« All that walking through realms of uncertainty…, all that talking with metaphors and utopia…, all that getting away from it all… has given us a certain experience; we’ve become good explorers. Maybe we can navigate dangerous rivers, penetrate jungles where no-one has ever been. There’s no reason for getting worked up. We can finally make our way with ease; the worst is over. »
Ettore Sottsass Jr.
« I was wrong.
I thought drawing could at one point or another become something else. Change from a pure moment of adolescence or childhood into an adult age where its own structure, that is, its lightness, its handiness, etc… could meet face to face with the History that contained and surrounded it. But it is impossible. For in no way is its nature tied to History, that is, to what is official, the names of powers, the filters too…(1) Of course, drawing is everywhere, for decades it has made Mickey and Super Mario hot commodities, animation series may represent the largest share in French audiovisual exports, drawing is in design, applied arts, architecture, etc…It is everywhere. Yet it is not in the least a mature art because it is singular, we just have to admit it. In that respect, it cannot « age, » for each shoot gives out an endemic case rather than it confirms a species. It cannot grow outside its particular native biosphere; and even though biospheres observe and sometimes copy each other eagerly, each singularity develops on its own resources. The author is thus paramount, at once the source, the basis, and the finality, offering the expedition as well as its findings. (2)
The choices of Aurélie Salavert, Isabelle Cornaro, Julien Carreyn, and Antoine Marquis thus appeared self-evident: the four artists put in place so rich a biosphere that they each open a specific world whose mapping constantly evolves. The confrontation, the sequence of these original worlds placed side by side, visible from one viewpoint to the next, feed into an alternative way of seeing through creation.
The participations of Silvia Bächli, Alain Séchas, Roland Flexner, Gildas Le Reste, Simona Denicolai & Ivo Provoost, and Guillaume Dégé were also vital for the exhibition in that strong and original decisions may be noted in each of their works. Taken together, these different generations and styles cast light on the trans-historical singularity of drawing, as a quality played out over and over again in different places, at different times, by different artists. »
1 We can of course write a history of drawing, its strokes of inspiration, inventions, evolutions, outcomes, etc. Still, the burst of minor arts in the 19th and 20th centuries has put such history back in play and has called it into question.
2 Similarly, Lewis and Clark mapped out the future United States while drawing, through their expedition in what was then unknown, the first lines in the identity of a myth and of a reality: America.