Already presented last year at Zoo gallery in the wrapped / unwrapped collective show where he had presented several pieces, Julien Quentel returns this year in solo to Zoo gallery where he will occupy the entire gallery and patio of Delrue space.Julien Quentel’s practice focuses more on the destitution of objects than on their seductive side, the artist struggling to reveal by subtle treatments and movements, sometimes at the limit of the visible, some unexpected directions. One of the three pieces presented last year, Hermès retrouvé, was as much reference to a mythology disappeared as its recovery by a famous brand of accessories, discreetly crossing, thanks to the use of the adjective found, the orbit Proustienne : this piece summed up the Quentel “method” which suggests a complex narrative concerning the works he is developing, inversely proportional to the length of their title, revealing the unsuspected scale of their construction, a kind of “storytelling of the object “. His Shoebox in Red Vermillon was part of the
same principle, the titles of his pieces are reminiscent of book titles, they sketch enigmatic stories and make fun of the markers of fashion: the vermilion of the shoe box that is in question refers to the famous shoes that stars adorn when they walk the famous carpet during festival days, but the red of the box of the artist remains invisible, in the state of visual fantasy-unlike under the pumps that must appear intermittently to better excite the crowd of commentators – it remains here confined in a secret that only language betrays. The real luxury is to be able to shelter behind the verb. On the other hand, for the exhibition at Zoo gallery, and as if to contradict all that has been said before, the exhibits do not carry a title, the artist wanting to thwart this precise destination, too precise, that a title assigns to a artwork. This is part of a reflection on the status of works that we had already mentioned in the exhibition wrapped / unwrapped with the idea that they are never completely finished, that they are
still in transit, that what is shown in an exhibition is only the state of a piece or an artistic reflection at a moment t (also from the observation that most of his “life”, the work of art, if it does not is not bought and deployed on the wall of a collector or the picture gallery of a permanent collection, will remain packed in bullkraft and stored on a reserve …). That does not prevent that the new pieces of The Concrete World, especially produced for the occasion, prolong this idea of narrative induced by their form and their load of everyday objects, and that a minor modification, an addition, a repaint , a “stiffening” can suddenly transform their primary destination, metabolize them differently. Thus of this yellow hose “verticalized”, stopped suddenly to 10 cm of the ground, suspended in full flight therefore, it becomes the measure of the place, underlines its volume, its height, like a kind of poetic gauge of the ‘space ; or this alignment of twin suitcases, stuck with an LED light bulb in the middle of
their chrome and whose light comes play with the metal strapping, as improbable lighting … Sometimes, these are bottles stuck in the wall or the soil that seem to come to disorient the space, to reconfigure it, such as unusual signposts, objects suddenly drawn from their starvation. As for the cot hanging on a column in the gallery: a challenge to gravity, a desire for a hammock? All that can be said is that Julien Quentel does not really like the predestination of objects that he hastens to dismantle. The artist does not speak of installation about his works, he prefers to say that they create situations, referring in fact to a cinematographic language, to an unstable scenario, capable of evolving at any moment. The works of Julien Quentel literally come to resituate a place, give it a new orientation, and even though they do not wear these titles so full of potential narrative, they remain nonetheless full of meaning and “misinterpretations”, history not to be deceived by appearances.