30 June 2010 - 24 July 2010
Opening Wednesday 30 June 2010 6-10 pm
Erna Hecey is very pleased to announce the first solo show of Pierre-Pol Lecouturier.
Lecouturier’s visual idiom is light, and his field of investigation the range of effects light can produce upon the viewer’s body and the space it occupies. On the surface reminiscent of certain minimal practices for which the phenomenological experience of the work was paramount, Lecouturier’s sculptural pieces are not satisfied with the literalness of the bodily encounter with objects. Rather they map out a more complex and uncertain terrain between the viewer’s eye and mind, the viewer’s body and the work, and finally between the work and the exhibition space.
This in-betweeness is the mark of Lecouturier’s particular interpretation of ‘incidences’, the title of the exhibition: a word that describes the encounter between a ray of light and a surface but also a consequence, something unpredictable following from an initial event. At stake therefore are not merely the viewer’s immediate responses to the environments staged by Lecouturier, but also those deferred dispositions – affective ripples and lingering impressions – she or he undergoes, possibly long after the fact, as a result of the artist’s alterations of common visual perception.
The thin sheet of stainless steel in Corner produces a single vertical strip of reflected light: no complex apparatus, no arcane argumentation, only a material abstraction that leaves the viewer wondering what to make of such an effective demonstration by such humble means. Reflexions offers a similarly innocuous proposition: a bulb faces a blank canvas that reflects the emanations of light, producing a halo when the viewer sees the two elements aligned. Frontality recurs in Transparence, too, but in this piece overlapping planes of plexiglass inhibit rather than generate light. When the planes line up, their transparency turns opaque, creating a blind spot imbedded in the viewer’s retinal field.
In Point and Interference, Lecouturier pushes in-betweeness to the extreme, reaching a state close to what Marcel Duchamp referred to as infra-mince. Indeed, so ‘infra’ are the effects of the artist’s intervention – the quasi-invisible circular imprint applied to the sheet of aluminium in Point and the pressure exerted on the back of two layered pieces of glass in Interference – that they compel the viewer to perform a double-take, and to begin to doubt the primacy of optical evidence.
Such uncertainty gives way, in #4 and Picks, to a discrete sense of humour. Picks consists of a slightly raised circular wooden tray holding a densely-packed field of toothpicks. The surface of the hundreds of miniature wooden points changes as the viewer moves around the piece – like the effect of wind on tall grass. The whimsical nature of Picks arises from the simplicity of Lecouturier’s means: a familiar disposable object repeated many times in a particular configuration gives rise to optical serendipity. #4 seems to perform another surprising re-activation of the ordinary. Much like the magic lanterns before the age of cinema, the reflections of a spotlight hitting a piece of rotating glass project a shifting display of two rings of colour. The everyday thus finds itself transfigured into something quietly other.
Perhaps it is Cube that best encapsulates Lecouturier’s method of transforming ready-made perception – via optical science – into another dimension, where the eye is the ideal(ised) medium of sensation. In Cube a corner of a small transparent perspex cube is sliced off; suddenly, depending on the angle of vision, the two fragments reveal a mirroring effect based on the phenomenon of ‘total internal reflection’. What was once a monolithic, even monologic form, now sends us – via a ‘mirrorical return’ as dramatic as it is inconspicuous – to a diffracted space whose coordinates are set by a desire to see the world poetically, as it might be.
Born in 1981 in Paris, Lecouturier currently lives and works in Brussels. Incidences is his first solo exhibition since he graduated from L’Ecole nationale supérieure des arts visuels de La Cambre (ENSAV) in 2008. For a week in 2008, Lecouturier presented a selection of his work at Galerie Erna Hecey, in the context of a project curated by Anne Pontegnie.
Antony Hudek, June 2010.
|Press Release EN (PDF)
Press Release FR (PDF)