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EXHIBITIONS

We Are The Painters “Whisper to the Landscape” at 40mcube, Rennes

On the occasion of the reopening of its exhibition space, 40mcube invites We Are The Painters. The exhibition Whisper to the Landscape is part of a larger narrative that the artists build bit by bit, and is one of the elements of a larger puzzle that will take shape in the indefinite future of a film entitled Paint for Ulma.

We Are The Painters is a duo of artists composed of Nicolas Beaumelle and Aurélien Porte. Under this name, they carry out an artistic research centered, as their name suggests, on painting. They practice painting in the middle of natural landscape, on oversized canvas, but also in volume or on characters during performances…, or in a more traditional way with portraits of women or landscapes. These different works take place in a larger narrative that the artists build with every exhibition they present, and become the elements of a more global puzzle that will take shape in an indefinite future of a film entitled Paint for Ulma, in which paintings, their works and nature are personified as characters.

Nature is omnipresent in the work of We Are The Painters. In their videos Paint for Sheep (Scotland, 2005), Paint For Huppe (Charente-Maritime, 2007) and Paint For Hochwechsel (Austria, 2010), the artists get lost in natural landscapes and represent the view on large size canvas, that they leave then to the humans or animals who pass and live there. A large scale, in situ and non-material version of the painting, as the work remaining on the spot deteriorates until its disappearance.

Through these experiences, the works and exhibitions of WATP emit a mysterious or even mystical atmosphere that is emphasized by performances that the artists present amid their exhibition. Thus, they deploy their universe in which everything is painting, with canvas forming the background of scenes in which characters of painting take place. Each exhibition becomes an environment to live in but also a studio in which scenes of their lm are being shot, without audience.

Under the guise of fiction, Paint for Ulma integrates and concretizes its own development, its production mode, the working method of the artists, but also their collaborative network, ranging from a goat farmer to different art centers and museums that allow the achievement of a new step of the lm. We Are the Painters integrates in the story references to the history of art – including clichés that they look at with humor. They built it as a myth, with characters and rituals not located in time but nonetheless part of reality. Thus, a Boer goat becomes Ulma, a work that attempts to integrate the collection of a contemporary art museum. The exhibitions that result from this global project are interconnected. Whisper to the Landscape is a sequence of this project, consisting of new large-scale paintings that cover and segment the exhibition space, and form a backdrop on which elements related to the characters and the universe of the film Paint for Ulma are integrated.

From the atmosphere of the work of We Are The Painters emerges a poetry, which appears especially in the titles that artists give to their works, many of which are built on the same model: Paint for… With these titles, they address their work to a third person who meets, receives and looks at their works, and thus participates in their universe and their fiction. The artists paint for Ulma, a Muse absent from any representation, and they whisper to the landscape…

Anne Langlois

 

at 40mcube, Rennes
until 28 April 2018

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