The “hasard” that gave rise to this body of exhibition begins with a workshop visit. A visit during which finished works and works in progress beckon us at the same time, with an insistence of their own. “Workshop drawings”, as the artists like to call them, and which are often not necessarily produced to be shown but constitute a kind of vacancy of the mind, as Jean Marc Andrieulikes to call it:
“They are only the primary, lyrical, experimental and biographical expression of an absence of project that seems to me to constitute the essence of their purpose. They are sometimes reworked years or decades apart, and can accidentally set themselves up to support and comfort themselves in the aphasia I lend them. They are not aimed at any success except to demonstrate (against the current) that the absence of even intention could lead to success… they mix happily in my drawer and out of my will, to produce, as they meet, new occurrences that sometimes make me happy… even their dating is moderately reliable… »
Thus, its Plans d’installation are an alignment of four sheets which, first superimposed, were punctured by a dart that, projected on several occasions, marked a number of impacts on each of them. These impacts therefore produce a similar pattern on each sheet. The sheets are then juxtaposed in a simple combination: two/side/ front-to-front top at the bottom/ up and down and the marking of the dots is reinforced by a stencil drawing. Thus in this apparent disorder of points marked in reserve of white, an imperceptible coherence remains, the rhythm of which can be sensitive to us.
The “Encres flottantes” that Arnaud Vasseux has been practicing since 1992 derive their method from a Japanese technique, suminagashi,or floating ink (Encres flottantes). This technique of paper capture accepts chance; it was invented in the 12th century and later spread to Europe by perfecting itself by adding substances mixed with water and inks. Now called marbled paper or vat paper, it is mainly used in the field of binding as a guard page. Arnaud Vasseux takes up this ancient Japanese technique whose gestures and elements are the least numerous and the simplest. A water-filled bin serves as a testing ground. The traditional ratio is reversed: instead of pouring the ink on the paper, the paper is placed on the surface of the ink. It is the sheet that captures, by simple contact, the ink film that floats on the surface of the water. The result escapes the deed of inscription specific to the drawing. Each sheet fixes the expansion of a drop of ink deposited on the surface of the water. As in photography, the medium comes to record and capture, like a snapshot, the state of a moving phenomenon. The final form is the result of an experience in which matter is expressed in its interaction with duration, water, air and paper. The artist then becomes an operator more than a composer.
As for the Plâtre photographique, it comes from the eponymous series born during a residency of Arnaud Vasseux at CIRVA (International Centre for Research on Glass and Plastic Arts – Marseille). Glass is apparently completely absent from this object but yet it is entirely part of the process of the emergence of this form. The glass is revealed by the index of cracks printed in the plaster as if the material had become photosensitive. The dilation of the plaster at the time of taking breaks the glass from the inside; cracks appear and others form gradually. The trace at the location of the cracks appears in a second time and gradually in the material. This recording is comparable to the photograph and the history of its appearance. We find the snapshot that fixes a moment confirming that something has happened.
Works from the exhibition
Impression monotype/ Huile, papier, 2017. Dimensions: 29 x 21 cm (encadrement: 38 x 29 x 2 cm).
Plâtre, pigment (20 kg). Dimensions: 51 x 40 x 35 cm. Oeuvre originale.
Fait partie d’une série de plâtres photographiques réalisés lors de la résidence de l’artiste au CIRVA (Centre International de Recherche sur le Verre, Marseille).
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