Émilie Brout & Maxime Marion
Text by Sarah Ihler-Meyer
13/04/2017 - 27/05/2017
Post-internet, post-photography, post-human,...Émilie Brout and Maxime Marion seem to metabolize all these "posts". By tearing apart the classic dualisms opposing organics and technological, the real and the virtual, humans and animals, the wild and the domestic or even the original and the copy, the duo notes a cyborg reality, naturally and culturally hybrid, that has always already occurred but nevertheless keeps increasing its potentialities with the development of technosciences.
"Quickening" thus implements several zones of indistinction between a priori antinomic poles. Firstly between the body and machines, in particular with Denim, a series of jeans sealed under plastic, acting as specimens of an archeology of the future, showing the marks of mobile phones, as if they were just one with their owner, and have become prosthesis or augmented reality of their own bodies.
This indifferentiation between organic and artificial can also be found in Oasis Max Life, a sculpture made of touchscreens embedded in a brick of floral foam showing animated GIF's of green plants taken from the internet. Let a cyborg plant, where nature, however wild it may be, is nothing more than just a digital code for domestic use.
This shifting is represented in Chien-loup which consists of multiple camouflage jackets sewn together so to create the pattern of an endless tree on a neon-orange background, an invisible color for game animals. A high-tech textile here allows predators-hunters to fade into the forest and to adopt the principle of camouflage used by their preys, the virtual future of nature thus mixing up for human beings with a strange becoming-animal.
Another way of blurring boundaries is at work with the ♥ Paintings: four mobile phones hung up on the wall like little paintings display photos taken from different Instagram accounts followed by the artists, partly covered and reproduced identically by means of painting. It’s a way for the artists to take these picturesque images back to their possible unconscious, namely by a set of representations originating from art history, especially from German Romanticism, which built and informed our perception of the landscape. Here, just like with cyborgs, there is no more opposition between nature and culture, original and copy, everything is already hybridizations and replications with no origin, model or essence.
It's a similar type of indifferentiation which seems to operate with Clé USB reçue par erreur contenant l’œuvre La Liberté en écorchée – version longue d’ORLAN et saisie dans la glace par Laurent Pernot via www.matchart.net. As a matter of fact, like the title indicates, the work was produced from an USB key of ORLAN, a cyborg artist by the way, the artists received by mistake and which they seized in fake ice thanks to the artist Laurent Pernot. This piece made collectively questions notions such as the author, the original and the copy as well as the truth and the false.
With Lightning Ride, it is now poles of technology, organics and mysticism that collide with electricity as a connecting point. The video is produced from excerpts of "Taser Certifications", a sort of ceremony authorizing in the United States the use of Tasers in the condition of being tased by someone else. Filtered with the Photoshop’s "oil painting effect”, slowed down and accompanied by a disturbing soundtrack, the succeeding images show us bodies and faces whose deformations and positions evoke a feeling of pain as well as a Christian ecstacy. Everything unfolds as if the miracle of electricity, symbol of the rationalization of the world, revived paradoxically an aspiration to transcendence, antipodes joining each other and disappearing in profit of a new map of possibilities.