Sies + Höke is pleased to present The Encored Separation, a project by Etienne Chambaud for Art Unlimited.
The Encored Separation consists of a large-scale mobile suspended from the hallʼs ceiling and a room-sized box fabricated with the standard drywall elements the art fair provides for all exhibitors. If these two separated units are juxtaposed in the exhibition hall, their relationship is foremost one of time, as the process which altered one was necessary for the other to exist: the mobile has been balanced with chunks of plasterboard extracted by the artist from the box’s walls. In this way the artwork exists as a temporal state of equilibrium between its form and its context. Its exhibition is a matter of balanced quantities.
Throughout the show the white cube provided by the art fair remains a separate, closed room, an impassable space showing nothing but the perimeter of its inner void. The untouched and unoccupied interior of this ideal white cube — ideal here precisely because separated — paradoxically turns out to be a potential „outside“ within the exhibition hall, an unconquered, yet foreclosed and circumscribed space. Its exhibition marks the retroversion of the exhibition.
The elements of drywall that serve as weights and counter-weights for the mobile are removed by hand only from the exterior layer of the existing walls leaving rough edges and exposing a view to the white cube’s underlying structure. This ripped open surface, this behind-the-scene of the inaccessible exhibition room, is another point of equilibrium between the different elements of the work, the frontier between what’s given and what’s hidden from view, between the process of its fabrication and its actual form, between its context and its ambivalent content, namely separation.
The title of the work, The Encored Separation, refers to an encore: an additional performance that occurs after an event comes to an end, in response to the audienceʼs demand for more. Here the encore responds to the desire of an audience that does not yet exist, or at least which precedes its very existence, a desire for a supplementary act within a history of separation. The Encored Separation is both anchored in separation and an anchored one, both an artwork reflecting on separation and a separated artwork. Thus separation, between the statement and the experience of the work, between its physicality and the language that circumscribes it, between intention and attention, is both the workʼs object and its condition.
Etienne Chambaud was born in1980 in Mulhouse (France) and lives in Paris. Recent solo exhibitions include Contre-Histoire de la Séparation, Centre International dʼArt et du Paysage, Vassivière (2010); The Sirenʼs Stage, David Roberts Art Foundation, London (2010); Lo Stato delle sirene, Nomas Foundation, Rome (2010); Le Stade des Sirènes, Kadist Art Foundation, Paris (2010); On Hospitality, LABOR, Mexico City (2010); Le Musée Décapité, Sies + Höke, Düsseldorf (2010); Objets Rédimés, Bugada&Cargnel, Paris (2010); Color Suite, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2009). Recent group exhibitions include Pertaining to a Profession Proverbially Energetic and Nervous, ISCP, New York (2011); Radical Autonomy, Netwerk Centre dʼArt Contemporain, Aalst (2011); Being There, The Meet Factory, Prague (2010); Bild für Bild, Museum Ostwald, Dortmund (2010); HIC, Villa Arson, Nice (2010); and Un Nouveau Festival!, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2009). Etienne Chambaud was awarded a 6 month residency at ISCP, New York in 2011.
Architecture + Engineering by Meir Lobaton Corona