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EXHIBITIONS

Philippe Decrauzat “Corps Flottants” at Parra & Romero, Madrid


Philippe Decrauzat’s approach consists in the first instance in developing an interest in a repertory of forms that contributed to define the specific field of the abstraction, and observing their differing developments, before re-appropriating them for himself.

Observing the field of art, but also any other area on which these forms, figures may have had a real occurrence: graphism, architecture, but also science, cinema or even literature or music.

These different sources, that intertwine with as many correspondences, convey the challenge made by the artist to this idealistic vision that abstract art has long incarnated. An ideal space, detached from our material reality, is in contrast with the multiple experience of all fields, in a set of figures which may captivate us by their radicalness and by the different interplays made of them. Philippe Decrauzat attempts to hand us this form of experience through works and installations actively summoning us to exercise our perception.

At the same time, he strives to counterbalance these effects by the means of an overall perspective that regularly guides us towards the representation; by distancing (preventing us from total blindness).

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What follows is a conversation between Philippe Decrauzat and Guillermo Romero Parra that took place on 1st February 2013.

G.R.P: Francesco Lo Savio made in 1962 a piece entitled Articulazzione totale dealing with light, space, architecture, which are also fundamentals concepts in your work. To what extent do you refer to Lo Savio through the sculpture Myodesopsia, the piece exhibited in the main gallery space?

P.D: These sculptures by Lo Savio were composed of a black plate curved inside a white cube and forming a connection of positive-negative, recto-verso, concave, convex, playing with the light in an obvious way. Myodesopsia is made up of a straight line ending with a curve, its drawing spreads from a ground zero point to reach a certain height. This is an architectural element taken from the Villa Malaparte (Capri, Italy) located on the terrace-solarium. Graphical punctuation projecting a light on the floor. Unique vertical element standing in front of the sun. Maybe Francesco Lo Savio did know this architecture.

G.R.P: When you talked to me about adapting here the original form of the “Muro della vela” from the Casa Malaparte, why did you decide to fragment it into two parts and to maintain its original dimension?

P.D: It’s about inserting an architecture into an existing space. The dimensions of the space that receives it doesn’t matter much. It’s like a measurement tool that we should unfold, unroll or divide according to the size of the container. In the same way, the camera splits up this same structure in several shots of Godard’s film, Le Mépris (Contempt) (1963). A sculpture in two parts dividing the space. I wanted several ways of moving around, not only to watch the paintings from the front.

G.R.P: What relationships exist between science and your last painting series?

P.D: As it often happens, an image preexists. In this case, it is the cover of the popular science magazine Scientific American from 1963, dedicated to the “moirés patterns”. The article develops the use that the science makes of these graphical representations, showing their capacity to reveal, in a regular sequence, variations, changes of rhythm, or interferences.

My work around this illustration started years ago, when it took for the first time the shape of a mural painting developed in a cinematic way in the space of Le Plateau in Paris (2011). In parallel, I had started isolating a few fragments from that image in order to make monochromes “shaped canvas”, simple composition based on diagonals, intersections or simple elements; letters, signs, abstract forms developed in a formal grammar for a scopic orientation; permutations that were punctuating some of my shows. In this case, I go back to the original image, keeping the superposition of colors to develop a kind of “hors champ” (“off camera”). How can an image continue out of its frame? Graphical translation of a phenomenon or sign that tricks our perception? The last version is just coming out from print. Mathieu Copeland invited me to make the cover of the catalogue “Gustav Metzger, Auto-creative Art”. Confronted with a new context and back to the original support, this “expanded pattern” is charged with all the previous steps. The paranoid circulation of an image.

G.R.P: As for the title of the show, “Corps Flottants”, could you please tell us what does it have to do with “Myodesopsia”?

P.D: “Myodesospsia” are spots found in the eye vitreus humor, that take the form of dots, circles, lines, spider webs. They become visible by projecting a shadow on the retina. These “floatters” are “physiological images” generated by the body; “Corps flottants” is their common name.

G.R.P: Are you talking about visual effects whose source is housed inside the eye?

P.D: Luis Buñuel has already been highlighting this interior with his razor. Persisting image, the cut eye of the young woman which lets the vitreus humor spills out. A projection of the eye onto the outside world.

G.R.P: I remember that in previous discussions you were mentioning the piece by Lazlo Mohaly-Nagy Lichtspiel Schwarz Weiss Grau (1930), and that the process of making a film through an existing sculpture was of most interest to you. In Light space modulator (2002), installed right at the entrance of the gallery (in a darker area), you did the opposite. This piece plays a direct interaction upon the spectator’s perception. Did you intentionally place it as the first piece of the show?

P.D: I made this luminous sculpture in 2002 just before I started creating objects-films and I imagine it as a kind of archaic cinema, only made of luminous pulsations. The two luminous sources follow an 11 minutes rhythmic score, repeated in a loop. The aim was to develop a short sequence of the movie The exorcist II, in which the two characters are being hypnotized by a lamp synchronized on the cardiac rhythm. This is a closed system, without beginning nor end, that interacts directly with the first exhibition space that also turns out to be the last space.

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at Parra & Romero, Madrid
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until 18 April 2013

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All works are courtesy of Parra & Romero, Madrid

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