Subterranea at Florence Loewy

Artists: Anne Bourse, Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Morgan Courtois, Arvo Leo, Cécile Serres, Maxime Theffine, Lucille Uhlrich, Amelie von Wulffen

Exhibition title: Subterranea

Curated by: Ingmar

Venue: Florence Loewy, Paris, France

Date: December 2, 2017 – January 13, 2018

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Florence Loewy, Paris

“Stories are found objects, fossils in the ground – relics, elements of a preexisting world that remains to be discovered. My work consists in extracting them without damaging them. Sometimes, the fossil is small, a simple seashell. But it can be enormous like a skeleton of a tyrannosaurus with its gigantic ribs and fangs. In any case, whether it’s for a short story or a thousand-page book, the excavation techniques are the same.” (Stephen King)

Agartha, Shamballah, hollow-earth theories, Deros or Mole People, … A sub-genre of science fiction literature, the imaginary world of the underground is marked by an obsessional idea, that of another world below the surface of the Earth, even another civilization that has followed an evolution parallel to our own. Inferior or superior to ours, this underground civilization is often responsible for inexplicable phenomena observed on the surface. This imaginary world and its many forms particularly prospered on the fertile soils of 19th-century occultism or the postwar Western paranoia about decline. What remains of this mythology today if we put aside the few residual conspiracy theories, such as the one that places our world inside a concave Earth?

The exhibition Subterranea takes place in the context of an ecological crisis: if we must examine the question of the underground, we might as well take into account from the beginning its fragility, as an injunction to speak out. Ingmar brings together, in this exhibition, paintings, sculptures, magazines, prints, films, costumes and performances focused on a simple question: what forms can underground fiction take today, faced with soil erosion? What type of underground story do these works push us to write?

Following the path opened by Donna Haraway, this exhibition lends itself to the game of “speculative narration” to envisage Subterranea as a science fiction story written by the works themselves. It is part of a new philosophical framework – a philosophy of synthesis much more than separation – that perceives the Earth as a living organism. “The Gaia hypothesis,” one of the serious scientific theories, converges with some of the historic authors of the “hollow Earth” to imagine our planet as a sensitive totality of which we are the interconnected elements, like the trees in a forest. The artists of this exhibition envisage the creatures that inhabit the underground (ants, bats, gnomes, roots and seeds…) as a host of intelligences with which to co-inhabit, and that make us as much as we make them. These creatures weave between themselves a dense network of stories; all we have to do is to lean a little closer to the earth, and to listen to them.

-Camille Azaïs

Subterranea, a short story written by Camille Azaïs, founder of the review Ingmar, will be available for reading during the exhibition.

Ingmar is an annual art and literature magazine focusing on fiction in the visual arts. Its first issue, «Forme Humaine», was released in March 2017 with texts by Pamina de Coulon, Dominique Gilliot, David Leon, Clare Noonan, Elodie Petit and Camille Azaïs, and reproduction of works by Richard Fauguet, Amelie von Wulffen, Pudlo Pudlat introduced by Arvo Leo, Anne Bourse. Ingmar No. 2, « Les Aveugles », is to be published in 2018.

Subterranea, 2017-2018, exhibition view, Florence Loewy, Paris

Subterranea, 2017-2018, exhibition view, Florence Loewy, Paris

Subterranea, 2017-2018, exhibition view, Florence Loewy, Paris

Subterranea, 2017-2018, exhibition view, Florence Loewy, Paris

Subterranea, 2017-2018, exhibition view, Florence Loewy, Paris

Anne Bourse, CaveMag, 2017, Ink, pen, felt and oil on paper, inkjet prints, handmade bound, pillow, 22,5 x 28 x 1 cm ; pillow: 50 x 50 cm

Anne Bourse, CaveMag, 2017, Ink, pen, felt and oil on paper, inkjet prints, handmade bound, pillow, 22,5 x 28 x 1 cm ; pillow: 50 x 50 cm

Subterranea, 2017-2018, exhibition view, Florence Loewy, Paris

Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Bat Opera, 2017, Oil on canvas, 15,5 x 20,5 cm (frame : 24,1 x 29,3 x 2,1 cm), Copyright Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London

Morgan Courtois, Novembre 2017, 2017, Plaster, resin, cornflowers, 10 x 193 x 70 cm, Courtesy of the artist and of Balice Hertling, Paris

Morgan Courtois, Novembre 2017, 2017, Plaster, resin, cornflowers, 10 x 193 x 70 cm, Courtesy of the artist and of Balice Hertling, Paris

Arvo Leo, Accidental Ant Hill Sculpture: Made In 2003 After a Forest Fire Made Love to a Ford Mustang (basement edition), 2017, Screen print on paper 151 x 116 cm, Edition of 72 ex numbered and signed, Courtesy of the artist

Cécile Serres, Shape Shade Crave, Shade of you, 2017, Silicon, lycra et neoprene, 200 x 120 x 30 cm; Grillz, 2017, gold and surgical steel, a bespoke version can be edited during the show, approx: 6 x 10 x 7 cm, JH, 2017, activation of Shade of you and Grillz, interpreteded by himself, Courtesy of the artist

Maxime Thieffine, Blood Cell (after Anne-Mie Van Kerkoven), 2016-2017, Oil painting and gesso on black fabric stretched on wood, 61 x 38 x 2 cm, Courtesy of the artist

Lucille Uhlrich, It may do, 2017, Painting, terracotta, paper, watercolor, paraffin, resin, electric wire. 220 x 170 cm, Courtesy of the artist

Amelie von Wulffen, Sans titre, 2016, Oil on canvas, 50 x 40 cm, Courtesy Barbara Weiss, Berlin & the artist

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