« Objects don’t constitute either a flora, or a fauna. Nevertheless, they well give the illusion of a proliferating vegetation and a jungle, where the modern times man has great difficulty in regaining the reflexes of the civilization.»
Jean Baudrillard, «The consumer society», 1970
Walking into the Géraldine Banier gallery for this new exhibition and observing the works of the three displayed artists: the artificial strikes us. The François Nouguiès’s computers are a set of fragile ceramic sculptures; the Sabrina Vitali’s in situ installations, showing their aspect of raw, swollen and reddened flesh, are in sugar; as for Lino Lago’s immense photos, they actually are canvas painted with great precision. The spectator is tempted to touch, in spite of prohibitions. He can only try to penetrate with his eyes the secret of the various displayed pieces. This tension of the senses, and sense, is in the heart of the exhibition.
Born in 1973, the Spanish artist Lino Lago puts in parallel, in his series ‘ Victima ‘, an animal and an object, playing excessively with scales. Every manufactured product crushes the little fauna. The nature is moved away, at each time, by these utensils and sculptures which emphasize the human know-how. When she appears, it’s under a stylized, domesticated shape, as an ideal. Moreover the paintings reproduce the formal aspect of the advertising photos, most of the time manipulated on diverse software : grey bottom, projected shadows carefully set to testify of the truthfulness of the shooting, nevertheless totally dishonest.
The artist from Montpellier François Nouguiès, born in 1969, puts also in perspective the consumerist illusion with the ‘Vanities’. His sculptures are no more than a shape of computer, their use becoming thus symbolically null and void. These static objects, without a virtual activity behind the screen, insist on the omnipresent nonsense of our daily activity. Sit down in front of this inanimate object resumes here all its triviality, because it’s not functional. What is the purpose, if we think about it? Do we really build our individuality, separate from our open-space neighbors by a virtual whirlwind?
The works of the young artist Sabrina Vitali underline as well a world stuck in pictures and abstract and unreal shapes. Her Plexiglas reliquaries contain nothing: the sacred, the dream and the imagination have no more room in the contemporary world. They are replaced by an immense vacuity, concealed by colors, hidden under entertaining geometries. In the same way, her in situ sculptures remind the food industry which considerably reduced the horizons of our palates: sweetened - salted, to the detriment of acid and bitter, almost non-existent nowadays. This cultural and gustative impoverishment, Sabrina Vitali emphasizes it by using the sugar for creating – by contrast -fascinating installations, in echo to frozen organs.
We visitors are thus trapped, in front of these protest works which leave us with no alternative : what world for tomorrow? How to recreate a physical, real delight, aside from artifice?