For ten years now, Philippe Ramette’s work has been based on the conception and creation of objects maintaining a relation to the body. They are termed “objects for reflection.” These works, where the title plays an important role, often appear as apparatuses allowing one to experience what is usually only a thought-process – for example, Socles à réflexion (Pedestals for reflection), Objet pour voir le Monde en détail (Object for Seeing the World in Detail) and Objet intolérable (Intolerable Object).
For his first solo exhibition at Xippas Gallery, Philippe Ramette is presenting a group of recent sculptures.
The Miroir rationnel (Rational Mirror), composed of reflective metal in the form of a human-sized cheese grater, offers the user the chance to step through the looking-glass. The Miroir irrationnel (Irrational Mirror) employs an optical effect to provide us with an ability to visualize an immaterial mirror. The Corps mort (Dead Body) is a harness outfitted with a metal ring, allowing a potential user to experience the feeling of a probable abandonment of his or her own body. The Objet pour devenir le héros de sa propre vie (Object for Becoming the Hero of One’s Own Life) refers to cinema, proposing that the users become their own directors by creating the music of their lives.
Ramette is also presenting a set of four Drapeaux mondialistes d’intérieur (World Flags for Interiors), a definitive version of the installation shown last summer at the exhibition “Over the Edges” at the SMAK (Ghent Contemporary Art Museum), as well as the Starting block à chute (Starting Block for a Fall) and the Fauteuil à coup de foudre (Lovestruck Lightning Chair), which joins the series of objects using lightning: Objet cynique (Cynical Object,1996), Espace à coup de foudre (Lovestruck Lightning Space, 1998), and Objet pour se faire foudroyer (Object for Getting Struck by Lightning, 1991).
A photograph, Balcon II (Balcony II), created in Asia last May, depicts the artist on a balcony floating at the surface of Hong Kong bay, with a perfectly recognizable cityscape in the background: mountains, buildings, advertising signs, etc. This photograph, presented upright, is the second of a series of five or six which began at the Bionnay Château (France) in 1996. The next is to be carried out in South America.
These sculpture-objects seem to aim at modifying the perception that we have of the world, even while remaining in a direct relation with the body that manipulates them. They act as veritable prosthetics whose use always remains potential. Through the invention of his objects or modules, Philippe Ramette sketches a portrait of the artist as the actor of his own life, an anti-narcissistic portrait where the demonstrator’s body and the object demonstrated are both placed at a distance. The aim of this work is not to make up for lacks or handicaps, but to offer the body the possibility of all kinds of extensions, which are put to the test of both the world and the self.
Philippe Ramette was born in 1961. He lives and works in Paris. After having shown his work at Art:Concept, in Nice and in Paris, at Météo Gallery, then at Brownstone & Corréard, he was recently offered a solo exhibition at La Verrière-Hermès in Brussels. Last February he took part in the exhibition “The BHV Inspires Artists,” organized by Andrée Putmann at a Paris department store, the “Bazar de l’Hôtel de Ville”. He is now represented by the Galerie Xippas.