Jonathan Binet — Modules
Past: September 28 → November 19, 2012
I have devised my practice within my studio, as a place of experiments and trial initiatives, a space where I establish working principles it is necessary to adjust sometimes, or at least validate later in the exhibition area, based on its specific physical and architectural features.
In a practice akin to “performative painting”, following in the footsteps of Jackson Pollock and the minimal painting of someone like robert ryman, Jonathan Binet confronts his body and architecture, in an interplay of opposition that oscillates between connivance and competition, fighting and exchange. Thus in the course of these interventions he leaves traces of his passage high up on the walls or as he moves through the rooms, mischievously integrating the dirty marks and accidents along the route into his work. a laboratory, research area, arena, the space becomes the place where the artist “unlearns”. Brushstrokes, bursts of spray paint, pencil lines: His gestures become impulsive, vital, liberating. For “a performative act, in painting, could not be intentional or translatable into discourse: It would act, like a skeleton key does, without creating debt or promising truth”, Jacques Derrida reminds us in 1978.
In dialogue with the exhibition Letting the imagination drift, Jonathan Binet’s intervention in the historic staircases of the Travée [bay] of the Palais de Tokyo depicts the progression of his body, his hand, his gesture. His hesitations, fluctuations and groping movements bear witness to the path followed by his thinking. The movement, trajectory, line from which the form emerges are intimately linked to the artist. Thus visitors are invited to follow and discover the path taken by his thought faced with this architecture, of which he reconfigures our view. The arrival of the staircase at a bird’s eye viewpoint becomes a confrontation with an architectural landscape that we take in head on, facing the void, before being able to opt for a more mental landscape thanks to the placing of a bench on the staircase.
Staircases, real stages for plotting, have never ceased to fascinate artists and film-makers, from Fritz lang’s Metropolis (1927) to alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958) by way of the legendary scene in eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin (1925). The staircase, an obsessive figure and a universal symbol of progression and regression, sometimes suggests a voluptuously dangerous piece of machinery, sometimes the dynamics of fear. as the linking thread running through this project, this structure made of steps accompanies the viewer who discovers this territory taken over by Jonathan Binet. With its bends, contours and lines, the artist stages his invention in a “cascade of successive gestures”, and it in turn is itself run through by the gradually increasing intensity of the light being deployed from the basement areas to the upper floors and back down again.
Jonathan Binet, b. 1984, a young graduate of the ensBa selected for the 56th salon de montrouge, operates through action plans outlining and fomenting the scenarios of his incursion into a space. Thus he constructs his work in response to the setting proposed to him, indeed imposed on him. Perceiving it as a restrictive space, he is actually “permanently [looking for] solutions, ways out, opportunities for action”.
Curator: Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel
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