Ernesto Sartori — Quand deux deviennent un
Quand deux deviennent un
Past: March 1 → April 22, 2013
Let’s jump back three years. For the group exhibition Moon Star Love, we had gathered eight young artists, whose practice seemed to presage the gallery’s program. On this occasion, Ernesto Sartori had introduced us to the founding rules of the universe he meant to create: the slope he had fallen in love with inhabited his wall sculptures, abstract assembly and wood paintings, on which the activities of both protagonists, Gary and Duane, were to be nearly daily listed.
In the painting entitled Le baiser de la mort (2009), Gary and Duane (initially Left and Right), were locked into a deadly struggle. From then on, Ernesto Sartori’s work revealed itself as laden with a double meaning: a formal vocabulary elaborated around vectorial calculations, modules of accurate symmetry and a narrative, which, borrowing from manga and science fiction tales, ascertained a world parallel to ours. Hervé (2001) or RV — a play on word on the initials of the French words Rouge et Vert, red and green — half character standing on two conical paws, half one-person residential unit, embodies this duality to perfection. Gary and Duane also function as an allegory of bipolarity. A work, which, in a surprising manner, takes after the proliferation and the rigour, the chaos and the logic. The exhibition When two become one gives Ernesto Sartori the possibility to affirm his position as an author. Motivated by what we could call a logical revolt, he coalesces the rationality of the calculations of prospective architecture with the narrative chaos of a fanciful universe. Without hang-ups and with no mind to be particularly legible, he nurtures a multiplicity of points of view and scales. He thus reaches the signs of a certain maturity: the capacity to speak with his own voice, ceaselessly renewed — potentially creator of a feeling of dissonance, chaos, disruption of the established order — and the elaboration of an internal logic. The artist often keeps the keys to his logic, backbone of his work. It is not necessary to make it explicit — as it is not necessary to understand exactly which mathematical calculations underlie his geometrical forms — but it is what makes the work accessible and legible, even in the form of isolated objects.
I often wondered how most of the works of art found on the art market get sold, these fetishes, part-objects, struggling to represent an artistic approach, complex and outlandish. The mistake is just that: imagining that these objects were to represent something. On the contrary, to function as artworks, they have to be inscribed in the continuity of the artist’s approach, and proceed from that same chaos, that same revolt against the norms found in the whole work. The works of art I enjoy do not function so much on the synecdoche mode — a part representing a whole — but on the possibility they hold to embody all the revolutionary potential of an artistic work. I hold in high esteem Ernesto Sartori’s capacity to express himself at every scale: from the totalling environment created for his first exhibition at the gallery (Atom’s Fury, 2010) to the models he is showing today. Whether we like to have a concrete relationship to the objects, to their materiality and delicate colours, or whether we prefer to see in them the possibility of a towering project, it seems to me that Sartori’s work can be enjoyed for its different layers of meaning, without them contradicting one another. With this work, we can admire in the same way, and in a harmony, which is his — and his alone — figurines of dinosaurs and the discontinuity of Claude Parent’s architectural language, the absurd tales of Kurt Vonnegut and the poetry of the Spice Girls’ songs.