The title could very well be that of winters in Paris, where Exo‘s January show by Strauss Bourque LaFrance and Loup Sarion took place; I cut out the mug and went to the bottle is, after all, what most Europeans do with their winters—at least the ones worth knowing. Maybe its Sarion’s French influence or that of the curatorial programme’s founders, curator Elisa Rigoulet and artist Antoine Donzeaud—either way, the intent is clear: life is hard, drink up.
Or is it? The exhibition’s short descriptor confuses the seemingly basic message, turning around on itself in the paragraph’s last sentence:
I cut out the mug and went to the bottle
cut out the mug and went to the bottle
out of the mug and into the bottle
cut the mug and wet the bottle
I cut out the bottle and went to the mug
The following—and last—sentence of the exhibition’s abstract simply reads: “It tastes like a strange addiction to process, routines, uses, slides and distorting imagery.” What is the addiction here? Alcohol? Art? Life itself?
The effortless continuity of the two-artist show proves surprising; the two artists come from totally different cultural and artist backgrounds, using unrelated materials in disparate mediums. Yet there is a conversation between the two, a back-and-forth between LaFrance’s bed-sheet canvas-like pieces mimicking ghosts and echoing the American flag and Sarion’s large-scale plaster-glass-et-al installation. Is it the paint-by-numbers kindergarten impression they give? Is it that in both cases, this impression quickly dissolves into some kind of beguiling, something surprisingly sophisticated, or intriguing at the very least? **
Exhibition photos, top right.