This Summer atÂ La SiraÂ in France, Antoine Donzeaud and Hubert Marot came together to make the show Mr. Vertigo, which ran between June 26 and July 25. The beautiful press release reads like a romantic story which cites the lives of two young people exploringÂ and learning about things in the countryside âlike how a wheelie bin’s wheels can be made into spinning tops made of clay. “It taught us about breathing and floating”, the text reads, “things loosened and tightened in cycles”.
The huge 4,000Â square-metreÂ space of La Sira, which is the headquarters of MAD AgencyÂ in AsniÃ¨res-sur-Seine isÂ home to fifteen artists in residence. For Mr. Vertigo, Donzeaud and Marot manifest the press release story as much as is physically possible into art works and inside an art gallery.
The clay wheelie bin spinning tops are there, sitting in a little group, and there is a painting made by and because of a sheet of polythene wrapped over a big table with a portable heater underneath. ItÂ makes the surface change according to how hot or cold the temperature gauge goes, which is also on display. There is a pair of jeans dried out and crumpled up against a wall and a couple of items that kind of look like animals. A wooden crate is the base for ‘Appel 1’, a perfectly fitting slope/wedge made of earth by Marot that could be a countryside farm animal. Opposite is Donzeaud’s ‘Ceiling to Floor, He knows’ made with pieces of oak that form into an upward-facing arrow, or something that looks like a flying fish. On top of this is a drawing by Donzeaud, with a style of line thatÂ makes its way into and on to other works in the show. The drawing seems to be smiling or winking and it feels like, as the press release says, “if you stay where you are, you’ll be dead before winter is out. If you come with me, I’ll teach you how to fly.”
Mr. Vertigo is like two artworks holding hands trying to make sense of things around them. It’s nice that some parts of the collaboration is made by both artists, and some of it is made by each of them, individually. This way it feels true to the story, like since those days they both still remember, together and individually.Â The main centrepiece that bi-sects the space is a large transparent screen mudded by PVC, and in the middle is a silkscreen print of the back of some panel or old radiator you might find in your shed. The work is called ‘Ordinary Objects for Common Use (Transformer)’. This one in the cycle feels like “things tightened” as the press release describes. What can you transform into what? **
Exhibition photos, top right.