Demain dans la bataille pense à moi

[Tomorrow in the Battle Think on Me]

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The IAC, which, since its creation, has placed research at the heart of its activities, presents itself periodically as the venue for Otium, an interim period in which art projects are shown; a time of reflection and meditation, distanced from everyday life, and a time to take a breather scheduled within the programme itself.

In June 2015, the IAC presented OTIUM #1, consisting of two parts: De Mineralis, pierres de visions & Kata Tjuta.
In December 2015, the IAC is presenting the collective project Tomorrow in the Battle Think on Me, bringing together French and international artists.
Tomorrow in the Battle Think on Me is constructed around a collage of ideas, artworks and emotions that echo the eponymous novel by Spanish writer Javier Marías (Rivages, 1996).

This exhibition is not so much based on the novel's plot as it is its mode of construction. The narrative framework follows a winding path, reflecting the acts of the character who, despite being the protagonist, remains peripheral to the action that he is both subjected to yet influences, as both observer and actor, witness and main character.
Disrupting an action that is already a hesitant one, these verses reappropriated from Shakespeare's Richard III recur throughout the story:

Tomorrow in the battle think on me, and fall thy edgeless sword!
Tomorrow in the battle think on me, when I was mortal, let fall thy lance. 
Let me sit heavy on thy soul tomorrow! Let me be lead within thy bosom, and weigh thee down to ruin, shame, and death.
Tomorrow in the battle think on me. Despair, and die! 


These words come and go, becoming a ritornello, as though the narrator was endlessly attempting to recall the exact words or understand their implication. In his wanderings, punctuated by this litany, he becomes his own doppelganger and tries to follow the action, like the ghost of his own story.
Incantatory, aspiring to the sublime, this anaphora underpins the exhibition like a promise to be kept.
It lends the book its lyrical title, which remains open to multiple interpretations and to a subjective appropriation.

It is about manifest power, energy and tenacity – an injunction to uphold things, to try and try again, sometimes to the point of absurdity.

The figure of Sisyphus appears in two videos by Mel O’Callaghan. In Ever Tried, Ever Failed, 2008, not presented here but one of the project's key references, we discover a solitary figure scaling the cliff of a mountain range, climbing up only to back fall down, tumbling head over heels. This faceless man here becomes, in some sense, the stone at the heart of the myth.
This same process is replayed in the installation Ensemble, 2013, in which the situation is reversed.
In the first, the man becomes the natural element that hinders him, in the second, the man does not so much confront his peers as he does the water itself. 
From the revisited myth stems the idea of an evolution through repetition, considered positively: the man goes further and further in quest of constant evolution supported by continually renewed hopes.
We find this movement in Vanessa Billy’s sculptures, whose forms are multiplied within the space, evolving from one to the other, like the various freeze frames of a mutation.

This repetition involves a tension, a vibrant energy, which develops as far as this point of equilibrium, never reaching its breaking point.
The elements and materials that constitute the artworks are laden with meaning, ranging from the heaviest (Katinka Bock’s stone) to the extremely light (Bruno Persat’s helium balloon). Through assemblages, the artists reveal or imply their power. The compositions are sometimes compact, sometimes abstract. Peter Buggenhout thus combines several elements derived from reality, recycled materials covered in organic matter that suddenly seem to maintain themselves in a loaded and precarious balance.
Dario D’Aronco and Maurice Blaussyld, in a different way, assemble various elements that interact with each other in an almost abstract manner. These imbrications, similar to 3D collages, attract visitors while simultaneously appearing to elude them. 

Finally, there is a moment of calm, a pause, in a nebulous landscape. Landscapes appear, both in the mural drawing made by Bruno Persat by kicking balls around and in Maria Loboda’s formal gardens, with trees that become rocks.
Between the two, there is a restful interlude that unites the oscillation of Julien Crépieux’s hanging chairs, facing a landscape, and the floating of a balloon-bookshelf (Bruno Persat).
A tension emanates from the works presented in the exhibition, instilled with a kind of latent contained violence.

Exhibition's video
IAC → EXHIBITIONS → in situ → Demain dans la bataille pense à moi
i-ac.eu/en/exhibitions/24_in-situ/2015/338_DEMAIN-DANS-LA-BATAILLE-PENSE-A-MOI
printed on July 23, 2017 [20:49] from IP address : 54.162.139.217
© Institut d’art contemporain 2017