In 2015, these Amis de la maison rouge chose Boris Chouvellon, a French visual artist. His Modern Express will be shown in the patio of la maison rouge from July 8th to September 18th 2016.
A keen observer, Boris Chouvellon concentrates on the fringes of urban space and its physical, social and human periphery. Travelling on foot, by car or by train, he navigates through frontier zones (ringroads, motorways, coastlines, waterways) then seeks to produce a representation of modern ruins which can just as easily encompass farmland as industrial zones, commercial zones or abandoned, forgotten construction sites.
All these states of the contemporary world are documented, photographed, recorded and filmed. Chouvellon proceeds by taking objects, forms or impressions from the real world and transforming them either in his studio or on-site at the exhibition venue.
Thus displaced and disconnected, these fragments take on an imaginary, dreamlike state while at the same time revealing the condition of the real world.
The vast majority of his sculptures and installations are in concrete and steel, giving them a dense, solid materiality. References to physical labour and construction are omnipresent, right up to images of concreted landscapes and videos of heavy equipment, and have become the artist’s signature. His works have an unsettling plastic force, as well as a brutal elegance that distances the observer while provoking a visual and sensitive impact. Their titles play on the meaning of words and reinforce the unexpectedly poetic aspect of the complex set of references which the artist has produced.
«The work, which was designed and formulated for the patio at Fondation Antoine de Galbert, plays on the surrounding architecture and its context; the ground and its geology, the walls, the bay windows, and most of all the patch of sky that visitors see when they look up, allowing their thoughts to stray… Modern Express is a mobile, hung from a bracket, that fills the proposed space in a poetic way. Positioned horizontally, from bottom to top, and held in place by chains, is a succession of concrete beams. Attached to the ends, removed from their usual context, are buckets from mechanical diggers. At once massive and fragile, this sculpture powerfully reinvents a construction system. It considers recurring themes in my work: our post-industrial, post-modern era, entropy, and ruin by anticipation.»
Boris Chouvellon, Paris, 2016.