#Biennale2Lyon: No political cant for Dewar § Gicquel
#LYON Winners of the Marcel Duchamp Prize in 2012, the two artists Dewar § Gicquel continue to explore a simple material as the source of their imagination. This time, at the Museum of Contemporary Art as part of the Lyon Biennale for an exhibition “Mammalian Fantasies”. Wood, and with it its value of use, its decorative or utilitarian function, is confronted with a post-pop universe in which craftsmanship acts as a compass for a radically disoriented production. However, if in this Biennale the works presented are sometimes more derisory than derisive, those of Dewar § Gicquel strive to push genres and materials to the point of entrenchment in order to give them a meaning that contradicts the context in which they were proceeding.
Pushed to the extreme of humour, fantasy and banality, their creations speak of obsession, utility, sex and morbidity in everyday life. Furniture, bas-reliefs or sculptures carved in raw wood indicate the traces of the contamination of a material eaten away by the worms of our laughter and anguish. They reflect our archaisms and recall our animality in a burlesque way, in a debauchery of dismembered bodies, intestines and a bestiary where the pastoral fantasy is diverted into a contemporary “garden of delights” when dreams and nightmares intertwine to transgress reality or make it gorgeous.
All this is precise, of dull cruelty, and testifies to an impressive know-how. From one piece to another, there is a jubilant obscenity and the ease with which it is constantly renewed with this haughty detachment that remains the hallmark of great artists. Some, in the spirit of the times, would like to see in it an anti-speciesist manifesto and the Biennale commissioners have largely given in to this fashionable effect. The strictest parity is required, gender, anthropocene and post-humanism are essential. Yet Dewar § Gicquel’s works speak the world out of the present time as Jerome Bosch did. They speak of today by confronting the past; they transcend and probe the darkness of the future.
Until January 5, 2020
Daniel Dewar § Grégory Gicquel “Fantasies Mammals”
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