the moth – butterfly).
Its form is first of all an installation, inside which there are seven works and whose transport crates, which contained and transported the works, also serve as support bases. Autonomous, the work Miel is a luggage work. The transport crates keep the traces of the round trip (customs, impacts) of the exhibition in Los Angeles. The dominant species of the installation is Birch. This species is declined and found in almost each of the works and the transport crates, which are made of Birch plywood : The essence becomes a use.
The work unfolds through several layers to form various entrance keys : The first reading layer is thought as a corpus : an inextricable whole where each piece of this installation resonates with its supports, its destinations, its origins, its exploitations, its poetic values… Where wood has been chosen to question the metamorphosis of a life form into a commodity. That is to say the exploitation, from the origin (the tree in a forest) to its transformation (into a work of art & in use). The second, more ecological, concerns the wood species selected for the works. Birch, Olivier and Holly were chosen in correspondence with the wood species imported and introduced on the Californian territory. The third one is sensitive : the carved « wood » (beads, branches) is reanimated : symbolizing either a common object (a beam carved in a birch bead) (Cf : A gaping voice (…) – Partial consciences), reminding naturalism, or carved according to the mode of animism (Cf : colony), or carved to form an animal-totem (Cf : the hen) evoking totemism. The fourth is poetic, it brings together the three previous notions. Gathering therefore, the poetic is also induced by its title: Honey. The title is an ambrosia, which quotes at the same time the bee, the pollen, the propolis… Not embodied in the installation, it leads to a series of evocations that support the ambiguous nature of the work. Miel is a booty that spoils: a work in progress, of which honey, invisible here, becomes the substratum.
So many layers of reading are superimposed, from which a polysemic work emerges.
Une voix béante, un genre tandem. C’était la paix (A gaping voice, a tandem genus. It was peace.) Birch, birch plywood, linen felt, olive tree – varying dimension
Colonies – Rolls of birch bark and felt in olive branch – Olive tree, birch, felt, brass – varying dimension
La poule (the chicken) – Olive branch, birch, brass, lead, ebony, boxwood, bone, marble – varying dimension
Les consciences partielles (Partial consciences) – Birch, linen felt, brass, rope – varying dimension