Pascale Marthine Tayou “Voodoo Child” at GALLERIA CONTINUA, Les Moulins
Galleria Continua is pleased to present Voodoo Child, an exhibition by Pascale Marthine Tayou and curated by Jérôme Sans. Since they met at the Sydney Biennale in 1998, the artist and the curator have nurtured a complicity that has led to numerous collaborations and participations in projects around the world, a new chapter of which begins here.
The exhibition Voodoo Child has been conceived as an open territory. A ‘worksite’ where the artist’s background is unfolded, from the memories of the village of Nkongsamba in Cameroon where he was born, up until his most recent experiences.
A voyager in today’s globalised world, Pascale Marthine Tayou has created his own vocabulary out of images and forms from the West and beyond: from society’s rejects and waste, national and economic symbols, and artistic references. His works, a profusion of materials and information, hang in fragile balance, all the while preserving their own logic.
The exhibition, an invitation to an encounter with the other, unveils itself to the viewer as a platform for his universe of multiple writings. It is also an atmospheric territory, taking stock of the organic complexity of a permanently mutating world.
Fictional tales without beginning or end appear as so many universes overlapping and entering into dialogue with one another in a joyous cacophony celebrating a new form of human poetry.
It all begins with the emblematic Colonnes Pascales, pieces of Moroccan, Chinese, and African dishes piled up after having been used a sound objects in protests, punctuating the space with their muffled presence.
These columns open the score of a space in tension organised around the monumental installations Home Sweet Home and Diamondscape.
The first, made of bird cages, wooden colonists and papier mâché, evokes a Tower of Babel in the shape of a nest. The second, planted in black sand, is a menacing desert landscape: metallic diamonds hang from vertebrae suspended from gibbet-like structures. If the transcendence of the one expresses the possibility of an ideal, of a utopia to be reached, the immanence of the other throws us back on the reality of our world. Dried out, impoverished nature, recalling the exploitation of mines and men, the diamonds act as so many swords of Damocles in a dead, silent universe: its skies are made up of spools of VHS tape, forever mute.
On the other side, old hybrid mopeds loaded with calabashes, feathers, or horse tails levitate like the objects of desires or dreams for an elsewhere.
In the background, a series of dirty, scratched mirrors let zones of shimmering light break through their earthy-coloured surfaces. Surrounded by Sunrises turning about themselves and Pascale’s Eggs in alabaster, the Dirty Mirrors, robbed of their reflective power, invite us into a hellish dance of the world.
The travelling shot continues with a neon inscription that has lit up the site’s old boiler room, as battered ventilators turn desperately in a slow race to the last breath.
Voodoo Child is the offspring of the ‘voodooisation’ of the world, ‘a succession of rites shaping our way of life, where, somewhere, everything becomes voodoo’, as Pascale Marthine Tayou says.
at GALLERIA CONTINUA, Les Moulins
until 30 September 2017