Jean-Luc Moulène: the dot the well the plain and the rain

Jean-Luc Moulène: the dot the well the plain and the rain

Galerie Chantal Crousel

October 26, 2023
Jean-Luc Moulène
the dot the well the plain and the rain
October 16–November 18, 2023
Galerie Chantal Crousel
10 rue Charlot
75003 Paris
Hours: Tuesday–Friday 10am–6pm,
Saturday 11am–7pm

T +33 1 42 77 38 87
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Galerie Chantal Crousel is pleased to host Jean-Luc Moulène’s seventh solo exhibition, featuring a selection of new sculptures and black and white photographs. Introduced as an experimental space, the works in the exhibition operate as an ensemble and have been arranged along the lines of “a ritual without liturgy”. They are organized in three sequences: relative dimensions, conditions of practice and sphere of representation. The works reveal a multidimensional vision of the world, playing with human body mapping, abstraction, nature as a time marker. Within each space’s negative dimension (dimension negative one, negative two,…), the object exists through an infinity of limited and minuscule spaces, like topological shifts folding onto themselves.

The more we dive into those negative dimensions, the larger becomes the number of formal possibilities. Four sculptures in bronze display such solutions: Figure et fond (tibia)/Figure and back (tibia)Disque et anneau (fémur)/Disc and ring (femur) and Articulation (humérus—clavicule)/Articulation (humerus—collarbone) are the dimensional variations of space, confronted to the exact size of human bones. Designed digitally, they are however produced by the traditional lost-wax casting process. In the exhibition space, they follow one another with precision and overwhelm us with their size, their green, blue, yellow and red colored patinas, as well as their presentation display on cylindrical bases. Extraordinary because of their volume and density, these bronzes are neither figurative nor abstract.

Then we have both Écorchés/Skinned, placed as “gardians” on two sides of the main space and facing each other. Blind and mute as they are, they watch over the end of the demonstration. Adopting the same production process that was used for the series Tronches, 2014, the Écorchés are latex grotesque masks, whose orifices have been sewn. The masks have been overturned, filled with concrete, rubbed with waste oil than adorned with dangling culture pearls earrings.

The last and smallest cast bronze, Main (tous les os de la)/Hand (all the bones of the), is of a more concrete approach. Having clearly expressed his attraction for this complex part of the human body, Jean-Luc Moulène discovers each time new ways to reflect on its numerous purposes, and on methods to deconstruct it. Captured, decomposed, and laid bare, all 27 bones have been gathered in the artists’ palm, and reassembled.

Unique object of the following sequence, Abstraction d’organes/Organ abstraction is a work of abstraction. An assemblage of anatomical models of organs, paired with an organ of power, the Arc de Triomphe. The Arc is granted a second life, a new identity and a true role, which is to provide the work with a powerful presence, oscillating between stability and extreme frailty.

Tension between presence and representation is carried out through a new ensemble of black and white photography, with various dimensions. Landscape, objet and bodies are the subjects of this new body of work. Photography has always held a special place in Jean-Luc Moulène’s corpus of work. These photographs were taken with a four by five foot view camera, like a calotype then rendered with today’s digital technologies. Its subjects bear a unique depth, a large patch of greys and a strong rise in contrasts because of the very long time frame of the pose (up to an hour). The moment itself is not targeted, rather the combined mouvement of light and wind, Stellaires/Stellar and Le Jardin 1 and 2/The Garden 1 and 2Anatomie/Anatomy and Jambe/Leg are both life-size prints. The materiality of the bone breaks through, whereas the plastic bones seems to vanish, finally blending the true and the false.

The sculpture Excentrique/Eccentric is at the very center of this last sequence, with a spatial and temporal, individual and collective, vectorized and initialized presence, surrounded by flowers and landscape. 

Beyond fiction where Jean-Luc Moulène’s routine implies dissecting the object and submitting it to materiality, there is also life at its full force. Imperfect objects and images constantly echoing one another, battling each other even, for the privilege of the authentic.

RSVP for Jean-Luc Moulène: the dot the well the plain and the rain
Galerie Chantal Crousel
October 26, 2023

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