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Camille Blatrix creates environments filled with sculptures and inlaid objects whose origins of fabrication often remain ambivalent: his artworks emerge as hybrid beings/machines that aim to synthesise abstract ideas and intimate romances, artisanal techniques and a fascination for high-tech design, a dreamlike imagination and hermetic materiality. He creates incoherent objects, with indeterminate functions that nevertheless give rise to an impression of déjà-vu.
His works often aim to activate a given space that, while usually neutralised and sanitised to showcase the artworks (sometimes neglecting the psychological comfort of the viewer), also enable the artist to transform it as he sees fit. Inspired by the start-up aesthetics of GAFA or international corporations and their promises of a warm public space for users, intended to make them feel at home, Camille Blatrix proposes a different, more sensitive and lively approach to accommodating the theoretical impasse of the white cube. The artist’s exhibitions and projects thus disseminate a familiar futurist atmosphere, a parallel temporality in which intimacy and well-being maintain a constant struggle with the exhibition space, often perceived as exclusive, uncomfortable, and representative of institutional power or that of the market. We therefore encounter here “machines” endowed with souls, staging the typical scenarios of romantic comedies or children’s stories with their archetypal characters – the unfortunate, the happy, the joker, the presumptuous, or the jilted lover – but also anecdotes corresponding to his family life. This is how his artworks talk, flash, standby, come to life, and disseminate powerful emotional charges in order to express their need for recognition, their thirst for living and for being perceived as alive, by removing themselves as best they can from their muted, mechanical envelope.
Entitled Weather Stork Point, his project presented at CAC – la synagogue de Delme has travelled a long way and it is after this long journey full of transitions from one dimension to another, that his artworks have finally traversed the ark of the synagogue to occupy the venue. After their exhibition at the Kunsthalle Basel in early 2020, the latter were trapped in various space-times, preventing them from reaching their destination, and delaying the date of their exhibition in Delme. The cabin animated by an oscillating glimmer houses the space of the exhibition at the Kunsthalle, at the end of which visitors found themselves in front of a mirror, hung on a wall preventing access to a mysterious room. This hidden room here turns out to be the space of the Synagogue de Delme, from which a window provides a glimpse of the exhibition space in Basel, as though the visitor were suddenly on the other side of the mirror, over a year ago. Each artwork presented is a character in this story of ambling through uncertainty: we find an orientation point, schematized animals (mouse, swan, crocodile, etc.), a games table for children, and various objects with unknown functions. The painted spirals come from marquetry designs exhibited in Basel, and here feature trans-dimensional thoroughfares. Weather Stork Point thus presents the culmination of a long period of waiting, filled with hope and despair, laughter and tears, depression and enthusiasm, and operates as an ultra-compressed synthesis of this array of fleeting emotions.
The exhibition Weather Stork Point by Camille Blatrix will be accompanied by a publication by Paraguay Press, edited in partnership with the Kunsthalle Basel, the Balice-Hertling Gallery, and enjoys the support of the CNAP.
Translated by Anna Knight.
Camille Blatrix (France, 1984) lives and works in Paris. He graduated from École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts de Paris.
His work has been exhibited on the occasion of solo shows at Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York ; Kunsthalle Basel ; la Verrière Hermès, Brussels ; Lafayette Anticipation, Paris ; Kunstverein, Braunschweig ; Balice Hertling, Paris ; Bad Reputation, Los Angeles ; CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco ; Mostyn, Llandudno (UK) ; Gasconade, Milan… and featured in duo and group shows at Stuart Shave - Modern Art, London ; Kunstmuseum St. Gallen ; Gallery Plan B, Berlin ; Fri Art, Fribourg ; Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris ;la Verrière Hermès, Brussels ; Hessel Museum of Art and at CCS Bard Galleries, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York ; Musée Régional d’Art Contemporain, Sérignan ; Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York ; Villa Medicis, Rome ; Museo el Eco, Mexico ; Biennale de Rennes ; Le Plateau, FRAC Île-de-France, Paris ; Bodega, New York ; Alison Jacques Gallery, London ; Biennale de Lyon ; Goton & Edouard Montassut, Paris ; Palais de Tokyo, Paris ; Sculpture Center, New York ; Fondation d’entreprise Ricard, Paris ; Balice Hertling, Paris…