Since the beginning of the 1990’s the work of Pierre Ardouvin has developed as an elliptical screenplay of our disillusions. His poetry, often linked to popular culture draws upon from a «deranged» relationship to language and to the world. The exhibition Wicked World presents new works issuing from the group of series Les Écrans de veille (Screensavers), Un Monde pourri (Wicked World) and Le Théâtre des opérations (The Theatre of Operations), all linked by their rootedness in the field of the affects and their proliferation as well as by a good dose of poetically acid humor. The universes called upon, those things disposing of memories, allow another memory to emerge, a melancholy at the edge of the intimate and the collective.
Les Ecrans de veille
« A palace must be ruined in order that it be interesting. » - La poétique des ruines, Denis Diderot, 1767 »
The postcard imagery representative of mass tourism, that of large beaches, cultural and museum tourism, or even heavenly islands is a recurrent motif in the work of Pierre Ardouvin. His «tableaux» in the Ecrans de veille series can be imagined as the perturbed interfaces of a collective imaginary, a dysfunctional synthesis between two sets of logic: that of the mediated dream seen through the «screens» of mass culture; and the irruptive and parasitic logic of the intimate.
Un Monde pourri
« Can’t you see that all my castles are burning? » - Fire in The Sky, Ozzy Osbourne, 1988 »
Un Monde pourri presents assemblages of plastic objects, mostly toys. These hybridizations that come to reactivate a childlike language in the dimension of sublimated loss are produced by heating the objects, and in this way melding them together. They are partially melted and deformed. This ensemble offers us an abandoned world, a kind of B movie version of the poetics of the ruin. We also find the romantic dimension linked to adolescence and are specific to the artist’s universe in the titles that recuperate extracts or titles of songs where Black Sabbath, Nirvana, The Rolling Stones, etc. are found.
Le Théâtre des opérations
« To each theatre generally corresponds a campaign. »
Other objects also leap forth in the exhibition: an old school chair, a dead tree trunk, several Christmas ornaments, a worn tire, stones, a small plastic slide, a disco ball... So many elements referring to different universes and whose regrouping constructs figures that reactivate in a frontal and raw way the lost territory of childhood. Each piece of this series titled Théâtre des opérations indeed recuperates the names of military interventions with names as poetic as they clashing, Odyssee Dawn, Deadlight or Desert Storm, that put forward that uncomfortable and paradoxical position that accounts for all of the effective force of Pierre Ardouvin’s work. This subtle movement of the pendulum between the dream and the fall, escapism and imprisonment, the poetry of the world and its arid cruelty.