Space — Light — Installation
The exhibition of the French artist Jean-Christophe Nourisson in Dortmund/G actually points to an eccentric installation: moved out of the centre and capricious. EXCENTRIQUES is a tightly nested, screwed together construction, factually and graphically simply reduced to black and white. The light is white, glaringly bright and blinding. The installation is not based on the floor, but is mounted on the ceiling, strange and enigmatic. Like bizarre octopuses, the lamps spread like tentacles into the empty space. Here, Nourisson’s actual concept already begins to take hold: at the interface to sensuality, this rather cool, muddled, volumetric structure in space aims at an abstraction that destabilizes and turns off the architectural function of space. The light illuminates the room in all directions and sets gentle, soft accents. Nourisson’s abstract sculptures, which are often – as in Dortmund – conceived as ensembles, do not interact with the exhibition venues strictly in situ. They remain foreign bodies, not in the sense of a negative deconstruction, but they surprisingly and unexpectedly transform the space into an exploration field.
For the installation, Nourisson has screwed many models of the famous lamp by the “Midgard” company together and uses them just as a ready-made. Curt Fischer had the scissor lamp with the adjustable arm patented in 1919 in Thuringia. With one hand, one can pull the light towards oneself, turn and rotate the head of the light, to direct the light cone in the desired angle. Due to its functional reproducibility, the industrially produced steering lamp is still available today. Originally designed for industrial workshops, the artist now puts the lamp into a new, artistic context. The imaginary presence of an old-fashioned factory gives the installation a touch of nostalgic charm.
Nourisson himself explains: “The lamps are arranged around a heart. They go in all directions and are hung from the ceiling like a crazy chandelier. The interpretation is quite open – it is first a drawing in space, a bright graphic cloud. Perhaps the installation speaks of a functionality that is desperate regarding the techno-scientific development of our society. Does it set a limit to rationalism through the almost painful overexposure?”
Even though Jean-Christophe Nourisson is committed to concrete art, his appeals to the imaginative and associative, which are almost imperceptible from his work, are always to be found. If the curator had to create an ancestral line for Nourisson, then probably Casimir Malewitsch, Marcel Duchamps, Wladimir Tatlin, Moholy Nagy, Man Ray, Christian Schad and of course the entire Bauhaus are to be mentioned – surely also Donald Judd was a godfather.
Jean-Christophe Nourisson, born in Angers in 1962, lives and works in Paris. Since the 1990s, he has regularly been exhibiting in individual and group exhibitions in France and internationally. His works are to find in private collections worldwide. Since 1992, Jean-Christophe Nourisson has been successfully exhibiting his works at the Anne Voss Gallery in Dortmund, where he is a regular guest with his artworks – a long lasting collaboration.
Jean-Christophe Nourisson | EXCENTRIQUES | 2017 | Photo: Anne Voss | Courtesy: Galerie Anne Voss |