January 19, 2017 - Centre culturel suisse, Paris - Thomas Huber: extase / Vanessa Billy: Dear Life / Sonia Kacem: Carcasse
January 19, 2017

Centre culturel suisse, Paris

Thomas Huber, fontaines (Fountains), 2016. Watercolor, 53.5 x 72 cm. © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.

Thomas Huber
January 21–April 2, 2017

Vanessa Billy
Dear Life
January 21–February 27, 2017

Sonia Kacem
March 4–April 2, 2017

Centre culturel suisse, Paris
38 rue des Francs-Bourgeois
75003 Paris

T +33 1 42 71 44 50

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Thomas Huber: extase (ecstasy)
Nearly 30 years after his exhibition at the Centre Pompidou, Thomas Huber is literally taking possession of the large room at the Centre Culturel Suisse, where his work is wholly focused on the figure of Eros. This exhibition by the Berlin-based Swiss painter is made up of drawings, watercolours and large-scale wall paintings made on-site. “What I want to do is articulate the genius loci, that is to say, the exhibition space, by painting this Eros that connects us all.”

Protuberant and receding domes, constituted by gigantic vulva–fountains, are painted directly onto the walls. Reflectively imaged in these wall paintings, the exhibition space also houses a set of drawings and watercolours. For the artist, this manipulation by means of images offers magical possibilities: the representation of the space acts on the space itself. Huber thus transcends the image of the sexual organs, which are often considered unaesthetic, or even ugly, by giving them an aesthetic form, by making them “beautiful.”

The exhibition is accompanied by an artist’s book, also titled extase, containing a selection of 80 erotic drawings and watercolours taken from the 66 sketchbooks that the artist has used since 1972, and never previously published.

On January 25 at 7 pm, Huber will give a speech, titled Séance, in relation to the exhibition.

Thomas Huber was born in  Zurich in 1955. He lives and works in Berlin. The titles of his exhibitions are always carefully chosen. Of his many shows since 1982, the most recent include A l’horizon at the Kunstmuseum Bonn (2016) and Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rennes (2017); Abyss, a permanent installation for the MONA in Hobart, Tasmania (2017); the major retrospective Vous êtes ici. Thomas Huber est au Mamco, at Mamco, Geneva, in 2012; and La langueur des losanges at Carré d’Art, Nîmes, in 2008. In 1988, the Centre Pompidou hosted his show 7 lieux. Winner of the Meret Oppenheim Prize in 2013, he is represented, among others, by the Skopia gallery in Geneva and Louis Carré & Cie in Paris. His bibliography is currently approaching 50 books.

Vanessa Billy: Dear Life
The works brought together in this exhibition, made mainly using recuperated junk, form an environment that suggests “dirty” liquids of one kind of other: an engine slowly leaking oil, a baby on a “sea” of waste, a net with fluids draining out of it. By getting bodies to interact with this environment, Dear Life evokes human life and its transformations, and questions the notion of life forms in a wider sense. This show by Vanessa Billy revisits what is a regular concern in her work: political ecology, doing so through the circulation and activation/deactivation of energies and resources.

Vanessa Billy (born 1978, lives in Zurich) studied at Cooper Union, New York and the Chelsea College of Arts, London. She has exhibited at the Kunsthalle Saint-Gall; BolteLang, Zurich (2016); c-o-m-p-o-s-i-t-e, Brussels; Limoncello, London (2015); Collective Gallery, Edinburgh (2014); Piano Nobile, Geneva (2013); and Kunsthaus Baselland, Muttenz (2011).

Sonia Kacem: Carcasse
Structures in wood and metal delimit “a world” (as the term is understand in video games) that visitors are encouraged to explore. Carcasse is composed mainly by lines and empty spaces, humorously twisting the idea that the artist is expected to “fill” the space. Sonia Kacem plays games with our perception, shifting between abstraction and fiction. Her bare sculptures sport ambiguous, flesh-like colours and have human given names, like figures in a strange interior.

Sonia Kacem (born 1985, lives in Amsterdam) studied at HEAD in Geneva and is in residence at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, in 2016–17. She exhibited at the Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva, and at Galerie Gregor Staiger, Zurich, in 2016; at the Kunsthalle Saint-Gall and the T293 gallery, Naples, in 2015; and at Mamco, Geneva, in 2014. In 2016 the AHEAD foundation published a monograph about her work, Sonia Kacem - KIC.

Centre culturel suisse, Paris
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