«One painting per person» could have been the title of this exhibition. Metaphorical and elaborate, no. Factual and pragmatic, yes.
In the rectangular room is placed an almost square structure, in which two presentation boxes are partly attributed by the artists to themselves. Courtyard and garden side, Galland and Delétraz side, bedroom and bathroom side. The public is free to choose which one belongs to whom and where is what. Because if in the proposal, certain plastic decisions seem clear, the proposal seems even more enigmatic. Satire and cynicism, perhaps. Humor and point of view, certainly.
With a generosity in terms of number of works, as well as commitment before the exhibition, the two artists apply in this case, and to the letter, the first sentence of the motto of the space that welcomes them: give free rein to experimentation, the attempt, the idea. They explore various surfaces that are not only used for painting, transpose the practice of sculpture to that of assemblage, break the usual hierarchy between the works, proceed as much by adding delicate details as by subtracting disruptive elements, play with the function and status of the frame in all senses, as with the framework of the display of their pieces in itself. In other words, to be serious without taking themselves seriously.
The numerous individual pieces, some never before seen, some recovered, almost all from recycled ma terials, become ephemeral installations and unique communal works. Together, they form an ensemble that sparsely covers the surface of the floor, the framing and the artificial space thus created. Through the choice of the raw materials used, the tiles made of soap, the functional but non-ornamental lamps, the old or strange lampshades, the retouched but non-dissimulating curtain, the repainted fountain from which does not spout water but a bouquet of flowers, the ceramics polished without being precious, wooden structure lacquered but unstable, oil on canvas with holes, stickers scattered and taunting the spectators, even in the superstitious pose of a harmless object at the back of a structure. Annabelle Galland and Victor Delétraz play with certain codes and assume the paradoxes of their proposal. This here becomes the backside of a decor where there is nothing to see, or almost. Contradiction and failure, not at all. Insight and performative potential, absolutely.
«Two Breasts and a Tie» could have been another exhibition title, or perhaps the pair performance taking place in the space, activating the various elements of the installation, as a critique of the circuit in which they have chosen to evolve. Rumor has it that artists must finance their production, pay for their life choices rather than themselves. Proof of this is the long list of thanks they wanted to share with the audience, in which including an editor is as important as including a banquet hostess. Perhaps the two sidekicks work in the same theater café, exchanging far more orders than dialogue lines there. Perfect working and playing partners, in short.
From the beginning, this exhibition has been a sham. An extreme collaboration, on the verge of losing balance but in total control. One would even have heard them say «we must not miss». Still happy.