Curated by Olivier Plique
August 23 - September 20 2019
Freedom, equality, fraternity: what do these words that express the motto of the French Republic mean? They refer to what are commonly called ideals, regarded as the pinnacle of what can be desired or imagined, for oneself and others, and as the bedrock of every human life worth living.
As expressed by the essayist Luc Olivier d’Algange: «The French idea is irreducible to «values». It is with greater clarity that we wish to illuminate the style of our actions and our sentences. To the “values” that reduce to some absurd common denominator, we will always prefer the luminous freedom we enjoy from the royal fire of the Principles.
By inviting 3 recognized French artists representing this French Idea, the Valletta Contemporary Art Gallery wished to honor this thirst for ideal and for freedom of the people of France, including the socio-dynamic politics of expression and repression currently under spotlights with the movement of yellow vests.
In love with the same freedom aimed at challenging the very status of the piece of art, and following a narrative thread (FIL, French Idea [L]), each artist has created his/her own marker tools with a unique signature of a French-style artistic ideal.
Christian Jaccard (B 1939). Graduated from Bourges Fine Arts School in 1960, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Société des auteurs dans les arts graphiques et plastiques (ADAGP). His work is organized around 2 axes (nodes, and combustion) by focusing his research on traces, fingerprints (whether due to stamping, combustion, folding, calcination or braiding). In both cases, he uses a well-defined method; each of his gestures, of his actions, is carried out rigorously, without dizziness, without carelessness, conceptualised and controlled.
Dominique de Beir (B 1964). Dominique works between Rouen (Normandy), Paris, and Woignarue (Picardy)Nominee of Aware 2017 Honorary Award. The recurring aspect of her work is the damage of a repetitive gesture. She perforates and excavates all kinds of “poor” surfaces using singular instruments that she creates. Disrupting the vocabulary of painting (support, material, color) by the randomness of gesture and trace, she seeks to focus on notions of inscription and marking, between surface and depth, of which she explores the physical impact, the density, the rhythm. The meaning of her work is more of a process than a determined representation.
Denis Pondruel (B 1949), Denis lives and works in Paris and in Friville (Picardy, France). Formerly a professional engineer, his artistic thinking and practice focuses on space and scale relationships. Visions of construction sites or ruins, passages to another place, his installations link sculptures, photographs, videos and sound. They present forms of fantasized or chaotic architectures, rarely functional. Denis attempts, by occupying a physical place, to open a new mental space.
Olivier Plique (B 1956), lives and works in Malta. Businessman, editor, collector, Olivier is also an independent curator with some recent successful exhibitions: Tribute to Azur Window (Gozo, 2018; Patrice Pantin); Couleurs de Malte (Paris, 2018; Paul Haber). Olivier co-owns the arty boutique hotel The Snop House in Senglea (Malta).