OVERVIEWJAN 12 to MAR 30Solo Exhibition
- Solo Exhibition
- Emerging Artists
Dates and Opening hoursJAN 12 to MAR 30, 2013
From Tuesday to Satudeday from 10am to 7pm
One of the most significant creations by John Cornu (born in 1976) is an intervention at the Villa Savoye, Poissy, on the outskirts of Paris. To this iconic edifice, conceived by Le Corbusier as the ultimate modern house – a geometric building raised up on piloti that isolate it from the ground – the artist unassumingly adds a few discreet pillars. At first glance, the deception is not perceptible, and so it remains until a more attuned gaze perceives that something is not quite right in this subtle reorganisation of the “status quo”. We are then forced to accept the sleight of hand, half-way between ironic sentiment and questioning. But what, precisely, did the artist intend to signify? Why does his intervention refrain, in fact quite intentionally, from being sacrilegious? And why does art handle reality so roughly here - yet, paradoxically, to show it in a better light?
John Cornu is a sculptor working in a specific genre – one that is absolutely “contextual”. None of the works he has created is without reference to its immediate surroundings. Exhibited along the wall of an exhibition space, canvas stretchers produce the effect of curious sculptures: at the same time, they “are” canvas stretchers, according to the now well-worn principle of the ready-made – but without being exactly that, as identical copies would have embodied. As if aged, their geometry has become irregular; here and there, fragments are missing. Is this the memory of the fetishistic object that normally reigns over these galleries, his majesty the painting? Another of the artist’s propositions, produced along a pavement whose edge is formed of blocks dotted along it in a rectilinear and vertical manner. With the sober elegance that characterises his work, John Cornu adds to this ensemble a block identical in every way to the others, with this exception: his one is tilted, its inclination shattering the beautiful regularity of urban planning…
As Violette Labihé has accurately written – describing it as “rhizmoatic” – “John Cornu’s work is forever blurring the boundaries between the exhibition space and the work that occupies it, playing on the topographical, functional and human peculiarities of a situation. Filigree-like, a viral and invasive aesthetic takes shape, often on a subliminal level”. It would be hard to describe John Cornu’s work better, in its subtleness but also in its capacity to continually play the role of sculptural impostor. In that sense, it disturbs only as much as is necessary in order to make the regular or chaotic organisation of things more palpable.
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