Aline Bouvy at Albert Baronian

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Artist: Aline Bouvy

Exhibition title: Urine Mate

Venue: Albert Baronian, Brussels, Belgium

Date: January 15 – February 27, 2016

Photography: images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Albert Baronian, Brussels

Albert Baronian is pleased to announce the first exhibition of Aline Bouvy entitled Urine Mate.

Reflecting past exhibitions Aline Bouvy draws her inspiration from the elements that make up her daily life forming a strange set of circumstances which give her creative urges and make her question it. It is within a metaphorical and analogical situation between the notion of naked boys, animals and nature that the exhibition Urine Mate is built. A desire to work on the imagery of the naked man in the purest form; the varied omnipresence of a dog, and misplaced and intrusive plants.

The artist questions through a multidisciplinary approach to issues related to the breadth of society. She claims a certain unknown freedom in relation to the norms that unconsciously model our desires and which dictate to us what is morally and aesthetically acceptable. From this perspective she tries, not to put herself on the fringes of society, but rather to integrate these elements/residues, considered from a moral point of view as “dirty” or aesthetically “ugly”, in her creative process in order to liberate herself from any categorisation. Never provoking, she makes it her duty to highlight the crude and outdated side of these waste- elements.

The linoleum panels present in the exhibition are striking in their size and contrast. Both hard and poetic, they are each made up of a photograph of a man whose nudity is suggested through a veil of wild, tough and harsh plants. Each photograph represents a different type of plant that the artist has selected from the wasteland of the town. These urban weeds have, metaphorically, come through between the holes of a cultivated society. They represent in some way the taboos of everyone. By choosing to place a veil of plants between her and her model, Aline Bouvy reconstructs the bizarre image of a naked male within an essentially neutral and natural context. In contrast, the choice of poses reveals a certain insolence that the photography softens in order to extricate them from any gay, pornographic or erotic- romantic imagery.

In this same process the dogs, like safeguards, fly in the face of the structure of the entire exhibition reflecting a society that is too neatly drawn out. The image of the dog is as important for the artist as it is interesting. The urban context brings together a multitude of different dogs: stray dogs, begging dogs, etc. In the artist’s mind, they have a form of new- found freedom in order to survive in an environment created by man. The dog keeps authority like a link between linoleums and photographs.

The title of the exhibition Urine Mate is another way of opening up the path to confronting the norm. Firstly, by the female appropriation of a term that applies to a form of male daily life, but also as there is possible verbal confusion between “Urine mate” which will become “Urine Made”. This interpretation is a nod to the photographs presenting plaster sculptures in urine. It is two moulds embedded in the artist’s private daily life within her workshop. Their production is a return to what is a true raw material – gypsum and the artist’s own urine.

Urine, like dogs and plants appears as a disturbing element, disrupts the clear meaning of things and rules. Through these elements/waste Aline Bouvy asks the question regarding the usefulness of a residue, of these things that appear beyond what is desired. In an incessant race towards the clean and perfect, they propel us into the holes of our social structure. The work of Aline Bouvy is in keeping with this deep-seated ambition to bring us back to human simplicity, by going beyond the constructed, prioritised and political overtones of our society.

Article by Audrey Christiaens

Aline Bouvy born in Brussels in 1974, lives and works in Paris. She had a solo exhibition in 2015 with the Exo Exo Gallery in Paris, “Sorry I sept with your dog” as well as at Kunstraum in London “New Pablum” in collaboration with Simon Davenport. She has also taken part in various group exhibitions such as: “I’MTen”, IMT Gallery, London (2015); “How my mother got hacker”, DASH Gallery (2015); “To blow smoke in order to heal”, organised by her and Xavier Mary, Albert Baronian Gallery, Brussels (2015); etc.

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Aline Bouvy, Urine Mate 6, 2015

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Aline Bouvy, Strategy of non cooperation 6, 2015

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Aline Bouvy, Urine Mate 3, 2015

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Aline Bouvy, Strategy of non cooperation 3, 2015

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Aline Bouvy, Urine Mate 2, 2015

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Aline Bouvy, Strategy of non cooperation 4, 2015

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Aline Bouvy, Urine mate 4, 2015 (detail)

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Aline Bouvy, Entropy Reloaded – prop for a future blockbuster “Lamp”, 2016, Entropy Reloaded – prop for a future blockbuster “Seat”, 2016

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Aline Bouvy, Strategy of non cooperation 2, 2015

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Aline Bouvy, Strategy of non cooperation 1, 2015

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Aline Bouvy, Urine Mate 8 (collaboration with Alexandre Demenditte), 2015