Pierre Ardouvin — Wicked World


Collage, drawing, installation, sculpture...

Pierre Ardouvin
Wicked World

Past: September 12 → October 10, 2015

Since the beginning of the 1990’s the work of Pierre Ardouvin has developed as an elliptical screenplay of our disillusions. His poetry, often linked to popular culture draws upon from a “deranged” relationship to language and to the world.

The exhibition Wicked World presents new works issuing from the group of series Les Écrans de veille (Screensavers), Un Monde pourri (Wicked World) and Le Théâtre des opérations (The Theatre of Operations), all linked by their rootedness in the field of the affects and their proliferation as well as by a good dose of poetically acid humor. The universes called upon, those things disposing of memories, allow another memory to emerge, a melancholy at the edge of the intimate and the collective.

Les Ecrans de veille

“A palace must be ruined in order that it be interesting.” — La poétique des ruines, Denis Diderot, 1767

The postcard imagery representative of mass tourism, that of large beaches, cultural and museum tourism, or even heavenly islands is a recurrent motif in the work of Pierre Ardouvin. His “tableaux” in the Ecrans de veille series can be imagined as the perturbed interfaces of a collective imaginary, a dysfunctional synthesis between two sets of logic: that of the mediated dream seen through the “screens” of mass culture; and the irruptive and parasitic logic of the intimate.

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Vue de l’exposition Wicked World de Pierre Ardouvin Photo © Rebecca Fanuele — Courtesy of the artist & Praz-Delavallade, Paris/Brussels
Un Monde pourri

“Can’t you see that all my castles are burning ?” — Fire in The Sky, Ozzy Osbourne, 1988

Un Monde pourri present assemblages of plastic objects, mostly toys. These hybridizations that come to reactivate a childlike language in the dimension of sublimated loss are produced by heating the objects, and in this way melding them together. They are partially melted and deformed. This ensemble offers us an abandoned world, a kind of B movie version of the poetics of the ruin. We also find the romantic dimension linked to adolescence and are specific to the artist’s universe in the titled that recuperate extracts or titles of songs where Black Sabbath, Nirvana, The Rolling Stones, etc. are found.

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Vue de l’exposition Wicked World de Pierre Ardouvin Photo © Rebecca Fanuele — Courtesy of the artist & Praz-Delavallade, Paris/Brussels
Le Théâtre des opérations

“To each theatre generally corresponds a campaign.”

Other objects also leap forth in the exhibition: an old school chair, a dead tree trunk, several Christmas ornaments, a worn tire, stones, a small plastic slide, a disco ball… So many elements referring to different universes and whose regrouping constructs figures that reactivate in a frontal and raw way the lost territory of childhood. Each piece of this series titled Théâtre des opérations indeed recuperates the names of military interventions with names as poetic as they clashing, Odyssee Dawn, Deadlight or Desert Storm, that put forward that uncomfortable and paradoxical position that accounts for all of the effective force of Pierre Ardouvin’s work. This subtle movement of the pendulum between the dream and the fall, escapism and imprisonment, the poetry of the world and its arid cruelty.

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Vue de l’exposition Wicked World de Pierre Ardouvin Photo © Rebecca Fanuele — Courtesy of the artist & Praz-Delavallade, Paris/Brussels


Pierre Ardouvin was born in 1955. He lives and works in Paris. A monographic catalogue “Eschatologic Park” was published by Les presses du Réel in 2010. A book by Villa Saint Clair Editions will soon be published. A monographic exhibition at the MAC/VAL (Vitry) is currently being prepared for Spring 2016. His work has been shown at the Palais de Tokyo (Paris), the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Fondation Jumex (Mexico), the Mori Art Museum (Tokyo), the NMCA (Seoul) and are represented in numerous public and private collections in France and overseas.

  • Opening Saturday, September 12, 2015 5 PM → 8 PM
03 Le Marais Zoom in 03 Le Marais Zoom out

5, rue des Haudriettes

75003 Paris

T. 01 45 86 20 00



Opening hours

Tuesday – Saturday, 11 AM – 7 PM

The artist

  • Pierre Ardouvin