ANTOINE AGUILAR
WHAT STAYS BEHIND
8-24th of MAY 2014
223-225 Liverpool Street Darlinghurst 8:30-5:30 MON_FRI

We are pleased to present French artist Antoine Aguilar for his first solo exhibition in Sydney.

Antoine Aguilar's practice is informed by the light, colour, space and perception of the Impressionists in particular Monet and Seurat. Aguilar works with the 'micro-details' of the landscape which are revealed in his installations. By revealing these micro details, Aguilar aims to expose the 'natural phenomena through the pixel and supporting apparatus such as the plasma, the TV, LED, LCD, video projector and other material forms; neon, paper confetti, pastel and powered pigments, to question existing landscape and new forms of radiance, colour and metaphoric light'.

Graduating from the Ecole des Beaux Arts de Nantes in 2004 his first sold out show, Snow at Marksblond Projects, Bern, Switzerland was well received launching solo shows at Cite international des Arts, Paris and Espace d'Art Contemporain Les Roches, Le Chambon-sur-Ligon where Aguilar presented his first instalment of Mediatic Desert.

More recent shows include 'What You(ngs) See Is What You Get' at Rosenblum Collection, Paris (group), 'Incerta Alba' at Galerie Hussenot, Paris (solo),' Sweet Pikadon' at Albert Baronian, Brussels (solo). Public Collections include Rosenblum Collection, Paris and the FMAC collection, Paris along with numerous private collections in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy and Australia. PRINT CV.

image credits: William Newell

WHAT STAYS BEHIND IN OUR OWN ENTELECHY:
ANTOINE AGUILAR

They say, as we die, we head into the light, a tunnel effect that some, who have been resuscitated explain in the same detail. Scientists have given answers to this ‘phenomenon’ if you will, saying that its due to the cells in our eyes going crazy due to the loss of blood and oxygen flow.

There seems a scientific result to everything, we can create one anyway, as such is the nature of science to become a system of signals that signals itself, as Adorno would so graciously have put it. As a society, we do seem to rely on science to provide answers and create comforting truths around most issues, from emotional states to the meaning of life itself. The most recent of the space explorations only confirms this, as we go outside our solar system seeking new life, to discover the ultimate truth, the meaning of it all, life, creation and existence. Meanwhile, back on earth, I am now looking into a screen, made of pixels, interpreting all I know into words to convey to someone who is reading about work which takes on this very notion. Like the thousands of stars a satellite will spin towards, these works have no beginning or end, and are generated by thousands of tiny fragments, which make up a whole resonating after effect. Each work is made up of its own unique genetic code, yet when viewed as a whole, they all resonate the same visual effect.

Days before his 2014 residency started at Bundanon Trust, in ‘Arthur Boyd’ country, I tried to explain, without scientific evidence, the phenomena of the word ‘eerie’ to Aguilar but was unable to rely the correct meaning through translation. I wanted to express the idea of entering the Australian bush as being quite and experience for the resonance that I personally feel, an unknown energy that I feel exists. I was curious to know if the Parisian would feel this also, and if it would emerge in his body of work. Breaking down and transposing the fragments of changing colours viewed from the cottage verandah, as the artist looked over the bush, the rocks, leaf litter, distant ant mounds, the river made from a thousand recycled drops of rain ever shifting in a continuous universe of their own, ready to race into the ocean.

Aguilar explains that during his time at Bundanon, while sitting on his verandah he observed how the assembly of kangaroo’s, who usually dozed on the below clearing in the bush would suddenly all jump up onto their hind legs and move, swarm like, back into the thick brush of the bush. As though choreographed in a line, one would move forward, then another five or so metres behind they would file off. Aguilar explains this with reference to his installation (Humus, Lampi Sull Eni 2014), where he is reminded of the slow and altered movements we will take, wading over the blanket of photocopies of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s missing chapter, ‘Lampi Sull’ Eni‘ from controversial Petrolio. Reminding us to take care of our steps – don’t slide over this uncovered knowledge, be mindful in this somewhat extreme environment of compressed pulp, which carries information in which the author made the ultimate sacrifice. Once again here we are posed to question the concept of the image as processed by the light of a machine, pages piled high in corners, and printed from a file. The artist invites us to take home one of the pages, a souvenir of the history in which we now reside, with the pages becoming our decomposed history for where our present has now grown.

Like his confetti works, Aguilar’s pastel on board, congregates this notion of becoming one, moving forward and leaving behind. As if, if nothing were ever left behind, no one could ever move forward, in saying this however everything that we are in present times, both individually and as a whole society, is built from what came before us. Just as entering the bush has a resonance of a spiritual past that seeks to haunt me, our very DNA is made of moments and moments. As if we can use what we see with our eyes (if you can see), and then shut them tight, keep them shut and see if you can build on the image in your mind, like an awakened dream. Further to this, as I look at Aguilar’s works on my screen they penetrate my screens pixels, like memes, making it go crazy, trying to separate the individual dots from each other. The result is something I wish my brain could create, stripes, patterns. Yet from a distance in real life, all I get to see with my brain is the usual blend of colours to create a homogenized image, all blending, like life does, into a continuous universe. These works question the idea of an image, as just an image, or as a reproduction, an interpretation what we think we see. Aguilar’s works also subtly reminds us of our direction in which we are heading, as individuals and as a whole, into what we will explain in scientific terms, if we must, as entelechy.

- Jasmine Kean