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16 Aug 2013

Laurent Jourquin: Dirty Troubles Against the Machine at duboisfriedland, Brussels

Laurent Jourquin, Neurosis Temple, mixed medias, 330x190x320cm, 2013, courtesy duboisfriedland

Dirty troubles against the machine


Opening SEP 5, 6pm-9pm exhibition Sep 6 to Oct 19 opening hours: Fri + Sat 2pm-6pm

Paule Friedland
+32 470 54 98 98

rue Souveraine, 97
1050 Brussels

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duboisfriedland is happy to present Laurent Jourquin first solo exhibition in Brussels.

You might know Brussels artist Laurent Jourquin for his monumental works (among others), such as 'Michael Jackson and Bubbles: Memento Mori' at the Centrale Electrique and the 'Eyes of God' at Aeroplastics, both exhibited in 2012. For these works, the artist favored corrugated cardboard, an inexpensive material. This material had already allowed him to produce a series of political/sexual scenes. Whether it is about hyper sexed animals or ridiculed politicians (Bashar al-Assad, Albert II, the Walloon Rooster and the Flemish Lion), his range often sneaked into humor and derision.

Laurent Jourquin majored in painting at the Brussels School of Fine Arts. For this exhibition, he came back to painting. Of course, not painting with an easel - or, if so, a damaged easel became an integral part of the painting - he came back to the idea of painting. For him, the paint is part of the work, more of a material than a medium. It is a journey towards complexity, an enrichment, of the message, a leap into the third dimension, becoming sculpture. In his recent paintings, as well as in the sculpture exhibited at duboisfriedland, each element makes sense and expresses an obsession and a fierce taste for the destruction of the capitalist system (the machine), an 'acme' already germinating in his cardboard works. From then on, many materials - around paint - are used, and remind us of, reinforce the idea that it remains a strong medium and that its handling can still be unexpected.

Dirty troubles against the machine explained by the artist:

If I had to define our period, I'd say that it is one of all contradictions while also being paradoxically and at the same time one of awareness : awareness of social injustice at the national and global level, ecological awareness with its travesties of political solutions that can barely mask the always growing damages of global economic growth policies, awareness of the capitalist system of domination that condemns the Western world individuals to execute alienating, absurd tasks in order to adopt a mode of consumption that has repercussions on the citizens of emerging countries, reducing them to over-exploited slaves.

If I start with this premise of awareness to answer the visceral need to resist and to share this rebelliousness ideal that drives me and motivates me to enter my studio, I reach the visual conclusion, which constitutes this exhibit: a mixture of dysfunctional principles and counter-productive values.

I'll explain: what's the point of repeating over and over again what most informed people already know? What's the point of asking questions about a market, whether it be oil or art when reading a few books by theoreticians is enough to understand it? What's the point of trying to illustrate any kind of thoughts, even the legitimate and lucid ones when one click will get you the information?

My answer won't be found in the evocation of a thought, nor in the stated attack of any economic value, but in the adoption of counter-productive values in order to build sets, paintings, sculptures based on dysfunctional principles. It's a posture answer. It's an asserted attitude. It is a way to put the appearance at the service of the being (a being of opposition, not of blind obedience) and not to work the appearance to bend in front of the imperatives of a system of production.

And so, faced with demands of balance and social adaptation, I oppose the claimed neurosis and dysfunctional logic. Faced with assurance and confidence reflecting a market's good health, I claim self-deprecating esthetics of destruction (after construction) and of grime. Faced with agreed sobriety offering comfortable esthetic, 'prefabricated' and easy to digest points of reference, I build a complex, brutal and fragmented work. Faced with the truly dictatorial so-called maturity of a laborious majority, I oppose a childish thing made of neon colors that could have come out of an anarchist children daycare. Faced with the unique and reassuring reading of a play existing for and by itself, I create a dependence of the works on each other, multiplying points of view and signs…

Therefore, this exhibition was built on the exploration of the limits of individual freedoms, rejecting any principle of adaptation and conformity to elaborate the esthetic hypothesis of a thought free to shy away from itself, its goals and habits at any time. It rests on shifting foundations that support the changing architecture of identity whose perpetual movement, escape or avoidance constitute the ultimate resistance in the face of the burdening rigidity of the enslaving machine…
Laurent Jourquin, July 2013