Pierre Ma­zin­garbe Em­ma­nuelle Le­queux

Art Press - - ART PRESS 413 - Em­ma­nuelle Le­queux

Dans quel uni­vers Pierre Ma­zin­garbe, réa­li­sa­teur et des­si­na­teur, nous condui­til ? Dans ce­lui du conte, as­su­ré­ment. La fan­tai­sie des titres de ses films – Ce qui me fait prendre le train, le Roi des Belges, les Pois­sons pré­fèrent l’eau du bain –, leur conte­nu à la fois mé­lan­co­lique et joyeux plongent le spec­ta­teur dans un monde flot­tant, ru­gueux. Re­trou­ver la tex­ture du rêve sous le re­gard ex­pert d’Alice au pays des mer­veilles : ain­si pour­rait-on dé­fi­nir cette oeuvre qui a ré­cem­ment été ex­po­sée à la Mai­son eu­ro­péenne de la pho­to­gra­phie et à la­quelle a été at­tri­bué le prix Stu­dioCol­lec­tor 2013.

Vit-il dans le pré­sent, ce jeune homme d’à peine vingt-six ans qui conçoit des oeuvres comme on tanne des peaux de cha­grin ? Vit-il dans notre monde, cet ar­tiste qui semble à mille lieues des pré­oc­cu­pa­tions de ses pairs ? Il y a une in­fi­nie sin­gu­la­ri­té dans l’oeuvre de Pierre Ma­zin­garbe, et ne se­rait-ce que dans son nom, quelque chose dit l’an­cien temps. Rien de pas­séiste pour­tant dans son oeuvre, cons­ti­tuée d’une constel­la­tion de films, des­sins et sculp­tures ré­pon­dant à des liens or­ga­niques. Mais des ra­cines dans l’outre-tombe, qui le pro­jettent hors du temps. Rien de bê­te­ment sé­pia dans son uni­vers si par­ti­cu­lier. Mais un re­fus concer­té de cé­der à l’es­thé­tique do­mi­nante, un usage obs­ti­né du noir et blanc, une poé­sie re­ven­di­quée. Sa fo­rêt de signes four­mille de mille ré­fé­rences qui font d’or­di­naire peur aux ar­tistes contem­po­rains : Pierre Ma­zin­garbe pour­rait être l’en­fant de Le­wis Car­roll et de la nou­velle vague du ci­né­ma co­réen, le cou­sin loin­tain du la­pin d’Alice au

tio­nal ef­fect. Ar­tists are al­ways as­king them­selves these kinds of ques­tions: how to com­pose a piece, or how to balance an ins­tal­la­tion? This se­ries is all the same: a cen­tral ob­ject sur­roun­ded by white, al­ways the same size, as if we were al­ways loo­king from the same fo­cal dis­tance. From the be­gin­ning, any­thing that could sim­pli­fy this pro­ject was wel­come. What is this mat­ter we see made of, since what we see is an image of mat­ter? Are there any re­fe­rents, any­thing that might have been scan­ned, that you found in the ma­te­rial world? How were these images construc­ted? Na­ture, on the hu­man scale, is com­pri­sed of the ani­mal, ve­ge­table and mi­ne­ral king­doms. I main­ly ex­plo­red the mi­ne­ral king­dom, be­cause I could. La­te­ly I’ve been ta­king up the ani­mal king­dom, and af­ter that, doubt­less­ly, I’ll start on the ve­ge­table king­dom. I’m en­ter­tai­ning the idea of wor­king at the Run­gis who­le­sale mar­ket. I’d like to re­cord a cor­pus of images of fish, to photograph them, but it’s not exact­ly pho­to­gra­phy, it’s so­me­thing else, a stra­te­gy of sub­ver­sion, not ma­ni­pu­la­ting the images ei­ther, just a new way to make images.

A se­quence of tex­tures? For example, this (he shows an art­work) is made of crum­pled tis­sue pa­per and 70 tra­cings, each made se­pa­ra­te­ly and then com­pres­sed to pro­duce a com­pu­ter­ge­ne­ra­ted image, an in­ven­ted pla­net, but a pla­net no­ne­the­less. It’s as if each tra­cing was like a par­ti­cu­lar stage in the che­mi­cal or geo­lo­gi­cal evo­lu­tion of this fic­tio­nal pla­net? Yes, or a glaze, as it was cal­led in the fif­teenth cen­tu­ry or the Re­nais­sance, when a fi­ni­shed pain­ting was co­ve­red with a glaze to re­fine the image in the che­mi­cal sense of the term. Your work is of­ten tes­ta­ment to your af­fec­tion for old ob­jects, ob­jects with a pa­ti­na, a bit like Di­de­rot’s old dres­sing gown. Even when you star­ted this new se­ries you didn’t aban­don this tex­ture of old ob­jects. I’m not in­to rup­ture. My evo­lu­tion as an ar­tist has been more like a slow drift. I don’t for­get things, I re­cycle them. The concept of re­cy­cling is ve­ry much in confor­mi­ty with the Asian tra­di­tion. No­bo­dy ever invents any­thing. We re­cycle things others have made. We re­read things. Ar­tists don’t aban­don their ba­sic prin­ciples. If they did, that would be ve­ry bad si­gn for their work. They just learn to see things dif­fe­rent­ly. That’s exact­ly what’s going on in this pro­ject. It’s a pro­cess of poe­tic, men­tal and in­tel­lec­tual construc­tion, made pos­sible by a li­fe­time of work. A lit­tle while ago I tried to fi­gure out how Pan

theo-Vor­tex arose and ma­tu­red out of my pre­vious work–what are the ele­ments of conti­nui­ty.

A ECHO OF THE COS­MOS

In that re­gard an image came to mind in loo­king at works of yours like L’In­ven­tion du monde and Le Prin­cipe du monde made in 1996, which are more sculp­tu­ral, more like ob­jects. It’s al­most as if for this new Pantheo-Vor­tex se­ries you had zoo­med in on your sculp­tures. As if, in the end, these images arose more di­rect­ly from sculp­ture and ob­jects than from pain­ting. To be sure. L’In­ven­tion du monde was one of my first sculp­tures. It was an at­tempt to re­so­nate with the cos­mos, with that mys­te­rious quest for equi­li­brium that could des­cribe its ex­pan­sion. And it al­so contai­ned a bit of Pantheo-Vor­tex DNA. A bit like a ba­sic mo­ti­va­ting prin­ciple. A lit­tle sus­pen­ded pla­net clo­sed in or pro­tec­ted (whi­che­ver you pre­fer) by a glass lim­bus that holds up large po­si­tio­ning ribs. This lit­tle piece is a cos­mos all by it­self, see­king, in its own way, to cap­ture the world’s mys­te­ry, the breathe at the be­gin­ning of time. Pe­rhaps it si­gnals the coming of the grea­test cos­mic event, the ap­pea­rance of life amid its migh­ty forces. These ear­ly sculp­tures nou­ri­shed the

Pantheo-Vor­tex. Your re­mark was like hol­ding up a mir­ror in front of me; it made me rea­lize just how much my work has un­fol­ded around a single lo­gic. But in ta­king about the ori­gin of this pro­ject, you com­pa­red it to a pear, which of course is a sculp­ture. It’s a 3D piece, a hot piece, re­con­ci­ling and at peace. You real­ly can look at the world like that. You can struggle against its hard­ness, com­plexi­ty, concen­tra­tion and sh­rin­king not on­ly with your bo­dy, but al­so your mind. You can em­brace other people, look at others as if you were seeing your­self, look at a fruit as if it were a Bran­cu­si, ce­le­brate the pro­di­gious ge­nius of na­ture. All great ar­tists are aware of na­ture’s ge­nius, its un­sur­pas­sable in­ven­tion of forms. The grea­test ar­tist is a dwarf in the face of the pan­theist power. I’m fas­ci­na­ted by Ro­ger Caillois’s fa­mous mi­me­tic oc­to­puses that cons­tant­ly change

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