Sigismond de Vajay – Unreachable Empires
Sigismond de Vajay
13.04.13 → 01.06.13
For this occasion, the artist displays two installations/objects and twenty drawings from the series entitled Unreachable Empires, a group of ninety-nine drawings that will appear in a book with the same name at the end of 2013. After his previous series, Nouveaux Désastres, also the subject of a publication, Vajay describes a solemn and gloomy world where he subtlety and poetically depicts social differences and irregularities, authority and global control, and the systems that govern the planet.
Opaque, somber, and intriging, “La légerté de la matière” acts as a central piece: we see a black, shiny rectangle as tall as a man with smoke enclosed inside it. It functions as a a mirror, a metaphor for our world, and a contemporary allegory of the platonic cave. The carefully crafted object’s glimmering image gently confronts the dissolution of the intangible contents, creating a game of contradictions. On its pedestal, we see a bin of rubble – a universal element that evokes.
This recipiant object evades complete comprehension and interacts with the drawings as if they were close-ups or entry points. The majority of these watercolors were inspired from photographs taken by the artist or images selected from the media. They consist of arial views of rural landscapes, close-ups of beehives, images of contemporary buildings, pipelines, and even structures archiving technological evolutions. They function as figures and grids of mankind’s communicational and organizational systems of all the people and things that form our planet. A sort of impossible inventory that questions each individual position in the vast intangible group. The project proves to be poignantly pertinent in today’s globalized world where the economy, like information, is govern on a global level. This contempoary world depersonalizes the system, portraying it as a fictional entity, completely uncontrolable and unattainable. Sigismond de Vajay’s work treats the byproduct of this abstract and monsterous machine: numbers. They appear in the quanity of figures that make up a certain drawing or his serial approach to production.
Creating a disenchanted gaze, the artworks’ subjects endlessly vasillate between the human form and machine, between the individual and the mass, in an uncertain and destablalizing movement. All the productions of this protean artist, curator, and editor, have a distopian aestetic in common. In Sigismond de Vajay’s artworks, beauty stems from our decadence and allows us to question the very notion of modernist progress. “Axis Mundi” is a sculpture fromed from rubbish bins which interlock in order to vertically unfold in the space like a fragile guardian precariously balancing on his feet. Through humor and mockery and the most efficent use of symbolism, the artist employs one of the pricipal tools of modernist invention that deligates our contemporary society to a state of ruin.