Stéphane Thidet | Excepté le soleil | Galerie Laurence Bernard
Apart from the sun. This expression, with strong fictional and poetic potential digs a furrow for our imagination. As is often the case in the work of the French artist, a critical or even dystopian dimension comes to alter the comfortable position that we produce our certainties
What would be left to see in our world without our star? What would emerge from zones of darkness? Is it necessary to understand this metaphor as a need to flee the evidence that finishes by blinding us?
In the first light of these initial questions, the exhibition invites us on an exploration of space, as much physical as speculative. Among the artist's new works, brought together around the notion of an “unmoving voyage,” a striking stationary vessel, situated at the crossing of architecture, sculpture, and performance, will make a stopover at the gallery. Built from a model of the Mercury Seven capsule (1958), which was occupied by the first astronauts, the sound sculpture of Stéphane Thidet is realized with modest material, reminding us of the cabin in the woods in which the writer Henry David Thoreau lived self-sufficiently for a time (Walden; or, Life in the Woods, 1854).
Within the “liveable” sculpture, the artist displaces and articulates these two emblematic stories in which fiction (myth) and the real continuously feed off each other. Not so much a hearkening to conquest or missed potentials, but rather a suggestion of a point of anchorage, an observation post, a place for experimentation and, ultimately, for the transformation of the world from the interior.
Stéphane Thidet is not a “man of the woods” nor a “space cowboy,” but an “insider,” used to destabilizing our perceptive habits with regard to ordinary objects and environments. In the situations he creates, unexpected or anachronistic coming-togethers, anomalies, slow-downs, and elidings produce fault lines, fragile zones calling for reflection and dreaming.
The exhibition Apart from the sun will be an opportunity to discover for the first time in Switzerland the work of the artist which, situated midway between rapture and worry, contains the ambivalent potential for destruction and for beginning.