Artist: Samuel François
Exhibition title: A room with you
Venue: Berthold Pott, Cologne, Germany
Date: March 2 – April 7, 2018
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Berthold Pott, Cologne
A home as a studio, a studio as a living room, a bedroom as a storage, a storage as an office—the space where the artist works every day has changed, has become smaller, narrower. A unique room where life and work mingle, merge. A room with windows.
Vocal I “Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo_doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo___All a – round me are fa – mil – iar fac – es Worn out plac – es, worn out fac – es Bright and ear – ly for their daily rac – es Go – ing no – where, go – ing no – where__”*
A man is singing strong words behind a wooden bay window in a turquoise green color, maybe blue water. He looks outside. We watch this video clip like any other, as we would watch information, watch sports. We watch this video clip through the same window that allows us to be in contact with almost everything, but never really be. With what and whom am I really in touch?
On September 4, 2015, A Room with Views opened, in which Samuel investigated the possibilities of the definition of space in and of itself. On February 2, 2018, his new solo exhibition opened. Things look the same: the same story, a new exhibition—but by looking closer, the artist seems to have injected into his work the presence, the memory of the human beings around him. “For whom” and “with whom” appear to be two questions that activate gestures, actions, or its relation to the world, its relation to the other. The form is not so important as what precedes it. Like this group of chairs built by his father, imperfect, not functional—but the essential seems to be elsewhere; the artist seems to question his own economy, ecology, and relationship to the other. Talking about human relationships when he works with his father, trying to learn and record knowledge, gestures at the risk of burning his own eyes. Relationships to nature when filming a night in the Death Valley National Park at the risk of burning their wings. The legacy like a trace that we leave, this trace conscious or not. A room with you—“you” seems to designate both the viewer and the objects that make up the fabric of a possible narrative.
Born in Pompey (FR) in 1977. Lives and works in Hettange-Grande (FR) since 2010.
Selected Solo Exhibitions (2017–2015):
Twenty Years From Now (with Claire Decet), Centre d’art New Liicht, Dudelange (LU); A.TE.W.GB.T.TS, Galerie Michel Journiac, Paris; SamuelFrancois+PiotrSkiba, curated by Wschoó Gallery, DASH, Courtrai (BE); A Room With Views, Berthold Pott, Cologne; ASAP, Jeanroch Dard, Paris.
Selected Group Exhibitions (2017–2015):
The Browsing Chamber, Torch Gallery, Amsterdam; Playlist, Erratum Galerie, Berlin; Quis Evadet, LePilori, Niort (FR); Les Horizons Alternatifs, curated by Vincent Verlé, Maison de la Région, Strasbourg; Attitudes in Painting, Lepsien Art Foundation, Düsseldorf; A Stitch in Time Saves Nine at Wschód, Wschód Gallery; Aujourd’hui je dis oui, curated by aujourdhui.pt, Galeria Boavista, Lisbon; Entre Les Lignes, Zone d’Art, Strasbourg; Friendly Faces, curated by Middlemarch, Johannes Vogt, New-York; Idéal(e) Géographie, CAC, Niort (FR); Full House, curated by BunkClub, Shanaynay, Paris; New ideas old friends – Old friends new ideas, Milieu, Bern; EnRoute, Marfa Book Company, Marfa, Texas; Bernadet, Decet, François, Platéus, The Cabin, Los Angeles; Volumes, Berthold Pott, Cologne.