Fernando Marante — Ballet mécanique


Installation, photography, mixed media, video

Fernando Marante
Ballet mécanique

Past: April 18 → May 28, 2023

An exhibition with the exceptional participation of Hans Kooi

It is with great excitement that we prepare to introduce you to the work of Fernando Marante, shown for the first time at the gallery, in an exhibition focused on movement, named after Fernand Léger’s famous experimental film (1924). This “Ballet Mécanique”, driven by the need for research, invention and experimentation with the very materiality of the cinematographic device, perfectly illustrates the intention of transfiguring time and movement into a visual essay that the images of Fernando Marante evoke. His work will dialogue with a couple of works by Hans Kooi, a major artist of the kinetic movement.

In his quest, Fernando tries to demonstrate visually, in a unique manner, the fact that existence is only a speculation, that an image would not be visible between two given times. Through movement, the artist uses time as a tool to formally play with variation, multiplication and addition, contraction and distension, accumulation and disintegration. He creates images that are patterns of intent, visual imprints of all the decisions made during the photographic process.

Movement, duration and accumulation are manifestations of time. Time flows voraciously, unwinding an endless line of perpetual “nows.” It is a powerful abstraction and yet we feel it in every aspect of our lives and thoughts. If we experience time as an uninterrupted fugue, and we know that the camera allows us to capture this movement to some extent, how can we use it to reveal the persistence of the things around us? In other words, how do we find the images we assume exist between the thin slices of existence that snapshots offer us?

These are the questions that lead Fernando Marante to want to fix the visual manifestation of an idea, transferring a speculation born of language into a medium that belongs to the world of the senses. To bridge the two realities, each series begins with a possibility: What happens if an object is subjected to a reaction related to time? To initiate the process, the Portuguese artist builds temporary devices to induce movement to pieces of paper, plastic, glass, metal cables or lights, using electric motors, fans or his own body. And then he waits for an image to occur, unpredictable. These uncontrollable variables generate what he calls his "image-hypotheses ».

He is interested in creating in the viewer the perception that there is a process. Ultimately, each image is a map of the decisions he makes in creating them and that is the only narrative he allows in his photographs.

From Calder’s mobiles to the optical-kinetic works of Vasarely or François Morellet, kinetic art encompasses a wide variety of overlapping techniques and styles, and with his post-photography, Fernando Marante approaches the possibilities of materials, questioning the mechanics of visibility while exploring what remains between the possible and the desired.

Alongside the images of Fernando Marante will be exhibited, with the collaboration of the Denise René gallery, a couple of works by Hans Kooi, one of the most important artist of the kinetic art movement.

  • Opening Tuesday, April 18 6 PM → 9 PM
  • Event May 26 → 28

    PARIS GALLERY WEEKEND : 26-27-28 MAY 2023

  • Event Sunday, May 28 2 PM → 6 PM

    OPEN ON SUNDAY 28 MAY 2023 (2-6pm)

03 Le Marais Zoom in 03 Le Marais Zoom out

18, rue du Bourg-Tibourg

75004 Paris


Hôtel de Ville

Opening hours

Tuesday – Saturday, 11 AM – 7 PM
Other times by appointment Ouverture également sur rendez-vous pour visites privées, 7 jours/7, entre 10h et 20h. Réservation sur le site de la galerie.

Venue schedule

The artists

  • Fernando Marante
  • Hans Kooi