|Vernissage le jeudi 30 mars 2006|
Ouverture du 31 mars au 22 avril 2006
|Text by Juan Bolivar|
|The thinking behind the "Eau Savage" exhibition is purposely confusing. It is intended to initiate a debate. It"s deliberately ambiguous and open to interpretation. On the one hand "Eau Savage" refers to Christian Dior's famous fragrance for men. We may therefore begin to think about the artists in this show, as international "signifiers"; jet set travellers; cultural as well as commercial commodities; objects of luxury and desire.|
On the other hand we have the word "savage". It echoes the "Museum of Art Brut" in Lausanne. It refers to the artist as an obsessive, reclusive, compulsive creature. Here meaning does not travel or translate easily like a road sign or the Euro. It is hermetically sealed in the mind of its creator. It is caged.
The debate that arises from this duality hinges on how the artists and art as a whole performs a balancing act between both of these worlds. Between communication and incomprehension. Between what's internal and what's external. "Eau Savage" is the modern "brut".
The London artists selected for this exhibition encompass a mixed selection of disciplines. In addition to the traditional mediums of painting and sculpture, there is also computer animation, sound installation and video/sculpture installation. It informs us of "hitech" and "low-tech" activities. Sophisticated objects and hand made objects.
The overall look of the show is intended to be more like a museum or boutique rather than a gallery: a mixture between the Museum of Art Brut and an airport's "Duty Free" zone. Things lurking round corners; hung low and high; next to each other; almost too much to take in; too much to think about and consume; an "amusement park" or a ride through a "ghost train".
The exhibition takes place on two main sites. The Lucy Mackintosh Gallery and a disused car showroom near the gallery. One space, the gallery, is luxurious, well lit and modern. Like a perfume counter in a department store or an airport. The other space, the garage, has an air of abandonment, like the hotel in Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining". It's mirrored walls resemble a "discotheque" but also a fairground's "hall of mirrors". "Eau Savage" is a mood rather than a concept. It is about not being able to put things into words or being able to hold on to a moment, but at the same time recognising a fragrance or a scent of that moment even after it's gone.