Q10 is an intricate network of energy-producing cells vital for the growth and maintenance of our bodies; a complex system one can barely understand when reading about it on wikipedia. A more realistic definition would point to the ubiquitous phrase of this borrowed scientific system that now exists as a reminder to moisturize and invest in the wellbeing of my skin.
This directionless definition is appropriately used as the title for a solo exhibition by Paris based artist Justin Morin at Brussels’s Galerie Jeanroch Dard which took place from September 11 to October 24.
The room is filled with colourfully printed silk hung from polished steel, among laser cut and curved aluminum sculptures painted with expoxy and steel bent into organic ‘effortless’ forms. However, the titles of the works become the main focus of the exhibition and redefine how the sculptures are viewed. ‘SUPER RESTORATIVE, WAKE-UP LOTION, CLARINS’, ‘HOW TO DRAPE RIHANNA’S RED HAIR VOGUE COVER’ and ‘HOW TO DRAPE THE COSMETIC PROPERTY OF AN AMETHYST’ are some examples of the confident yet bombastic statements that accompany the objects.
The how-to language coupled with abstract representation creates a meaningless and irrelevant sexiness in the works; advertisements floating between the spaces of real bodies. While undeniably seductive, and light in their physicality, they seem to collapse under the weight of their own embarrassment, becoming wooden and clunky versions of their references.
Like the exhibition’s title, there seems to be an interest in removing an aura or power within language and representation; a clear critique on not only advertising but, perhaps art, as well. The works and the their titles contaminate each other. One is led to think, not about Q10 or silk hanging off a wall, but rather the sad attempts of enchantment and the awkward presence of a cheap magic trick revealed. **
Exhibition photos, top right.
Header image: Justin Morin, Q10 (2015) Exhibition view. Courtesy Jeanrochdard.