The artist often develops his works from found and sometimes historical pictorial material, as well as from well- known figures of mythology, history, theater, film and pop culture. Original quotes are deliberately reduced to extracts within a collage-like working method. Recontextualized in seemingly surreal contexts, this results in new associations and meanings. Several works are condensed within a stage-like installation, leading to a performative-pictorial narration.

Lothar Hempel’s sculpture Performance (2015) uses a famous image of Kathleen Neal Cleaver, the first female member of the Black Panthers, mixing materials, disciplines and references to popular culture. A contemporary heroine, she is one of the figures to whom the artist pays tribute for her commitments.
But let’s listen to the genesis of the work by the artist…

Performance, 2015, ink jet print, aluminum and mixed media, dimensions variable

I combined 2 images – Kathleen Cleaver, an activist and the wife of Eldridge Cleaver, one of the leaders of the Black Panthers, during a speech she held in Oakland in the late sixties and a photograph from Dave Gahan, lead singer of Depeche Mode in one of their first concerts in 1981.

Another element in the work is the sentence: “Delphi Dog Run”, which is a collage of words, the name of the greek oracle and the words in a series of paintings by Christopher Wool, executed in 1990.

There is a cut out shape in the middle of the sculpture, indicating a pregnancy and pointing into the forehead of Dave Gahan like a diagramm, showing the direction of a thought process or a more symbiotic relation (“Symbiosis” was in fact one of the working titles for the sculpture, before I finally settled with “Performance”). The motif of pregnancy, which I understand as a metaphor for give and take, is juxtaposed in opposition to the phallic presence of the microphone in Mr Gahan’s hand and the “real” microphone in front of the figure.

There are patterns like stains and scratches printed onto the chest and the boots of the figure that stem from photographs of abstract paintings that I took a while back in some Berlin gallery. Completely forgot which artist, but I used these patterns again and again in different works to bring a certain grit and texture on to the surface.
These patterns seem to indicate a process like grinding, digging in and opening up, getting through the surface, cutting, perforation, penetration… it’s probably a desperate attempt to overcome the 2 dimensionality of the printed image and the need to turn it into something of volume, something “real”, to create a true opposite. The key around the neck seems to have a similar function – it also “opens up”.

Kathleen Neal Cleaver was born in Dallas, Texas, on May 13, 1945. Her parents were both activists and college graduates of the University of Michigan. Her father was a sociology professor at Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, and her mother earned a master’s degree in mathematics. Three years after Cleaver was born, her father, Ernest Neal, accepted a job as the director of the Rural Life Council of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, and they moved to a predominantly black community beside the campus. Six years later, Ernest joined the Foreign Service. The family moved abroad and lived in such countries as India, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and the Philippines. Spending time in India exposed Kathleen to different beliefs, including socialism, communism, and nationalism. The family returned to the United States after her brother died from leukaemia and the family broke apart. Cleaver attended a Quaker boarding school near Philadelphia, George School, which had just been desegregated.

There is a “twin” piece to Performance, a 2018 sculpture called:
“Ein Lied für 2 Stimmen” ( a song for 2 voices ), note the green key glued to the wall! It could be interesting to see the 2 works in their dialogue.

Ein Lied für 2 Stimmen, 2018

Geert Goiris in cooperation with VLP, Groot-Bijgaarden, 2020, Design: Roger Willems, 44 + 16 pages, 28 x 36 cm, ISBN:9789492811813

Around the year 1124, a community of Benedictines settled on the Wivina site at Groot-Bijgaarden in modern-day Belgium. Archaeological research has uncovered the remains of five consecutive churches and outbuildings there. The current chapel from 1924 is still intact. In 2011 interior architect Tom Callebaut led the transformation of this chapel into a contemporary space for contemplation. Nine years later, photographer Geert Goiris was invited to visualize the experience of this space, which is still a beacon of theology and reflection. A text by Herman Lombaerts accompanies the series of images. 

Limited edition of 500 copies

Roma Publication 391

Between 2008 and 2010 I travelled twice to antarctica to photograph a whiteout. This weather condition can occur in polar regions and high mountains. When the concentration of microscopic ice crystals in the atmosphere exceeds a certain limit it traps the sunlight. Light gets diffused through these particles, falls onto the snow and ice below and is reflected endlessly in the air like an an echo chamber.

Whiteout is an atmospherical, optical phenomenon, where the observer appears to be engulfed in a uniformly white glow. Any sense of depth and orientation is lost. Only dark, nearby objects can be seen. The horizon disappears, the landscape turns into a white void – a ‘ganzfeld’. Our brain isn’t used to uniform stimulation, seeing is based on contrast. Making a distinction between different patterns, colours or structures. When we gaze into a featureless field of vision it can produce hallucinations 

I wanted to capture on film the transformation of matter into light during a whiteout. The resulting piece is an analog slide projection. The film was exposed in antarctica, developed and at last loaded into a projector. The powerful light shining through the diapositive projects an ephemeral image onto the wall. The projection is automated, each image dissolves into the next one. There is a strange temporality at play inspired by the experience of continuous daylight during my stay on the continent.

Le Tigre définitive is a series of drawings made for a children’s book. Jean-Luc Blanc creates a sequence of images based around the figure of Janus, the philosopher with two faces. The sequence is read from left to right, from right to left from the center, it does not matter, the personal projection of the viewer is the only truth.

…que le vent ne se lève
et ordonne ce petit monde
de bien mystérieuse façon.


– Elle n’ira pas danser.
– Elle ne tournera pas la tête à droite.
– Elle n’observera nul horizon.


Son bateau plusieurs fois sera détruit,
mais la lumière captive derrière ses
paupières ouvrira d’autres bals…

En ce temps-là
un homme-grenouille possédant
plus d’une théorie sur l’origine
du ressac, plongeait là-bas…
Mais peut-être que les équations
sont plus faciles à résoudre
que les vagues à gominer.

C’est sous un manteau troué
Au sortir d’images fixes,
et articulées comme des automates
que tout cela commença très lentement
avant même que…

L’oiseau bleu pâlit.

Les après-midi tombaient mal,
et endurant ce temps
les brumes d’ombre périphérique
protégeraient sur de multiples
miroirs
des incendies permanents
pour tisseuse de belles aventures.
Voilà ce qui est exactement arrivé.

– Mon premier se trouve aux temps où
il fallait encore surprendre d’autres affinités
aux symétries paradoxales.
– Mon second vogue sur tout un sillage
en pente.
– Ou sont les autres? demande mon
troisième.
– Aussi bien nulle part rétorque mon
avant-avant-dernier.

Dès à présent,
tandis qu’une tête endimanche
les dépendances d’un château de fables,
au demeurant immuable…


…Là où trois mouvements lents plus tard
il se fait entendre
comme un doux chant pluriel
– fais ceci
– ceci n’est pas parfait
– ceci n’est pas un fait


En pleine lumière
dis-moi quelque-chose

Rangez vos joues joues
rien ne va plus.
Mais quoi encore !
– Un concerto panoramique.
– Un diapason à bulle ?
– Laper l’eau en vol ?
Là, je comprends.
Métamorphosé, un cancre est là.
Non, un orphéon est un luth en point de croix avec beaucoup de ciel tout autour
dans les tons de Jade et qui décrirait
une valse enjouée avec Jupiter.

Et maintenant maintes fois
maintenu dans un mélange
de mystères frivoles et exaspérants
joue-nous
ton air favori.
Sans oublier de donner
à boire au poisson
chaque minute

je compte avec toi.

Alors j’ouvris sept portes
et glissai sur une vague d’encre
bien des fois une feuille
blanche me pris en otage.
Terre promise d’un soleil
avenir
toujours plus proche à chaque
nouvelle écoute
toujours plus proche
toujours plus proche

Écoute
… en ce jardin voir des roses
ne pousser qu’à l’envers,
et faire signe à une fée volage
souriant sur les feux de voilage
iridescents
à celle qui prendrait la mesure
de tout ces quadrilles hypnotiques
1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 4, 5,
6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 7, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9…

….et deux qui font un.

Quand bientôt, à l’ombre d’Orion,
comme une ligne sur ton beau
visage, passent
un pour toujours et un jamais plus
particulièrement aimants
aux fleurs, flammes et autres fétiches glacés
Δ K O n + =

Alors je n’entendis plus rien
ni les chevaux invisibles et,
comme dans un scintillement
broussailleur dans une sombre forêt
un soleil vert.

Installation of the Hubert Duprat’s exhibition | Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris. Video: Philippe Laumont © Paris Musées

Behind the scenes of the installation Hubert Duprat – Retrospective at the Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris
September 2020 – February 2021

“Here we have a summary of the lines of force of a body of work both openended and rhizomatic, a unifying of the monumental and the miniature, of purity of line and mannerist virtuosity. Sumptuous, demanding and complex, the Duprat oeuvre also draws inspiration from chance and the empirical, combining the discovery of objects, remnants and texts in a testing-out of matter, technique and dexterity” – Jessica Castex.

“La visite en BD de François Olislaeger”, in Beaux Arts, November 2020, p.170
Jean-Marc Chapoulie, artist-director, gives his point of view on the Hubert Duprat’s exhibition at the Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris.© Paris Musées

Océaniania, 2019, graphite, pastel and colored pencils on paper, 155 x 113 cm (61 x 44 1/2 in.)

Imagination is not to be opposed to reality.

The aquarium
When I was a kid we had an aquarium with a few guppies, a row of neon lights, a couple of shrimps and small spotted yellow fish that cleaned the windows with their big, silent lips.  I remember feeling embarrassed at the sight of the guppies defecating, since in the water it was like a little string that they were carrying around in their wake, until it became too long and broke.  While I was being taught cleanliness and modesty, it bothered me. Perhaps by some sort of childish intuition I saw that we were not so different and that our condition was finally quite similar, just without the giant face on the other side of the glass.

Océaniania left – among other things – these childhood memories, but as usual, my drawing work is an accumulation of perceptions and knowledge that I don’t organise in order to produce any kind of affirmative statement. This sounds like disengagement. Yet for me it is an essential way of approaching subjects, without trapping them in a discourse. I often get entangled when it comes to language.

… the heart of my research lies in exploration, notably by inviting doubt within the drawing.  By yielding a part of control to my unconscious to intuition and imagination, I introduce the possibility of letting myself be taken over by my work.

Corentin Grossmann

Imagination is a faculty of knowledge.

Giuseppe Gabellone, Falsa Finestra, 2020 – FF, 2020

“The forms of bas-relief and high relief are not new in Giuseppe Gabellone’s production, if we think of the Japanese series (exhibited at the 50th International Exhibition of Venice in 2003) and the Jungle series created the following year, both are characterized by an almost total saturation of the surface, by a thickening of signs, volumes and figures that continuously blur the boundaries between image and object, between two-dimensionality and three-dimensionality, between fixity and narration. […]

This ocillating between painting and sculpture is what defines the uses of bas-reliefs in different historical periods, from the ancient Mesopotamian civilizations to the European Middle Ages and Renaissance. […]
The bas-relief is, precisely, the place where the visual dimensions slide and merge together: abstraction, figuration, decora- tion, narration, painting, sculpture, architecture, scale and perspective”.*

Through his research on the sculptural elements of architecture, photography and memory, Giuseppe Gabellone questions the way the mind processes memories. Before his works, one wonders how they were created, where they came from. The relationship to the interpretation is complex due to the difficulty of establishing a precise relationship to the present time. References to Baroque sculpture, ancient bas-reliefs and modern sculpture add a further distance between the object and the viewer.

Falsa Finestra, 2019. Polyester resin, fiberglass, aluminum frame, 137,5 x 103,5 cm (54 1/8 x 40 3/4 in.) Collection CNAP, Centre national des arts plastiques, Paris/FR

Falsa Finestra, 2020 et F F, 2020. Acrylic colours, acrylic resin, fiberglass, wood, aluminium frame, 268 x 165 x 32 cm (105 1/2 x 65 x 12 5/8 in.)

The title Falsa Finestra, already used for one of his previous works in transparent resin, refers to the status of the object rather than to the pictorial illusion, to the internal-external relationship that the window implies while underlining its artificial nature. Compared to the first Falsa Finestra, the artifact lends itself less to verisimili- tude and unlike the previous bas-reliefs the figuration disappears into the abysses of colour. In fact, the color reappears as in La Giungla (2004) as a mist of colored dots that softens the forms making these works more similar to an image.

In the second of Gabellone’s works, we find the same elements but this time the title FF, a contraction of Falsa Finestra, indicates the tension which these new works tend towards.

* Excerpt of the text from Alessandro Rabottini in Giuseppe Gabellone, cat. GAMeC, Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Bergamo, 2013. p124

For the film “After (money)”, Ulla von Brandenburg refilmed a shot from Robert Bresson’s last film with the same model (as the director called his actors) and in the same place. Thirty years elapsed between the original film and this remake, which once again is glimpsed as a resurgence, an echo of the questions raised by Bresson’s cinema, through its radical form as well as its bitter view of his contemporaries.

“An image must be transformed in contact with other images as is a colour in contact with other colours,” wrote Bresson in a famous note.

After L’Argent, 2014, film 35 transféré sur vidéo HD, couleur, 1 min 58.
Vue de l’exposition / Installation view 24 Filme, kein Schnitt, MAMCO, Genève/CH (curator: Xavier Franceschi)

A tribute to the filmmaker, it is also a work on cinema, a medium of lies according to the artist, since it artificially suspends time. The choice of this radical and critical film, based on a short story by Tolstoy denouncing a society driven by the lure of gain, is certainly not neutral. In the background, a light panel refers to today’s consumer society, saturated with advertising messages, to the detriment of signs of individual, political and committed expression.

“To draw a historical perspective, use a ruler and an accomplice.”

Achaintre works across a diverse range of media that includes watercolours, linocuts, textiles and ceramics. Her drawings, hand-tufted wall hangings and sculptures are colourful and potent, evoking the subversive spirit of European carnival and creating an atmosphere that is both playful and absurd. Including German Expressionism, modernist sculpture and Primitivism among her influences, the artist also references more contemporary subcultural genres such as sci-fi, the heavy metal scene, cartoons and horror films.

Drawing is the foundation of Achaintre’s practice. Made with watercolour and ink, the artist’s delicate works on paper oscillate between the abstract and the figurative, revealing compositions that often recall the shape of a face or figure, like a series of ghostly portraits. Recent works use latex, wax and bleach to mask out patterns and remove colour. Monochromatic linocuts refer more directly to the primitive, with heavy expressive lines and shadowy forms.

Extract from the text for the exhibition GATESHEAD, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art & Frac Champagne-Ardenne, curator Antoine Marchand. 2016

“I am interested in primary sensations. This is why prehistoric art inspires me: everything is simply said and the superfluous is excluded. It is a very powerful art. Primitivism is visionary, at the heart of everything. My interest in European carnival folklore has its origins in the age-old tradition of masks, as much as in the caricature of society that carnival represents.” – Caroline Achaintre

Vue de l’exposition / Exhibition view Vue Liquide, Fondation Thalie, Bruxelles, 07.09. 2020 – 13.12.2020
© Laetizia Debain