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Bird of Paradise


Alfonse, Paul et les autres

Open call

17431a Rue de la Cathédrale

The installation Bird of paradise shows a tangle of plants drawn and painted on cut wood, combined with potted plants on a background of wallpaper featuring a plant motif. Made from botanical plates from the 18th and 19th centuries, these representations are images of images. Alfonse, Paul et les autres offers a gestural treatment to these delicate drawings, born of the dialogue between artists and scientists, to alter their perception. The plants are reinterpreted in colored pencil and ink on different media on the scale of the window space. The controlled gesture makes room for a sharp line, drips and regrets. The artist draws inspiration from the immense corpus offered nowadays by digital platforms to freely associate drawings of plant species with no regard for classifications. Digital images feed an organic work process that aims to restore a material and sensual presence to images that are currently perceived mainly through screens.

Behind the seductive appearances of the exotic and luxuriant decoration appears a dull violence that gets revealed by the brutality of the treatment of the represented plants. The title, Bird of paradise, is that of the wallpaper which was bought at the supermarket and lines the wall at the back of the window. While many natural ecosystems are threatened with extinction, the artist thus makes a historical connection between a process of “rational” exploitation of nature, based on scientific knowledge, and the phenomenon of hyper consumption generated by neoliberal capitalism.


Antoine Bricaud