To welcome a forthcoming program of solo shows RUN are pleased to present Neo , an exhibition of new work by London-based artist Nicolas Deshayes.
The word Neo is interesting in its ambiguity. Its connotations are as classical as they are futuristic. A paradox is initially apparent between its etymology and its significance: a term meaning "new" in an ancient language. In its hyphenation with other words it has the authority of defining specific moments in time, such as the Neolithic, Neo-classicalism etc. NEO is also a common acronym in astronomy for "Near Earth Object", an object that is in the earths orbit.
For his first solo show in London, Nicolas Deshayes will present new sculptural pieces which explore themes of aspiration, exoticism and displacement through the ambiguities of certain vernacular and popular cultural references. At RUN, the viewer is confronted with an array of seemingly ordinary things. Closer inspection reveals a process of transformation, a sense of the 'elsewhere' emerging. The exhibition is underpinned by a large resin sculpture of cast plastic bags. The bags appear to be billowing in the wind while mysteriously retaining a ring formation as if an invisible force is drawing them together from a centre point in the room. This alludes to a kind of portal, a vortex that connects a very mundane dimension to another.
"Primordial Furnishings", a rickety home made set of colonial-chic/ Emanuelle-esque bamboo nesting tables become looped and floppy. The shapes of the canes are oddly un-natural as if they have been randomly distorted by some sophisticated mechanism, which puts into question their true origin. Placed on their glass top is a somewhat crude representation of a lava lamp, an object that alludes to the high-tech but here it is as rudimentary as it can get, perhaps having been made by a not-so-lucky daydreamer for whom the real thing is unobtainable
Further perplexing arrangements are found in what appears to be a maquette for a potentially complex theorem but reveals itself to be a structure made up of primer-coloured cast resin crackers. The texture of the crackers brings to mind the rough surface of the moon and the modernist geometry is suggestively retro. Sitting on a fake brick, oddly protruding from the wall, "Dry representation" encourages the viewer to question the current validity and importance of what is potentially being represented.
In Neo , through sophisticated sculptural technique, Nicolas Deshayes playfully engages with materials in a way that alters or distorts the ordinary. The result is a state of unbalance; a series of "Near Earth Objects" and shifted perceptions.
Nicolas Deshayes is currently studying for an MA in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art, London. His solo shows include Noble's Island , Moot, Nottingham, 2005 and The Travels , Galleria 42 Modena, 2007. His group exhibitions include From There , Bloomberg SPACE and Artists choice Mogadishni, Copenhagen both 2006.