Jonathan Monaghan, Jean-Charles Remicourt-Marie, Victoire Thierrée
Text by Stéphanie Vidal
01/03/2018 - 31/03/2018
Ineffective objects intended to help allay fear, amulets give the bearer a sense of protection from an evil spell. With an infinite number of fragile appearances, placed like a shield as if sent ahead of destiny, they are invested with hope – sincere albeit paltry – that life persists in spite of threats, and even that vigilance lasts beyond death. The works selected for this exhibition echo rudimentary or technological devices, created out of urgency or resulting from strategies, designed to guard against a disaster foretold. With premonitory powers, they allude to a furious wind or a fateful projectile; they speak of the dangers that lurk or break through, and of the concrete or speculative methods for preventing them from becoming reality.
Created from tangible or digital materials removed from their initial context, the pieces presented here share a connection to the economy of threat, evoking security policies, the arms industry and humans in contexts of bombardment. The first ones to appear include rugs with brightly coloured motifs, a sculpture whose glaze hints at celadon and sculptural frames containing invented worlds. And then the related devices reveal themselves: the desire to contain an explosion, the need to detect wounds, the wish to control eventualities. Intentionally rubbing shoulders with the ornamental, the works induce a disturbing relationship of domesticity and seduction. They take a distance from the representations of normal-everyday-surveillance and conflicts-that-seem-remote to which the eye seems to have sadly become accustomed. It is thus first and foremost the gaze that becomes displaced when confronted with their intrinsic ambivalence.
In bringing together the works of Jonathan Monaghan, Jean-Charles Remicourt-Marie and Victoire Thierrée, the exhibition Gri-Gri (Amulet) evokes an idea that is gaining a growing place in our society – threat – and the corollary concept of managing threat. By seeking to understand the mechanisms and complexities at play via the visions of contemporary artists, the exhibition ensures that “threat” as an idea and a reality is not left only to those who highlight and promote it to create an argument for their own ends.