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EXHIBITIONS

Florian Sumi with Emma Balimaka, Adrien Cruellas and Dragovan “MEMBRAINS” at CAC Brétigny, Brétigny-sur-Orge

A line of 72 figures wraps around us, showing a blank stare. Each of them displays the face of a human being or a spiritual entity that consciously or intuitively manipulated magnetic or energy fields, which might also be called exchanges of information. Morgane le Fay is seen alongside Doctor Jade Allègre, Thot, the God of the Moon, and William C. Levengood, the famous fake biophysicist and ufologist.

For his first major exhibition at an art institution, Florian Sumi is spelling out what has invigorated the whole of his work to date, driven his dances and gestures, and steered his diagrams and artifacts, yet remained unformulated until now, namely, that keen awareness of the flows that pass through us, those routes taken by the digital, organic, sensual, cellular or psychic communications that we employ daily.

At the middle of the venue, a metal and mineral desk, a footbath cabinet, manual clocks whose pulleys must be activated by hand, and a home laboratory that is fermenting microorganisms. For it is indeed a question of usage here. Maybe belief is important, but what we observe above all is the phenomenon itself. It is revealed in depictions of these waves in and around us. Forms clash and run into one another, from the diagrams produced by Spooky, the machine that heals by using frequencies, to animated runes that wiggle and jiggle about, not to mention artificial imagery of cells at work. And all around us, voices and images swell, soften, and slip unctuously through the portal of our ears. There is the hypnotic voice of Emma, who practices white magic, the recorded voice of Marcel, who transmits the secret of the universe, and the authoritarian voice of Fiona, who reads the system of the world by joining Darwin to ancient animism. And there is Florian’s voice. He repeats these sentences, that a happy cell is the cell that communicates, renders its membranes porous, and opens itself to otherness to enrich itself by exchanging new information. Biologically the recipe for growth is the opening that points to the other. Like a mad scientist, Florian Sumi doubts, tests, and above all produces sumptuous experience machines—esthetic, scientific, anthropological experiences the reading of which is ours to determine.

Céline Poulin

 

at CAC Brétigny, Brétigny-sur-Orge
until 21 July 2018

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