Exhibition from March Saturday 31st to April Friday 27th Opening party on March Saturday 31st, from 3pm to 6pm
Gallery Perif 4, Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang District, P.O. box 8503, No 25 Beijing 100015, China
The two artists featured in this exhibition have developed their common project by mail, since one lives in Stockholm (Yann Robardey) and the other in Paris (Benjamin Bozonnet). It consists of a collage over 2 meters long - a kind of cadavre exquis (exquisite corpse) game, where each artist builds upon a part of the other - forming the link between their two worlds.
Before discovering a country, your mind produces images of it that are often limited and ridiculous. Even if the painter tries to twist, or go beyond, these images - sometimes becoming visionary in the process - these pictures that China inspired in me will no doubt raise a few smiles from Chinese viewers. Yet which China are we talking about? A country which is not exotic, yet possesses a rare evocative power that peopled my childhood dreams with friendly and disturbing dragons. For a long time now I’ve been putting off the trip, and the confrontation between the real country and ’my’ internal fantasy China. Today, I’ve decided to play the game, and agreed to make this the subject of an exhibition, before I start my journey. Though the world is getting smaller as a global village, the mere name ’China’ gives rise to a feeling of somewhere totally unlike here, somewhere else (and isn’t that where I hope a painting will transport me?) For a Westerner, China is still the epitome of all that is foreign and strange. Of course the ’Opium’ series, which is part of this work, recalls the siesta (one of my favourite subjects) but the prospect of this journey, and this exhibition, has given me the opportunity to make some amazing variations.
The elaboration of each collage is a new adventure. You never know where it’s going to take you when you start, even if you have a plan in mind. First, choose the picture you want to use. Then, cut it. And finally glue another one instead! From the confrontation between the documents I find will grow some kind of accidental story that I try to control through the work of composition. The result is like the illustration to some unwritten text. It’s about some kind of everyday mythology, where humans becomes animals and dreams becomes landscapes. In this playground of exploration, maps, signs and texts are not reliable anymore. Humor meets nostagia, and the images of modernity are definitly obsolete. I choose carefully pictures in old books and other photos from lifestyle-and-interior design magazines that were top of the line when I was a kid. Yesterday’s image of modernity, something about relationships between man and woman, and the myths of travelers and pioneers in unknown territories are things I like to evocate in my work.