David Douard at Valentin

May 3rd, 2013

Artist: David Douard

Venue: Valentin, Paris

Exhibition Title: Sick Saliva

Date: April 5 – May 11, 2013

Note: The audio components of this exhibition are available here: One, Two

Click here to view slideshow

Full gallery of images, press release, and link available after the jump.


Images courtesy of Valentin, Paris. Photos by Florian Kleinefenn and Benoît Cattiaux.

Press Release:

Behind the walls and protective wire fencing, in secret, the aphasic slaves mount an insurrection. They have no recognisable style, no valid culture, do not adhere to the language of the society from which they geographically deviated. In the insalubrious enclaves in which they live they reconstruct a social body that has its own economics, its own codes or signals of belonging, its own stereotypes, also generating their own illnesses. These unassimilated bodies form the community of the sick, of outlaws who, at the same time as they are trouncing the world’s healthy beauty, kindle an intensified poetry. Without means, they have nothing but their emotions, their sense material, their affects for applying pressure, to crack the walls. Like every secret society, their language is “encrypted” and attributes abnormal abilities to objects, like for example the power to desire and to be emotionally moved: With a bit of good sense, it will not take long to drive out from behind this vernacular language some sort of pathology, and a certain communication “problem”. Their complex ecosystem indifferently combining the rule of the biological and the technological, the living and the thing, is entirely interconnected and self-fed by wires and networks whose obsolete, precarious configuration they let you find here and there. Since they have not learned language and sublimation in the normal way, they are able to repress their emotions, which sometimes arrive in groups, giving rise to states of inebriation and hyperactivity, spinning round to the point of being struck with invisibility; these sudden discharges going to the point of perforating the surface of their “skins”, like those hormonal discharges that pit teenagers’ faces. These are sometimes too brutal, freezing their body in a state similar to apathy, an awkward bearing, and we don’t know whether it reveals a state of absence from the world or of defiance. In a fit of violence they rip up their true words, start murmuring satanic chants, in a loop. Attracted to the moon – the centre of gravity of their artificial universe – they give themselves over to a contemplative gloom, lapping up this cosmic source to keep believing in the beauty of the world.

Since they are insane, they make no distinction between the virtual world and the real world, and encode their emotions through circuits and algorithms on which they have just warmed their digital coldness, in the same way that they pollute ideal nature with their impure thoughts. This failing economy, in which weeds proliferate from the floor to the ceiling like a material contaminated by a poetic revolt, resuscitates a buried energy and primitive beliefs, associating itself with machinery to increase its powers of persuasion.

All that exists behind the walls of discipline, behind the screens of knowledge, behind the silent noise of cyber networks, all of this underground activity—David Douard turns into material for a fictional world. “Sick Saliva”, develops like a commercial environment boasting of the merits of this insurrection against the good manners of the natural laws and promoting the reputation of this new anthropology.

Clara Guislain

With the support of Centre national des arts plastiques (aide à la première exposition), Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication.

Link: David Douard at Valentin

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