On the occasion of his personal exhibition entitled How to proceed with crabs, beetles, ants, lizards, birds and mice? Michel Blazy invites the viewer to look at the everyday life of a gallery converted to an experimental space. Such a precise statement literally announces the content and the main issue of the project. The title evokes the chapter of a natural sciences manual training as well as it echoes the unpredictability and the absurdity of a title such as Umberto Eco’s book: How to travel with a salmon?
If the title chosen by the artist is not ironic at all, the formal proposition is incongruous, but also simple. Avoiding any spectacular devices, the show consists of environments designed for insects, which afterwards appropriate the materials and create new forms.
In the first room, the floor and one of the walls are covered with a carpet, which will occasionally become the place of snail releases. The moving of the mollusks, lead by the taste of some beer vaporizations, leave some shiny and ephemeral traces. Thus, the carpet is a playground as well as a pictorial surface, whose aspects are renewed throughout the successive performance.
Some stale French sticks of baguettes are hung from the ceiling. Being sufficiently hard and solid, they have been bored by the artist in order to create tunnels and holes to host beetles. Those coleopters, step by step, eat the stale bread, which means that they feed themselves with the material defined by the artist as their “small planets”. The progressive shapes of those sculptures depend on the organization and survival logics of the insects.
On the floor, a large Pyrex dish is used as the stand for a plaster sculpture, which is the place where anthill lives. The heat of a lamp hung above the installation, also the food daily displayed on top of it, encourage the ant to regularly occupy the surface of the sculpture. The phenomenon seems to be natural and to happen by chance.
Some scratched landscapes are hung on the walls. Those paintings are composed of some chocolate, vanilla or pistachio dessert cream spread onto a wooden panel. Then, in the artist’s studio, the mice ate part of the cream, leaving some traces on the surface. Thus, the conservation condition of those paintings remains as an open-ended process. The monochromes will evolve without a single artist’s gesture.
In the second floor room, the video The Party is screened. Realized by Michel Blazy in Martinique in 2009, this consists of the observation of crabs and birds reactions to Blazy’s sculptures made with canned fruit (slices of pineapples and cherries). Once the sculptural device is installed by the artist, each of the crabs or birds experiment different ways to eat, appropriate or even domesticate those natural, but standardized products.
Those small activities initiated by the artist are based on an open-ended visible process and for some of them, exist only as traces. They aim to play with domestic products testing what remains of the natural potential of the original materials. Those hybrid or assisted ecosystems result from the confrontation between natural phenomenon and mass produced commodities used in an unusual temporality and space. Far from being still-life works, Blazy’s work shares something of the inevitable effects of time. However, they mostly create images, but whose space is shared by the viewer. This is an intermediary space, between the domestic and the wild world, between inside and outside; a permeable space opened to the vagaries of time and some unpredictable incidents.
images and text provided by art:concept
Photos: Fabrice Gousset