From idealistic philosophy to popular tales, from pure science to padded dreams, from romantic landscapes to sports grounds, the imaginary comes by surprise, along the long stroll from which the art of Olivier Magnier has drawn inspiration in spinning. A magnetised wandering, where wonder has not found any rest area, fascination has not found any care, simultaneously attracted by the infinitely small and the infinitely large, moved by an equal passion for masterpieces and natural phenomena. This omnivorous appetite seems to transmit a feverish desire for absolute knowledge whose methodology would refrain from choosing between rational thought and poetic ecstasy. The New Scientific spirit is here resuscitated in a gently regressive and solidly melancholic mood, but which, where everything has already been clarified, where the least square metre of land and sky has been discovered, has no other means for maintaining his fantasies of revelations except by inventing new secrets and by feeding the rumour of them by creating the proof for them. Thus the status of these objects is quickly questioned when they take the form of a cartographic survey or a sample taken, evoking maliciously the practices of exhibitions of “site-specific” minimal art during the 1970s.
Bile noire [Black bile] (2012) is a banal map of the sky exhibited in a glass on which a new constellation appears in screen print.
Astride the Milky Way, it has the shape of the polyhedron depicted in Dürer’s Melancolia. The gesture that gives birth to another reality is simple and reversible, without consequence, like a tracing delicately placed on the world.
Drawing, printmaking, modelling, multimedia sculpture, without preference for a technique but continually expressing a taste for experimentation, producing proof of what could be a parallel world, if heterogeneous things which are born in the studio were of the same species, composed the décor of the same fiction whose plot dizzily escapes us. From which continent was the small raw earth cactus brought back Cactus, (2012)? What is this ecosystem from which it was uprooted, in which the stones are more fragile than the plants, and death more moving than life? Perhaps from the one where pebbles contain autonomous solar systems, although under these foreign latitudes it is more likely that a type of Météore [Meteor] (2011) is found in a souvenir shop than during an expedition. His moulded resin crust may show its false character, like that of the flicker seen in its heart; the rare false stone succeeds in generating a spell. It is a bionic descendent of “Dream stones” collected in the Orient whose aura and price are proportional to the accidental drawing appearing on its section (a mountain or a fairy). The excitation of curiosity by what does not hide its nature as an artefact and, even more of an intentional work of art, therefore proceeds from the reversed syndrome of the dream stone. Such a hypothesis would see in these objects whose status is suspect, the accessories of a behavioural study of which we would be the ecstatic guinea pigs.