Nobody and Soul. The title is like a promise of wandering between presence and absence, between matter and its simulacra, between the signifying and nothingness, between delight and melancholy. The artist builds an ambivalent landscape, clear-minded and psychedelic, whose undeniable charm adorns itself with manifest idiocy... A wonderful swindle, a white blues, the epic story of a solitary soul locked in its room eating cheese.
Nobody and Soul
Body and Soul is a jazz standard, a blues classic.
Nobody and Soul is the title Olivier Babin chose for his new exhibition, like a promise of wandering between presence and absence, between matter and its simulacra, between the signifying and nothingness, between delight and melancholy.
With its cheap spirituality, The Pathfinder greets the spectator, like an invitation to travel through the exhibition weightlessly, in search of something yet unclear. The latter will find semaphores on his way that will either enlighten or confuse him...
Like this gigantic circular canvas that could shine like a sun but that figures a sad smiley, whose title, I'm Too Sad Not To Tell You, echoes Dutch artist Bas Jan Ader's video I'm Too Sad To Tell You (where the artist himself appeared inexplicably in tears, facing the lens of his camera), but increases its expressivity; like this banana skin in painted bronze, negligently lying about on the ground (Slip Inside This House), a sculpture that embodies a modernist purity as well as a shrivelled appearance; like this graph made of fluorescent red perspex (You And Me Together Fighting For Our Love), on which light streams, a kind of monument to the glory of extreme liberalism, but adapted to an office format, originating from a found document (the american artist Robert Rauschenberg's ranking); like Lonely Cobalt Key, this travelling salesman open suitcase, containing samples of cobalt blue neon lightning tubes, a cash'n'carry exoticism.
Olivier Babin builds an ambivalent landscape, clear-minded and psychedelic, whose undeniable charm adorns itself with manifest idiocy... A wonderful swindle, a white blues, the epic story of a solitary soul locked in its room eating cheese.
Ministe're de la culture et de la communication-Centre national des arts plastiques (Aide a' la premie're exposition)
Direction re'gionale des affaires culturelles d'Ile-de-France (Aide individuelle a' la cre'ation 2005)
Olivier Babin's work will be shown at Palais de Tokyo, Paris, in the group show "Notre histoire..." une sce'ne artistique francaise e'mergente, from January 21st to May 7th, 2006.
Born in Dijon in 1975, Olivier Babin leaves and works in Paris.
Principal solo and group exhibitions:
2006: Notre histoire, Palais de Tokyo, Paris. 2005: Snow Black, Project Room, Yvon Lambert, New York, Curator Agnieszka Kurant; Off-Shore, Espace Paul Ricard, Paris et CAPC-Muse'e d'art contemporain de Bordeaux, Curator Jean-Max Colard; The 15 Minutes Show, Stedelijk Bureau, Amsterdam, Curators Alexis Vaillant et Cristina Ricupero ; Vorticanti, Galleria Maze, Turin, Curators Ilaria Bonacossa et Charlotte Laubard. 2004: Inner Gaz Serie, Circuit, Lausanne; Monky Business, Zoo Galerie, Nantes ; Black-Out, Collection Frac Poitou-Charentes, La Rochelle.
Opening on Saturday January 14th, from 5pm to 9pm
Galerie Frank Elbaz
7, rue Saint-Claude 75003 Paris
The gallery will be closed from January 26th to January 31st