May 2015 - Exhibition - PARIS
The circle in all its states:
From overconsumption to sublimation
This series of twenty pieces, shown as part of a Noir Déco (“Black Deco”) exhibit, was inspired by a realization, a response to overconsumption and its effects: irreversible damage to the planet, as well as immeasurable loss of the soul through regression toward consumerist passivity. How can the artist reconcile society with nature and time? How can the artist reconcile humanity with itself? How does one give meaning to material as noble as wood yet that has been manhandled, distorted, and transformed into packaging?
This exploration comprises paintings that share in common the use of discarded and reclaimed packaging materials as binding agents. Their images hinge on the geometry of the circle, which expresses the artist’s philosophical beliefs. Discs and monoliths in the form of wood fiber symbolize “the unity of everything that never disappears yet that shifts form in a cycle of destruction and reconstruction.” The artist’s process involves the progressive liberation of raw material in order to bring out its meaning, replicating the same rhythm. The development of each piece consists of four stages: Dissolution, Protest, Transformation, and Sublimation (leading subsequently to Fossilization or to Spiritual Elevation).
The 20 paintings in the exhibit represent samples of these distinct stages:
Stage 1: Dissolution. This is the rough state. Packaging materials are converted to paper pulp. Different substances are separated: Paper and ink are used to fabricate compressed paper discs.
Stage 2: Protest. As it undergoes reformatting, the material reacts and rebels, showing its deep wounds. It expels verbal messages and colors. Numerical (binary) footprints reappear chaotically on the discs, much like flashbacks.
Stage 3: Transformation. Scarring occurs with time. The material undergoes regeneration, a new “skin” gradually taking form. The material nonetheless retains marks of its past, not unlike the small bumps and pimples that resemble “numeric acne” — suggesting that the cycle has yet to conclude.
Stage 4: Sublimation. Fibers are denuded of all traces of human influence, signaling the final stage of the material’s metamorphosis: It has returned to its original state and can now give birth to new creations.
Sublimation manifests itself in two complementary ways – through a kind of regressive pursuit of refuge or spiritual ascension:
· Fossilization (regressive refuge)
Brown, ochre, and black pigments permeate the paintings – reminders of earth and the sensuality of wood. Meanwhile, textured, coarse, and blow-torched circles become African shields, fossils, and closed eyelids.
The circles are reminiscent of original, primitive, regenerative values emerging from the darkness of time. Gravity and inertia result in a feeling of centeredness, permanence.
Concentric circles, like tree rings, recall how nature permeates durability and permanence while resisting the ephemeral enjoyment of consumption.
· Spiritual Ascension
In these paintings, recourse to working drawings opens a contemplative and poetic space. The application of gold and red reflects the idiom of iconography, while circles radiate like halos.
This uncluttered aesthetic reflects atemporality. As Gabriel Marcel wrote, “The real world is timeless.”
Through this series of paintings, Vincent Manouvrier is not satisfied merely with highlighting the vanity of consumer culture. He interprets his own experience as an engaged designer and artist, as well as a witness of the tearing-apart of which he is himself a prisoner on a daily basis. At the same time, in the course of this Noir Déco episode, the artist strips away the noble, “liberated” material, which reasserts itself on commercial packaging.
As consumption cannot serve as an end in itself for the individual, the artist invites mankind to focus on the Essential by engaging in a dual movement: that of a return to fundamentals or of momentum toward refinement. Refuge in Material or Spiritual Ascension.
A conclusion that stretches from the earth to the clouds . . . like a tree.
ESPACE OPPIDUM - 30, rue de Picardie - 75003 PARIS
Phase IV - inhale 80x80 2014
Stage IV - BIG WHEEL 74x74 2015
Stage IV - Blue Ether 79x79 2014
Stage II - 30/09/2014 60x60 2014
Stage II - NOPACK 60x60 2014
Stage II - CMYK 60x60 2014
Stage II - DATA 60x60 2014
Phase III - Regen N°1 40x40 2015
Phase III - Regen N°2 40x40 2015
PhaseIV - ORIGINE Mixed technique 79x79 2015
PhaseIV - Exhale Mixed technique 99x99 2015
STAGE II - NODATA 60x60 2015
Phase IV - Scarification 56x56 2015