Submission
Melanie Akeret, Hélène Labadie

Decorum

The Café des Glaces opens its second cycle of exhibitions in Tonnerre with Decorum, an exhibition featuring the work of two emerging artists: Swiss painter Melanie Akeret and French designer Hélène Labadie In the bar room, the corridor, one of the rooms and the ballroom, a selection of paintings by Melanie Akeret and new ceramic works and lighting by Hélène Labadie enters into a dialogue. On the shallow edge of Art and Design "Decorum" is pleased to host Melanie Akeret's discrepant paintings and Hélène Labadie's enchanting ceramic, glasses and lightings works.


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Melanie Akeret and Hélène Labadie, Decorum, exhibition view, Café des Glaces, Tonnerre
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Melanie Akeret and Hélène Labadie, Decorum, exhibition view, Café des Glaces, Tonnerre
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Foreground: Hélène Labadie, The Baby bad seeds, (candlesticks for giant table), 2021 Background: Melanie Akeret, Lobster 0, 2021
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Melanie Akeret and Hélène Labadie, Decorum, exhibition view, Café des Glaces, Tonnerre
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Melanie Akeret, Orange, rot, braun?, 2021
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Foreground: Hélène Labadie, The bad seeds 1, (candlesticks for giant table), 2019 Background: Melanie Akeret, (hug emoji), 2021
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Hélène Labadie, Budy wall Lamp, 2021
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left: Hélène Labadie, Daddies chair, 2021 middle: Melanie Akeret, K.o.;drums;blue, 2021
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Melanie Akeret, K.o.;drums;blue, 2021
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Hélène Labadie, Daddies chair, 2021
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left: Melanie Akeret, K.o.;drums;blue, 2021
right: Melanie Akeret Untitled (double Portrait) I/ II, 2021
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Melanie Akeret Untitled (double Portrait) I/ II, 2021
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left: Melanie Akeret, Untitled (double Portrait) I/ II, 2021 right: Hélène Labadie, Baby chair, 2021
Hélène Labadie, Budy Lamp, 2021
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left: Hélène Labadie, The bad seeds 3, (candlesticks for giant table), 2021 middle: Melanie Akeret, Palette 2, 2021
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Melanie Akeret and Hélène Labadie, Decorum, exhibition view, Café des Glaces, Tonnerre
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foreground: Melanie Akeret, Punkte, neglecting the decorative element, 2020 background: Melanie Akeret, Jeunes Filles au Piano, 2021
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Melanie Akeret and Hélène Labadie, Decorum, exhibition view, Café des Glaces, Tonnerre
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Melanie Akeret, Lobster 1, 2021
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Melanie Akeret, Red piano, 2021
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Hélène Labadie, Belle quand tu pleures, (domestic fountain collection), 2016

In 1975, Marcel Broodthaers presented Décor: A conquest, an exhibition comprising 2 period rooms, a 19th century room and a 20th century one. In the first one, a crab and a lobster are playing cards on a green game table lit by a spotlight. Broodthaer’s decor expresses his interest in systems that substitute direct experience to that of their representation. It plays on the double meaning of the word “décor” in French which can mean decor as ornamentation as well as theater or shooting location (film set). The decor with the static setting of its accessories and its vented atmosphere becomes a place of exhibition in the literal sense, the place where an action will be enacted where the promises of interiority will be fulfilled.

The notion of decorum shows an ambiguousness as well by signifying either decorative pomp or a set of rules of propriety which must be adhered to.
The exhibition at the Café des Glaces maintains a balance, hinging between ornamental pomp and rhythm specific to the ritual of exhibition. The rhythm is also a setting, a manner of shrouding the experiment. In Episode 6 of the 1st season of Chef’s Table, Magnus Nilsson, the Chef describes the sequence of his Tasting Menu, but out of the twenty courses, the five or six first portions are smaller and they come very fast, one every 180 seconds. The first part of the meal thus follows a rapid and continuous rhythm; Then the second part is performed at a slower pace. A new dish every seven or eight minutes. After half an hour, rhythm is resumed at a faster pace with small portions. Then back to more substantial dishes and a slower pace. The gourmet experience lasts two and a half hours including thirty or so dishes.

The lobster painted by Melanie Akeret isn’t playing cards: frozen and preposterous, it fills up the surface of the canvas. Stuck to the surface, it becomes abstract. This type of representation and the chromatic range used recall a tasteful painting of a past age whose contemplation is soothing.
The candlesticks by Hélène Labadie refer to extreme animism while displaying the passivity of objects derived from anthropomorphic projections.
Distributed throughout the space, but without burning candles, they play the third wheel for a dreamlike experience of the spectators.Lucid dreaming, an experience in which one knows one is asleep while being able to direct the course of one’s dreamed adventures may be made easier by proper positioning and repeated exercising. Performing the dream by setting a ritual; this rhythmic effect maintains the tension of the theatricality of decorum, an uneasy dialogue between Art and Decor.