With Figure de Style, Cubitt is proud to present the solo exhibition of Brussels-based artist Jimmy Robert (France, 1975). After graduating from London's Goldsmith's College in 1999 Robert's performances and installations have enjoyed a growing recognition in Europe. Figure de Style will show his rich artistic production in a condensed form, adding new works to a selection of existing ones. Robert has developed a new performance piece especially for Cubitt, which will be presented during the opening.
Figure de Style can be seen as emblematic of Robert's artistic practice. The title, translated into English, is understood as a 'literary device', for example, a metaphor. However, it also refers to dance, a sequence of steps by a group of people. In this way Figure de Style embodies the roots of Robert's interest in literature and gesture.
The films, prints, performances and publications by Jimmy Robert gravitate around a common sensibility, marked out by the temporary characteristic of time-based-acts (from private memory to dance and installations) and their appropriation into writing, photography and public media. The analysis of the image-object relation is fundamental to Jimmy Robert in this respect. It is by way of this relation that representation meets yet another time-based physical existence through the act of display and the perception of the spectator. Each of his works questions how a two-dimensional surface ceases to be an image and begins to reach out towards three-dimensionality and objecthood.
In Figure de Style one can see images that are sliced or folded into three-dimensional shapes; they are covered with masking tape, re-hung into wall-sized collages and finally scanned and reprinted as flat hanging pictures. It doesn't stop here: every artistic intervention that is added by Robert to an original image or story seems yet another introduction to possible future interventions.
This elaborate treatment creates a life of itself. With every added form of representation onto the image, its original act seems to be gradually masked - charging the material with its own history and creative act. In so doing the representation becomes a launching pad for multiple meanings instead of a single one, thereby challenging the cultural codes within language, taste and aesthetic judgment.
Robert's opening performance can be seen in a similar light. Using Yoko Ono's Cut Piece (1964) as a starting point, the work questions the discrepancy between memory and representation.