Thomas Mailaender — Essayer. Rater. Essayer encore. Rater encore. Rater mieux.
Essayer. Rater. Essayer encore. Rater encore. Rater mieux.
Past: November 28 → December 30, 2013Thomas Mailaender — Galerie Bertrand Grimont Invité par la galerie Bertrand Grimont qui le représente depuis ses débuts, Thomas Mailaender réactualise une pratique artistique o... Critique
“Try. Fail. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
Take two or three things you found here and there, a statuette, a toy, or whatever. Blend them in a cauldron, and heat until even the cauldron is burning. You will get a mixture of genres, an agglomerate of History and matters, each one more melted than the other. Thomas Mailaender plays the very serious game of assembling the unlikely. He looks at the flood of trivial images produced by everyone and extracts those that are to him examples of human stupidity. They lose their anonymity to become works of art when they are associated to decorative objects reproduced by a cyanotype1. They hardly leave the small, foolish history that they enter the big league — without taking themselves seriously. From their concrete existence those images undoubtedly join the history of photography, even if they are not meant to. The shift operated by Thomas Mailaender between unpretentious amateurism and modern art reveals the porosity between those antinomian worlds and the emptiness of the criteria of legitimation of art.
Ceramics is an ancestral technique which bears in itself the child’s pleasure of playing with clay, and the more concluding pleasure of creating a perfect form which resists to the crucible of the firing. Both an amateur and a pro, Thomas Mailaender empowers himself with a sound technical mastery. But — there’s always a "but" — this apprenticeship is not serving the masterpiece but the failure, the improbable try, the assemblage which is not meant to be. And rather than setting his work in the line of great Art, Thomas Mailaender branches off and puts on a pedestal what shouldn’t be on it, and shoves, while he is at it, the cliché of the sacralized art work.
What will remain of Art after Mailaender’s era? Archaeologists from the future are to discover the remains of glazed pottery, of schoolboy images from the internet, and burnt pots.
1 Cyanotype : photographic reproduction system consisting in applying a photosensitive solution of potassium ferricyanide and ferric ammonium citrate mixed together to a receptive surface. When it touches a negative or an object, the image is obtained ; the positive appears when it is exposed to light and rinsed.
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