5th December 2017 to the 22nd December 2017
With the kind support of Bureau des arts plastiques | Institut français Germany and the French Ministry of Culture
KONKRET1987 Alexandre Bavard
“Happy New Fear” slips loosely over anarcho tongues, as Christmas trees are piled up and barricade the bank doors, crackling lightly. The wild heat of the flames doused in petrol: smoothly lock onto the pine-scented aftermath of a revolt. The sweat-dripping bankers throw bills out of the window to fuel the furnace below, calling themselves the enlightened masses – someone always has to die in a revolt, and for novelty sake let it be the oppressor, who fuels their own fires in a fit of suicidal martyr-like ecstasy: 2018.
Alas, this is neither a premonition nor a fact, this is merely a mutation of a common string of words that are uttered every year by thousands of people on the stroke of midnight. In a hope, they will shed or detach themselves from a previous lived time frame, usually the past 365 days.
Alexandre Bavards new work implicitly rallies the notion that the human subject is always too late. The metaphorical alarm clock went to snooze and the homo sapiens overslept. Warm in slumber until they were rudely awoken, snatched from their coma’s by the aftermath of a nemesis’s dreams. Be it, global warming, rent increases, a refugee crisis, a misogynistic president or a police state: the list can go on forever, there are thousands of ways to wake the human race. Panicked and unpunctual, they run to the shower. Cold, half asleep but for a second: present. The moment the water hits their back, the revolt has just passed, as they reach for the soap, the enemy strikes, they are powerless as the trap was placed long ago. Soaping themselves off, the leftist climax shot its load (too late again).
Inside the gallery, A Mummies cloaked eye rests on a blood drained Zombie’s cheek, a Doll’s pert lips and an Ape-like nose can be found jammed into Frankenstein’s fists. Glowing in radioactive colour fields, on heavy duty stakes. Thousands of permutations of mythical human horror’s fill the void, of a sanitary white cube. Surgically restyled by the artist, these figurines depict the riot that never begun. The food chain is decided by the artists god-like material complex and laymen aesthetics. A late dystopia, cooked up by the evolution of the economy and the crimes and terror of any modern democracy. Romanticism and kitsch horror is the script of Bavard’s revolt, a nostalgia for an unrealised Fan Fiction Realism is mouthed in the silent screams of the insurrection that is laid out it front of the viewer. Past, Present, Future wrapped up in one cheap resurrection, doused in sentimental sci-fi allure, the perversion of time is key to understanding his work. “Cogito ergo sum” another three-word popular phrase, romantic yet now redundant within the age of the smart object, smart city, smart world and smart sex. These words are universally: futuristic, no longer are they merely limited to the human subject – “I think therefore I am” is applicable to all. Inside his white cell; Alexandre Bavard mutters with a wry smile “ but you can change nothing”
Text by Penny Rafferty