This collaboration between the S.M.A.K. and the IAC shows their common interest in monographic exhibitions, that is to say directly with the artist, providing him with the space, the time and the means to show work in all its complexity. It also allows the publication of the first retrospective catalogue of the artist’s work, an occasion to take full measure of what he has done since the 1980s.
Symmetry is a fundamental element in the relation between Michel François and the two exhibition spaces. At the Institute, he uses this feature while readapting the presentation of works and by making new ones.
As always with Michel François, the exhibition is designed using recycling as the operating method. A fundamental practice in his work, sculpture covers photography, video, installations as well as performance to address issues of space, volume and balance that determine representation, whatever the medium used. Recurrent preoccupations emerge from the heart of this proliferating, surging work: living material in all its forms (insertion of plant life, representation of mineral features, human gestures, etc.), the ordering of forces (gravity, balance, resistance…) and the metaphor of imprisonment and everything that it induces (breakage, holes, escape …).
Michel François’ objects, images and volumes ceaselessly change and bond, a replay of a growing natural process, and become transitory forms. The works thus seem as if frozen in an expansion of forms and meanings.
A retrospective catalogue is to be published in February 2010 by Roma Publications.
It includes a preface by Nathalie Ergino and Philippe Van Cauteren, an essay by Guillaume Désanges and a discussion between Michel François and Jean-Paul Jacquet.