Named after US writer J.D. Salinger’s 1955 work of the same name, Raise high the roof beam, carpenters, Antoine Donzeaud’s exhibition (see images, top-right) that ran at MonCHÉRI from February 28 to April 11, is inspired by destruction. The Paris-based artist takes imagery of ruins in the novel as reminders of an abandoned drama, of people who lived there and the stories left behind.
These are works here that show traces of colouring on translucent canvas with light projecting through the opposite side. A painting like ‘Untitled PE (Raising 1)’ (2015), shows unstructured shapes, of lines, dots and surfaces; shapes sprayed and scattered with aerosol paint. Its see-through film exposes a frame of a canvas. It enhances the fragility of paintings that implies a vulnerable state of ruins, like a broken window of a disowned home. Those elements conjure an image of demolished modern houses, or vandalised cities with their multi-layered traces of travel through time, from the past to the present.
This is an exhibition that is also inspired from John Divola’s Zuma series (1977) that used walls and windows of abandoned houses as a canvas. In ‘Untitled PE (Raising 2)’ (2015), more deliberate forms of lines can be seen. Particularly, a reddish shade signifying, perhaps, traces of blood, showing the violence of that very colour. The intentional line on the bottom, with its vivid pinks presents a sign of an intent by a person on an abandoned space. Vandalism can accelerate the speed of decay, making deliberate marks of its psychic and artistic values that desire an offensive, invasion, aggression.
Antoine Donzeaud attempts a representation of the attractiveness of these traces by illuminating their aesthetic value. These are translucent canvases with colours applied carelessly with various form of lines. The artist shows us the ordinariness of decay, demolition, or a space, which can be easily neglected in the everyday. **
Exhibition photos, top-right.