One, Two, Three… Labanque! (Part 2)
We propose you the continuation of our article of yesterday with the two other exhibitions proposed by LaBanque in Béthune: De l’apparence des choses, Chapter VI, Des forces de Rachel Labastie and Between here and nowhere by Brian Griffin.
Rachel labastie”of the appearance of things, chapter vi, of forces”
On the first floor we are greeted by a wicker wheel that turns endlessly. It evokes the trailer of the Yenish origins (nomadic people of Europe and great basket makers) of Rachel Labastie’s grandmother. However, surrounded by ceramic axes planted in the wall, as it is, the work could invite us to a carnival or evoke a stagecoach attack. In any case, a game of strength is being tested. Moreover”Des forces” is the name of this sixth chapter of his project entitled De l’apparence des choses.
Opposing forces, that is what this episode is all about. The whole process oscillates between erection and suspension, hardness and fragility, violence and sensuality. Rachel Labastie plays with paradoxes and the appearance of things. She uses raw clay, wood, ceramics, glass, marble in her eight installations where gesture, weightlessness, fire, violence and magic manifest themselves.
Perhaps the most striking works are those that bring us closer to ritual and magic, for example with Foyer, a work made of black sandstone bones resting on pink and brown shards. A cluster that evokes the remains of a mass grave, archaeological excavations of a tomb or a cave of the Palaeolithic. It shows the paradox of fire whose control is indispensable for its creation and which warms, nourishes, makes it possible to manufacture but also burns, destroys. It is a symbol of life and death. He is also the one who allows communion in shamanic rituals, or feasts. His intervention in 2017 in a village in Navarre as a ritualized ceremony bears witness to this. In an abandoned village, while digging through the ruins of houses, she collected tiles, pieces of ceramics and shards found. Then she made a huge primitive oven in the earth to cook her pieces found in clay sticks. This fire which burned all night for cooking allowed the gathering of all the villagers. This ceremony around the fire reveals the desire of the collective to convoke communion around the disappeared, a history, like a shamanic rite.
A lover of freedom, she denounces all obstacles. With the series Entraves, chains, collars of slaves are hung on the wall like the equipment in a stable and wait for the slave or the convict. The paradox arises from the fragility of the white ceramic used, which contrasts with the gravity of the subject.
In this first floor entirely dedicated to her, Rachel Labastie points her finger at the duality embodied in the material under transformation. Magic of fire, sacred ritual, pilgrim sticks, wheel of fate, we want to listen to her stories and follow her in this ceremony that brings together the human community.
Brian griffin”between here and nowhere”
Police Station: Valentine Umansky
Brian Griffin, is a photographer born in Birmingham in a very popular environment. He photographed the corporate world on commission and then worked for Time Magazine and The Observer Magazine. Friend of Martin Parr, music fan, he was notably the great portraitist of the 80’s music scene. Paul Mc Cartney, Depeche Mode, R.E.M, Kate Bush, Elvis Costello or Iggy pop have passed under his objective. The Guardian in 1989 claimed he was the photographer of the decade. Since 2001, he has been relaxing the stars to photograph the world of workers and continues to look to the side of British society. A month ago, we saw a few images at the Burberry exhibition in Paris, dedicated to the British way of life and celebrating British photography.
A Gabin-like physique with a piercing blue look, authority and tenderness at the same time, one can always detect a touch of irony in the photographer’s eye, animated by a classy irreverence and a clear ambiguity. A mixture of Ken Loach and David Lynch.
The exhibition Between here and nowhere develops on several chapters of a story that takes us into the midst of potatoes, the working class, the military… In short, a story inspired by the region, the place, his native land, a great humanity and the pleasure of blurring the tracks.
Inspired by the land of Béthune-Bruay from which he read many books recounting its history and especially during the First World War. He found that battlefields became potato fields. What is happening in this land which serves to feed the populations and which contains within it the dead of the last two world conflicts, many of them British? For Brian the region is important in history and in connection with his region of origin. The connections are also made with the working world, which he pays tribute to in a superb series. The workers are photographed with their tools in positions and attitudes worthy of a fashion magazine. He questions man in the face of postmodernism with enigmatic images that recall a nuclear accident, a fireworks display or futuristic representations of a parallel dimension that we should discover. He photographs characters stopped in their movement, eyes closed, in the empty spaces of a McCain factory, again a reference to potatoes. With an unstoppable game of perspective, this staging gives the impression of a dream or a nightmare, an unreal effect whose political significance is beyond doubt. A little further on we find soldiers and firemen, the dead under white crosses, a young worker lying on the ground… so many characters who seem to be the protagonists of a story of which only Brian Griffin has the keys.
Everything here in this stroll is mystery, chase. Brian Griffin proposes a game of Cluedo led in a Twin Peak spirit, for his universe between fiction and realism at the fragmented border, complex with several possible readings. He leaves here and there some clues to allow us to reconstruct a story that navigates between light fiction and raw reality.
Brian Griffin prefers crossroads to too literal proposals and rejects the concept of absolute truth.
Pierre Ardouvin ” Retour D’abyssinie ” (Return from the Deep)
Rachel Labastie “The Appearance Of Things, Chapter Vi, Of Strengths”
Brian Griffin “Between Here And Nowhere”
From March 17 to July 15, 2018
44, place Georges Clémenceau
Open every day from 14h to 18h30
Closed May 1st
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