Artist: Océane Bruel, Maxime Fragnon
Exhibition title: Something Blue
Curated by: Katia Porro
Venue: Gether Contemporary, Copenhagen, Denmark
Date: November 13 – December 20, 2020
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Gether Contemporary, Copenhagen
YOUNG CURATORS PROGRAM
We are incredibly pleased to be able to present the first edition of our new exhibition format Young Curators Program.
The goal of the Young Curators Program is to give something back. To provide space for an independent voice in an established environment to fully exercise and express their talent. We believe that young curators, as a group in the art world, are often overlooked in the initial stages of their careers, and rarely get the focus they deserve.
Therefore, last winter we established the competition for the Young Curators Program, where we invited curators from all over the world to submit their vision for a dream exhibition at the gallery. Over 30 proposals were submit-ted, and a selection committee consisting of Irene Campolmi, independent curator, Marianne Torp, senior curator at SMK, Sara Lysgaard, collector of young contemporary art and myself, Sophus Gether, finally chose, among many incredibly qualified proposals, Katia Porro with the exhibition ‘Something Blue’ with the artists Océane Bruel and Maxime Fragnon as winners.
– Sophus Gether
“Become disorganised matter, blobs of chaos, slime molds.” Alina Popa, “The Second Body and the Multiple Out-side”
I live in a place where the city meets the sea, where the rough and weathered surfaces of concrete and limestone confuse themselves while Bluetooth speakers battle over the sound of the liquid waves crashing on the solid ground. I arrived here suddenly, diving at the right moment. Rather than avoiding the approaching wave of un-certainty, I let it carry me here. Perhaps uncertainty heightens the desire for the horizon, the desire for vast, liquid bodies that have nor beginning nor end. That oceanic feeling.
I am from a place where the city meets the sea, where blue blobs of chaos– man o’ wars– are scattered across the beach forcing us to make winding trails around their slimy bodies. Man o’ wars are like balls of affect, balls that affect– a simple graze, a deadly sting. And yet, they are colonial organisms that cannot survive independent-ly, thus functioning from a symbiotic relationship between various polyps. These creatures can be considered as ‘webs of physical intimacy and fluid exchange’ in a ‘hypersea’ of affect. In a time where proximity to others is recognised as dangerous, we are confronted with our own need for intimacy and human interaction. Like man-o-wars, our dangerous, liquid bodies must rely on each other in times of uncertainty, somehow.
“Something Blue” was born from the “quivering tension of the in-between” to consider the liquid mesh that entan-gles us. Bringing together works by French artists Océane Bruel and Maxime Fragnon, the exhibition observes the in between-ness of bodies, spaces, emotions, materials, considering the something that happens in liminal spaces.
If Maxime Fragnon considers his works as landscapes, Océane Bruel’s works are bodies that penetrate and cohabit within the space. Each of these elements – landscapes, bodies – reveal a certain fragility and are con-stantly subject to transformations caused by both natural and human made forces. It is from various periods of latency that each of their works are born, relying on this in-between, liquid state. Océane Bruel and Maxime Fragnon are porous: they absorb liquid life in an ebb and flow cycle, and through various techniques, materials and space transform. Their practices are composed of a corpus of independent forms that change over time. Elements from various works circulate, combine and intervene to form new entities.
Carrier bags of things that were (Océane Bruel, Untitled (You & Me), 2019); scattered ceramics–like shells–con-taining organic and fragile universes (Maxime Fragnon); reflections of surface tensions (Océane Bruel, Untitled (mirror), 2020), and objects weathered by time (Maxime Fragnon, various works) are assembled in “Something Blue” to celebrate the undefinable ‘something’.
“The material self cannot be disentangled form networks that are simultaneously economic, political, cultural, scientific, and substantial…what was once the ostensible bound human subject finds herself in a swirling land-scape of uncertainty.” If water is an archive of matter and feeling, the works present reveal this swirling landscape in which everything is connected yet uncertain– today’s diluted, liquid modern world and that oceanic feeling of eternity that one, perhaps, may be feeling today.
– Katia Porro