From 18 October 1996 to 12 February 1997
Curated by Ida Gianelli, Giorgio Verzotti
Bertrand Lavier focuses his attention on the relationship between reality and the tools of representation, from verbal language to visual art, to reflect on the concept of the artistic and the codes that legitimize it.
Calling into question the criteria that separate the artistic sphere and everyday life, Lavier adopts materials that belong to both realms to sustain the elusiveness of the real on the part of the language that names it, investigating the continuous separation between objects and the words that attempt to define them. In this way a process of destabilization is established, where the works, instead of offering an unambiguous meaning, play the role of logical traps. In the early ‘Eighties he began covering everyday objects with dense brushstrokes of pictorial material of the same color as that of the chosen object, painted in a manner that respects all its details. Thus a sort of osmosis is created between the fluid paint and the solid to which it is applied. Moreover the tautology inherent to the operation removes the sense of drama from the pictorial gesture. A different reversal of artistic conventions occurs in works that present damaged means of transport as sculptural objects. Here Lavier reproposes the idea of the ready-made, calling it a ready-destroy because of the dramatic nature of the event that is evoked.
The primitive ready-mades he began creating in 1994 are works made up of everyday objects placed on iron bases, similar to those that support the finds of ancient non-European civilizations in ethnographic museums. In these works the use of the pedestal as a device with value effects a reversal of the codes that legitimize the cultural conventions of western society.