The Bells Angels (Simon Bernheim & Julien Sirjacq) — Future Impact


Painting, screen-printing

The Bells Angels (Simon Bernheim & Julien Sirjacq)
Future Impact

Past: September 9 → October 22, 2022

From September 9 to 24, 2022
Opening on Thursday, September 8 (6:30 pm — 9 pm)

Interruption from September 25 to October 6, 2022

From October 8 to 23, 2022
Opening on Friday, October 7 (6:30 pm — 9 pm)

For their solo exhibition at Les Filles du Calvaire gallery, the Bells Angels present a new series of paintings entitled Crowd Processing Paintings. This title, with its predictive emphasis, plays on the algorithmic impact of crowd images as well as on the history of reproduction techniques. It reminds us of scientific articles aiming at developing new algorithms capable of tracking individuals in a crowd image and predicting his movements, his behavior.

It is precisely crowds and flows that the series addresses: migrants trying to cross the American border in Mexico, uprisings in Belarus, or even more metaphorically, crowds of objects, highly identified, floating on an apocalyptic background.

These paintings most often take as their starting point images of crowds broadcast on the internet by news agencies. These images, which are repeated according to the news, are imposed on our screens and end up as generic items: taken from a distance and from above, these human clouds move from one catastrophe to another. The artists mention a “Darwinism of images” to describe this algorithmic determinism.

In these black, white and chrome paintings, the absence of color reinforces their matrix effect. The images extracted from a flow undergo numerous analog and digital manipulations referring to an archaeology of the image: from the cropping of the image to the silk-screen printing, from the gesture to its repetition, the images bear numerous distortions. The human object crowds are sometimes reduced to a set of points. Moreover, signs borrowed from “tracking” are superimposed on the photomechanical frames. They contaminate the image and replay on its surface the economic, identity and ecological disturbances operating inside the images. They increase the history of reproducibility in the serigraphic era, started by Warhol and Polke and continued by the appropriationist practices of the Pictures Generation, connected to digital imagery and algorithmic science. It is no coincidence that The Bells Angels series incorporates a reprise of a Warhol crowd (1963).

With The Bells Angels, the appropriation of images is reinforced by the appropriation of objects that fill certain paintings. Iconic medals from popular culture and advertising until the 1990s appear on the surface of the canvas. These objects that have become obsolete and that line our pockets evoke identity and in turn refer to the crowds. These memories of human activity come to parasitize the tense landscape.

Thus, the canvases with shimmering chrome surfaces reflect their environment and alternate crowds, potential deserted landscapes, places of transition straight out of science fiction, and more abstract kinetic paintings where a vortex seems to catch us without no way out.

Audrey Illouz

03 Le Marais Zoom in 03 Le Marais Zoom out

17, rue des Filles-du-calvaire

75003 Paris

T. 01 42 74 47 05 — F. 01 42 74 47 06

Filles du Calvaire

Opening hours

Tuesday – Saturday, 11 AM – 6:30 PM
Please note that the gallery will observe its usual hours from May 11 to May 16, then from May 18 it will open Thursday — Saturday 11 AM to 6:30 PM

The artist

  • The Bells Angels