Eric Giraudet de Boudemange at Billytown

Artist: Eric Giraudet de Boudemange

Exhibition title: Apenkooi

Venue: Billytown, The Hague, The Netherlands

Date: November 18, 2017 – January 6, 2018

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Billytown, The Hague

Billytown is excited to present Apenkooi, a solo presentation by Eric Giraudet de Boudemange. The exhibition is an installation of sculptural and video experiments, a game of poetic correspondences revolving around essential questions about origins of speech and consciousness. It follows research Giraudet de Boudemange started in the beginning of 2017 on representations of the figure of the Wild Man in European folklore, and todays manifestations in science, technology and pop culture.

In Apenkooi, Giraudet de Boudemange specifically responds to the gallery space, which currently in Billytown is located in the gym of an old school building. He reacts to the architecture of the gym by using original still present attributes, like the ropes, rings and climbing structures. The title of the exhibition Apenkooi refers to a game played during gym class at school, linking again to a monkey playground. By doing this he experiments with structures, challenging and activating the visitor with these physical objects in space, creating a somewhat synthetic jungle of carefully placed objects and installations. The English translation of the title is ‘monkey cage’, which refers to numerous things, but generally means ‘to meddle or to fool around.’ This again connects to the exhibition in Billytown.

A focus point in his research into the Wild Man is Kanzi the bonobo ape. Psychologist and primatologist Sue Savage-Rumbaugh conducted language research to communicate with bonobo apes Kanzi and Panbanisha. She did this via the Yerkish lexigram, an artificial language developed for use by non-human primates, shown on a computer which looks somewhat like a large iPad. Kanzi was able to push a sign or key, which led to a translation understandable to Sue, or vise versa. Words such as ‘banana’ and ‘Sue’ were used although these words did not resemble their meaning – the word banana in the lexigram does not look like a banana. Giraudet de Boudemange took the original lexigram with its seemingly non related images and created his own visual language. He plays with the aesthetics that derive from the lexigram, but also with contemporary visual imagery as well as the bizarre communication (or combination of words) this imagery creates. This question of language hangs between randomness and exact theory. A visualisation of this language can be seen in his video That Speechless Green Man inside a Cyborg which is on view in Apenkooi.

For his solo exhibition in Billytown, Giraudet de Boudemange created new works, namely bas-reliefs. He used silicon casts of his body to create a bas-relief with different natural objects like leaves. Creating an almost frieze like structure, referring to a left over of an origin, again to the Wild Man. And like the original bas-relief, it always tells a story.

The ongoing research into Wild Man is rather a recollection of experiences instead of a direct research to local communities and sports which is often the base of his works. Instead of connecting to only one thing he took experiences from researches he has done over the past years, where the Wild Man occurred multiple times.

Eric Giraudet de Boudemange (1983, FR) lives between Paris and Amsterdam. He finished his residency at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam in 2013. The exhibition Apenkooi is the third in a series, starting with Wisdom of the Wild Man at Rinomina (2017 Paris, FR), and the performance That Speechless Green Man inside a Cyborg with music composer and singer Yan Wagner at Fondation d’Entreprise Ricard. Currently Giraudet de Boudemange has a solo exhibition the story of water, milk and peewit eggs at the Fries Museum (2017 Leeuwarden, NL) which is on view till December 31st 2017.

Apenkooi is kindly supported by Stroom Den Haag.

Eric Giraudet de Boudemange, Apenkooi, 2017-2018, exhibition view, Billytown, The Hague

Eric Giraudet de Boudemange, Kölbigk, 2017 (Plaster and wood, 80 x 60 cm)

Eric Giraudet de Boudemange, Apenkooi, 2017-2018, exhibition view, Billytown, The Hague

Eric Giraudet de Boudemange, Green Man, 2017 (Silicone skin, 80 x 40 cm)

Eric Giraudet de Boudemange, Kölbigk (detail), 2017 (Plaster and wood, 80 x 60 cm)

Eric Giraudet de Boudemange, Apenkooi, 2017-2018, exhibition view, Billytown, The Hague

Eric Giraudet de Boudemange, Kölbigk, 2017 (Plaster and wood, 80 x 60 cm each, installation dimensions variable)

Eric Giraudet de Boudemange, Kölbigk (detail), 2017 (Plaster and wood, 80 x 60 cm)

Eric Giraudet de Boudemange, Rebound Doodle With Pear, 2017 (Steel, paint and artificial paper, dimensions variable)

Eric Giraudet de Boudemange, Rebound Doodle With Pear (detail), 2017 (Steel, paint and artificial paper, dimensions variable)

Eric Giraudet de Boudemange, Kölbigk, 2017 (Plaster and wood, 80 x 60 cm)

Eric Giraudet de Boudemange, Kölbigk (detail), 2017 (Plaster and wood, 80 x 60 cm)

Eric Giraudet de Boudemange, Apenkooi, 2017-2018, exhibition view, Billytown, The Hague

Eric Giraudet de Boudemange, Kölbigk (detail), 2017 (Plaster and wood, 80 x 60 cm)

Eric Giraudet de Boudemange, Kölbigk (detail), 2017 (Plaster and wood, 80 x 60 cm)

Eric Giraudet de Boudemange, Banana Leaf, 2017 (Steel, paint, wooden ring and artificial banana, approx. 270 x 140 cm)

Eric Giraudet de Boudemange, Villager, 2017 (Plaster and steel, approx. 23 x 10 x 6 cm)

Eric Giraudet de Boudemange, Banana Leaf (detail), 2017 (Steel, paint, wooden ring and artificial banana, approx. 270 x 140 cm)

Eric Giraudet de Boudemange, Kölbigk, 2017 (Plaster and wood, 80 x 60 cm)

Eric Giraudet de Boudemange, Apenkooi, 2017-2018, exhibition view, Billytown, The Hague

Eric Giraudet de Boudemange, Green Man, 2017 (Silicone skin and rose, 80 x 23 cm)

Eric Giraudet de Boudemange, Merswind, 2017 (Plaster and steel, approx. 23 x 10 x 6 cm)

Eric Giraudet de Boudemange, Merswind, 2017 (Plaster and steel, approx. 23 x 10 x 6 cm)

Eric Giraudet de Boudemange, Merswind and Villager, 2017 (Plaster and steel, approx. 23 x 10 x 6 cm)

Eric Giraudet de Boudemange, Bovo, 2017 (Plaster and steel, approx. 23 x 10 x 6 cm)

Eric Giraudet de Boudemange, Merswind and Villager, 2017 (Plaster and steel, approx. 23 x 10 x 6 cm)

Eric Giraudet de Boudemange, Apenkooi, 2017-2018, exhibition view, Billytown, The Hague

Eric Giraudet de Boudemange, Apple Leaf, 2017 (Steel, paint and artificial apple, approx. 270 x 140 cm)

Eric Giraudet de Boudemange, Apple Leaf (detail), 2017 (Steel, paint and artificial apple, approx. 270 x 140 cm)

Eric Giraudet de Boudemange, Scepter, 2017 (Aluminium, 160x 10 cm each)

Eric Giraudet de Boudemange, Villager, 2017 (Plaster and steel, approx. 23 x 10 x 6 cm)

Eric Giraudet de Boudemange, The Speechless Green Man Inside a Cyborg, 2017 (HD video, 7”55“min)

Eric Giraudet de Boudemange, Cratylous, 2017 (HD video, 4”45” min)

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