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Edouard Malingue Gallery(馬凌畫廊)
2017.03.18 Sat - 2017.05.28 Sun
Opening Exhibition
Sixth Floor, 33 Des Voeux Road Central, Hong Kong
+852 2810 0317
Opening Hours
Monday-Saturday 10am-7pm
Edouard Malingue & Lorraine Malingue

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Eric Baudart – choo choo mama… – Edouard Malingue Gallery Shanghai
[Press Release]

Delicately transposed, it is the displaced materiality in Eric Baudart’s works that spurs their contemporary resonance. A cluster of plastic rolls, millimeter paper, a desk and broom composition – commonplace utensils are ushed of everyday contextualisation and repurposed to create oeuvres that titter on the edge of artice. Edouard Malingue Gallery, Shanghai is pleased to present Baudart’s rst solo show in China, ‘choo choo mama…’. On display will be an array of works emblematic of Baudart’s practice, which evolves from Duchamp’s readymade, whilst simultaneously devolving from it; the works or situations proposed are not mere found objects but rather recongured and repurposed, composed and re- choreographed materials that have been carefully assembled or moulded to mount a delicate ballet of shapes, colour and form.


At the heart of Baudart’s work is a notion of simplicity and play. This is emphasised from the outset by the title ‘choo choo mama…’, which refers quite blankly to a rock song from the 1970s by Ten Years Afer. There is no further association between works and title: it’s merely a playful titular tent for the works, which span previous investigations to newly created pieces. Upon entering the space, visitors are presented with Cubikron 3.3 (2017), a cuboidal grid composed of carefully arranged mattress springs. Part of a revisited series, an example of which was displayed as an outdoor sculpture in the Jardins des Tuileries, Paris (2016), the sculpture plays with the basic properties of line and oscillating light – an interest that is equally highlighted by ‘WRAP2’ (2017), composed of thirty eight rolls to create a slanted hexagon. Wit and its nascent presence is moreover emphasised by both work titles: ‘Cubikron’ on the one hand derives from the Latin cubicos and on the other hand the Greek kybikós, both signifying ‘having three dimensions’; ‘WRAP2’ referencing the materials’ everyday purpose.

Permeating Baudart’s work is equally a concern with displacement and effect; how by virtue of presentation, one’s interaction with and perception of an object can be altered and reconsidered aesthetically. ‘Toolbox’ (2016) and ‘Hard Day’s Night’ (2017), for example, are assemblages of objects found by Baudart in Brussels at a post mortem at sale. In ‘Toolbox’, Baudart was struck by the unintentional composition of a hundred or so individual objects, which piled together resemble in their static arrangement a form of utilitarian ‘still life’ or ‘nature morte’. A ‘Hard Day’s Night’, however, is conversely a purposely neat composition of a worn desk anked by a broom – an empty bucket and rag neatly hidden underneath. Rather than referencing the famous Beatles song carrying the same name, the title aims to highlight the objects themselves, how they’re associated with hard work and here, folded away, appear to be resting overnight. As with ‘Toolbox’, Baudart touches upon rediscovered aesthetics of the ordinary; a ‘Hard Days Night’, however, further engages physical modes of perception – a sculptural work, Baudart invites viewers to interact with it, touring around it.


Baudart is also concerned with process; how beyond the material, its properties and original signicance as well as use can be recongured or represented by a manner of practice. This consideration is key to Baudart’s running ‘Millimeter Paper’ series. Traditionally rendered in classic blue graph paper, they appear at rst sight as distant light cerulean and white abstractions. For ‘choo choo mama…’, however, Baudart took the series a step further tonally, creating works following the primary CMYK colours: cyan, magenta, yellow and black. By removing the element of personal tonal choice, Baudart references the found object – the tonal blocks creating a visual matrix that contrasts with the seeming abstraction. Upon closer inspection, however, they are revealed to be the product of the disciplinedmillimeter-by-millimeter act of scratching the thick architectural paper. Compulsive and rigorous, yet delicate and detailed, the series recalls repetitive motion and quiet monotony associated with the task of threading a surface.


A nal key concern that delicately runs through certain works is movement. ‘Revolution’, for example, echoes the found object aesthetic of ‘Tool Box’ and a ‘Hard Day’s Night’ but adds a further element of physical engagement: a rundown standup fan found in Miami several years back, the motor was purposely changed to operate at the slower pace of ve revolutions per minute. Taking this notion of altered motion a step further is Baudart’s major sculpture ‘Atmosphère’ (2016), presented on the West Bund waterfront. An evolution from his running series bearing the same title in which he places various types of operating ventilators in a clear aquarium lled with yellow canola oil, ‘Atmosphère’ takes on a larger than life form so that the viewer’s interaction with the artwork is shifed from one of peering to that of being physically absorbed. Absurd, humorous and mildly perturbing, the apparatus operates, moving in a cyclical motion against the thick substance, creating slow, citrine ripples. The sculpture series takes inspiration from a conversation between Marcel Duchamp, Fernand Léger and Constantin Brancusi, when Duchamp, hinting to the perfection of natural simplicity, announced ‘Painting is dead. Who could make something better than this propeller? Could you?’