“Become disorganised matter, blobs of chaos, slime molds.” Alina Popa, “The Second Body and the Multiple Outside”
I live in a place where the city meets the sea, where the rough and weathered surfaces of concrete and limestone
confuse themselves while Bluetooth speakers battle over the sound of the liquid waves crashing on the solid
ground. I arrived here suddenly, diving at the right moment. Rather than avoiding the approaching wave of uncertainty,
I let it carry me here. Perhaps uncertainty heightens the desire for the horizon, the desire for vast, liquid
bodies that have nor beginning nor end. That oceanic feeling.
I am from a place where the city meets the sea, where blue blobs of chaos– man o’ wars– are scattered across
the beach forcing us to make winding trails around their slimy bodies. Man o’ wars are like balls of affect, balls
that affect– a simple graze, a deadly sting. And yet, they are colonial organisms that cannot survive independently,
thus functioning from a symbiotic relationship between various polyps. These creatures can be considered
as ‘webs of physical intimacy and fluid exchange’ in a ‘hypersea’ of affect. In a time where proximity to others is
recognised as dangerous, we are confronted with our own need for intimacy and human interaction. Like man-owars,
our dangerous, liquid bodies must rely on each other in times of uncertainty, somehow.
“Something Blue” was born from the “quivering tension of the in-between” to consider the liquid mesh that entangles
us. Bringing together works by French artists Océane Bruel and Maxime Fragnon, the exhibition observes
the in between-ness of bodies, spaces, emotions, materials, considering the something that happens in liminal
If Maxime Fragnon considers his works as landscapes, Océane Bruel’s works are bodies that penetrate and
cohabit within the space. Each of these elements – landscapes, bodies – reveal a certain fragility and are constantly
subject to transformations caused by both natural and human made forces. It is from various periods
of latency that each of their works are born, relying on this in-between, liquid state. Océane Bruel and Maxime
Fragnon are porous: they absorb liquid life in an ebb and flow cycle, and through various techniques, materials
and space transform. Their practices are composed of a corpus of independent forms that change over time.
Elements from various works circulate, combine and intervene to form new entities.
Carrier bags of things that were (Océane Bruel, Untitled (You & Me), 2019); scattered ceramics–like shells–containing
organic and fragile universes (Maxime Fragnon); reflections of surface tensions (Océane Bruel, Untitled
(mirror), 2020), and objects weathered by time (Maxime Fragnon, various works) are assembled in “Something
Blue” to celebrate the undefinable ‘something’.
“The material self cannot be disentangled form networks that are simultaneously economic, political, cultural,
scientific, and substantial…what was once the ostensible bound human subject finds herself in a swirling landscape
of uncertainty.” If water is an archive of matter and feeling, the works present reveal this swirling landscape
in which everything is connected yet uncertain– today’s diluted, liquid modern world and that oceanic feeling of
eternity that one, perhaps, may be feeling today.
– Katia Porro