A duo show by Victor Delétraz + Annabelle Galland
«One painting per person» could have been the title of this exhibition. Metaphorical and elaborate, no. Factual and pragmatic, yes.
In the rectangular room is placed an almost square structure, in which two presentation boxes are partly attributed by the artists to themselves. Courtyard and garden side, Galland and Delétraz side, bedroom and bathroom side. The public is free to choose which one belongs to whom and where is what. Because if in the proposal, certain plastic decisions seem clear, the proposal seems even more enigmatic. Satire and cynicism, perhaps. Humor and point of view, certainly.
With a generosity in terms of number of works, as well as commitment before the exhibition, the two artists apply in this case, and to the letter, the first sentence of the motto of the space that welcomes them: give free rein to experimentation, the attempt, the idea. They explore various surfaces that are not only used for painting, transpose the practice of sculpture to that of assemblage, break the usual hierarchy between the works, proceed as much by adding delicate details as by subtracting disruptive elements, play with the function and status of the frame in all senses, as with the framework of the display of their pieces in itself. In other words, to be serious without taking themselves seriously.
The numerous individual pieces, some never before seen, some recovered, almost all from recycled materials, become ephemeral installations and unique communal works. Together, they form an ensemble that sparsely covers the surface of the floor, the framing and the artificial space thus created. Through the choice of the raw materials used, the tiles made of soap, the functional but non-ornamental lamps, the old or strange lampshades, the retouched but non-dissimulating curtain, the repainted fountain from which does not spout water but a bouquet of flowers, the ceramics polished without being precious, wooden structure lacquered but unstable, oil on canvas with holes, stickers scattered and taunting the spectators, even in the superstitious pose of a harmless object at the back of a structure. Annabelle Galland and Victor Delétraz play with certain codes and assume the paradoxes of their proposal. This here becomes the backside of a decor where there is nothing to see, or almost. Contradiction and failure, not at all. Insight and performative potential, absolutely.
«Two Breasts and a Tie» could have been another exhibition title, or perhaps the pair performance taking place in the space, activating the various elements of the installation, as a critique of the circuit in which they have chosen to evolve. Rumor has it that artists must finance their production, pay for their life choices rather than themselves. Proof of this is the long list of thanks they wanted to share with the audience, in which including an editor is as important as including a banquet hostess. Perhaps the two sidekicks work in the same theater café, exchanging far more orders than dialogue lines there. Perfect working and playing partners, in short.
From the beginning, this exhibition has been a sham. An extreme collaboration, on the verge of losing balance but in total control. One would even have heard them say «we must not miss». Still happy (Encore heureux).
From 7 to 21 April 2022
Translation: Yasemin Imre
Graphic design: Agathe de Limoges
Performance photos: Farah Mirzayeva
The artists warmly thank the following people:
Sylvain Gelewski: invitation, absolute confidence and precious advice. Paul Galland: painting expertise, assembly and clouds. Myriam Vouillamoz Galland, Savonnerie de la Cité: optimal saponification, raw materials. Michel Delétraz: donation of wood chips, transport. Isabelle Cassani: loan of vehicle. Linn Nora Henz: banquet. Agathe de Limoges: graphic design, general assistance. Sébastien Bron: transport, assembly, 3D printing. Alex Simian: carpentry and infinite patience. Julie Chavaz: editing. Damien Delétraz: editing. Alex Sobral: editing. Clément Chavanne: canvas assistant. Ismael Taha: advice and material loan
Annabelle Galland (*1997) is a recent graduate of HEAD-Geneva, where she lives and works. Her practice unfolds through writing, installation, sculpture, painting and performance. She is currently developing a range of reflections on emotionality, superficiality, human relationships and the body.
In 2021, she presented her work in the Almusibli Panorama program, 5th floor, Centre d’art contemporain (Geneva) in January, followed by a reading for Poésie en Résistance, at the Bains des Pâquis (Geneva) in February. She staged a performance for the exhibition Lemaniana, reflets d’autres scènes, at the Centre d’art contemporain (Geneva) in June, then at Arsenic (Lausanne) in October. In July, she also participated in the poster series Artiste d’Ici (FMAC Geneva), on an invitation from Farah Mirzayeva (Duplex) and staged an artistic intervention with Lynn Briggs at the Palp Festival (Sion), upon the invitation from Forde (Geneva). In September, she wrote a text for Sylvain Gelewski, for the inauguration of his mural Le Mur_01 at the Grain (Geneva) and performed at the Théâtre Saint-Gervais (Geneva) for the inauguration of the installation Basamento by Vicente Lesser. She is currently finishing an artist’s book, to be published in September 2022 by the space Médium Sans (Geneva).
Victor Delétraz (*1997) is an artist living and working in Geneva. He recently graduated from the HEAD-Geneva with a Bachelor’s degree in visual arts and is currently studying at Work.Master for contemporary art practices. His practice revolves around sculpture, writing, music, video, painting and performance. Imagining each project as a unique situation to be dealt with in the moment, his work questions the world around him, transforming everyday objects and their meanings to create other narratives and writing, both absurd and engaged. He is currently interested in painting, real estate destruction, sliding in white cubes and working in collectivity.
He has performed for the exhibition Modern Nature: An Homage to Derek Jarman, Part Two in 2019 at La Becque (La Tour-de-Peilz), exhibited at the BIG in 2021 (Geneva) with the collective Château Deux of which he is a founding member, and participated in a two-week residency at La Fonte (Carouge) in 2021, resulting in a public performance. Since November 2021, as member of the Franco-Genevan collective I’m Obsessed with, he is involved in curating the programme of the art space TOPIC in Geneva.