Maxime Duveau “Reopening of the famous Cosmic Billiards game”
#NICE Resulting from drawing, black and white is not rooted in any natural order but has been enriched by cultural conventions related to photography and cinema. The lead pencil, graphite and the line they suppose are set back for distant techniques since an autonomous device now stands between the artist and the image. Techniques that touch our fantasies as closely as possible, however, through the tearing of the dark light and the incandescence of the icy black that sometimes emerges. The light then cuts off the story of its blade to restore the hell of passions, lost loves, wanderings and all that a cinematographic plan, like a noir novel, can suggest. Maxime Duveau draws this fantasy, not from the line – nothing linear here – but according to the successive strata of his appearance.
The story we have to formulate is similar to the cut-up of Brion Gysin and Burroughs when the surface of the drawing is built on layers that lead us to the farthest reaches of the image.
Maxime Duveau practices drawing according to a very particular procedure that draws its source from a photograph charged with this mythology that cinema has largely developed, California: an aesthetic of paradise scenery, wanderings and anxiety. And beyond that, the appearance of the screen, the play of passions, and even further, the burning of the impulses that drive them.
History, therefore, metaphorical, of depth of field, of successive layers, of juxtapositions and erasure. It is all this that the draftsman strives to bring a paper or a wall to the surface. The photo at the origin of the image is then worked in its depth, in the body of its negative. Graphite and charcoal collect traces of it to be printed on the sheet subjected to cutting, tearing and overprinting. The figures then reappear in the scarfs of dreams, expectations of paradise in the heart of an urban hell under the shadows of feigned palm trees and under a sun not found in the heart of the night. Here life is woven to death like the cry of silence. Cuts of the real are bursting like sad escapes of light. David Lynch, Hitchcock, and perhaps paradoxically, Edward Hopper’s painting – even if the man has deserted Maxime Duveau’s universe – are never far away.
The artist probes the sinuosities of the belly of the image. He incises, takes clues, maps the faults and black blood. Gradually, his work became more complex, the surface less demanding for a more sensitive exploration of the depths. It is through a quotation from Matisse’s ornamental cuts with his floral orbs that Maxime Duveau succeeds in establishing this emphasis between the decorative surface and the more analytical issues of the drawing. The themes and representations of it then tend towards a pre-text as if they were always similar to a film to be developed.
What else emerges from it but the echo of a memory, of a narrative whose formless movement should always be recorded, whose breath is chopped? That’s how a syntax is developed. In the gap between a simple form and a dizzying universe. Or to use the title of the exhibition in a “Reopening of the famous cosmic billiard game”.
And as a reminder, this text written for a previous exhibition in the same place…
“Paint my actions darker than night,” wrote Cornelius in Medea. But actions attack the human being and his myths when the background from which they emerge reflects an even deeper darkness. It is in the dark matter of charcoal, as well as through games of erasure and covering, that Maxime Duveau exhibits the mythology of a California reduced to a recurrent signalling of clichés, palm trees, vanishing lines towards an absent and horizonless light. A decor empty of men and action.
The framing of the photos that are the matrix of it springs forth in its hyperboles as if caught in the dreamlike vertigo of a cinematographic shot. But where one would expect, by convention, overexposure of colours and excess, the drawing digs, through black and white, into the negative of the image. It refers to extinction. Not by a drawing made of lines but built on cut-out masses and caches to reduce it to the platitude of black. Velvety, silky or rough, it seizes space and infects it. Because if the traces of a reality reduced to a single set are present in photography, Maxime Duveau mainly draws the disappearance of reality.
Our mythologies, notably expressed in the wake of Pop Art icons, are thus based on a lure that artists have never stopped accompanying and undoing. Roland Barthes wrote: “What is the essence of the myth? It’s about turning a sense into shape. In other words, myth is always a theft of language. “He added:””Is there no sense in resisting this capture that threatens him? In fact, nothing can be immune to the myth. »
Maxime Duveau works in the very material of myth; he devitalizes the surface effects within the power of black and its opacity when the effects of seduction are extinguished on flat images, emptied of all substance, exiled to desire. The paper is then skinned and, from its torn scales, in the shreds of a sharp whiteness, the hope of a light emerges: reality. The drawing then becomes this photographic off-field by which the artist avoids waking dreams and exotic trivia of a commercial economy built on the rubble of reality.
In his “Anthropological Structures of the Imaginary”, Gibert Durand showed that the imaginary would not be inexhaustible and that it would reproduce along logical and isomorphic lines. Maxime Duveau radiographs this body transverse to any mass representation and in a gesture that reconnects with the Greek spirit, he contrasts the two antithetical modes of thought, the logos (“reasoning”) and the mythos (“myth”) unverifiable but intractable in its effects of beauty and persuasion. The artist is here the one who, like Barthes, digs into the forms of our contemporary mythology to extract its logos and meaning.
Maxime Duveau,”Reopening of the famous cosmic billiard game.”
April 13 – June 8, 2019
Espace For Sale Gallery
10 rue Assalit
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