The intimacy of friendship, according to Jacques Derrida, is the ability of recognizing oneself in the eyes of another. Such platonic gaze is found through unconditional fidelity that seals spiritual fraternity. This sacred union transcends moral, aesthetic or economic distinctions.In this way, Friendship is a space in which bonds of love are democratically bound to appear. These bonds stem from concrete acts of Love and Care. Love and Care are displayed through sharing time, attention, material objects and skills. Caring for one another also entails looking after one’s growth through acts of communication, compassion and loyalty which are, according to Bell Hooks, meant to be practiced daily as a way to find true joy.
Sarah, Azize, Chris and Jeremy shared the same studio for three years and thus formed a bond that is still ongoing and reflected in this exhibition. Finding each other at the starting point of their careers as artists and all coming from non artistic backgrounds, they teamed with one another to make the best come out of themselves. During these years, they shared stories about their dreams as emerging artists entering the art world, they listened to each other’s fears and struggles but also witnessed and cheered on each other’s victories and success.The four have the desire to reshape collective consciousness with new images from their own visual references coming from cartoons, mangas and pop culture.
United around common subjects and concerns such as: feeling through color, picturing growth, vulnerability and individual as well as societal change, they mainly use painting as their primary medium. The title ‘Chemical X’ refers to the mysterious and powerful ingredients added to the concoction to create the PowerPuffs Girls in the eponymous American animated series.
Chemical X is a powerful product which, after having been accidentally ingested, gives one superpowers and special abilities; not everyone has it in their system and each one demonstrates it differently if they do. Chemical X is a common aspiration for greatness, a boldness in experimenting, a wish to question the structures that contain us and a willingness to empower and care for one another, Sarah, Azize, Chris and Jeremy all have Chemical X running in their veins but each one tames it differently through their own brushstroke and color palette.
* Sugar. Spice. And everything nice. These were the ingredients chosen to create the perfect little girls. But Professor Utonium accidentally added an extra ingredient to the concoction… *