Nicolas Floc’h shows an ensemble of new works especially produced for le Confort Moderne. In the continuum of his research towards patterns, monochromes, camouflage and gesture, the artist explores the possibilities of black and white in the exhibition. Painting becomes the support of every experimentations : projected, applied directly on the wall, floor or ceiling, filmed, danced, simulated.
An installation, between subject and object, presents caracteristic elements of vanity : a skull, a fly, flowers… The whole is both a 3D painting, the decor of a movie to come (Memento Mori) and the tittle of the exhibition. From genre painting to geometric abstraction, from an historical iconography to abstract expressionism, vanity is the starting point of a nebula of references which appear all along the exhibition.
Loans, moves and abstraction : Nicolas Floc’h seizes existing subjects, keeping a pattern, colors, a material, to réinvesti them in his works. Thus, a cross pattern seen on the super side of the interior's columns of the church Notre-Dame La Grande in Poitiers is reproduced on the whole walls of one of the exhibition room to create an abstract and kinetic mural painting. In another room, Nicolas Floc'h uses the camouflage of an american war ship from the 2nd world war. The whole covers a surface of 50 meters of walls and compose an abstract and geometrical artwork. These two examples illustrate a recurring strategy of the artist who operates with loans and slides.
The monochrome figure becomes movement within the exhibition. A video installation let us see a succession of recoveries of a surface, with paint dripping on wood panels, taking us from white to black passing through grey, sketching three perfect monochromes. Nicolas Floc’h also produces huge black monochrome made of a dance carpet carefully chosen because of the accidents and imperfections produced by its use. The later is reframed, cut, mounted on a panel and then hung on the wall.
Gestures, expression and derision : How not to evoke expressionism and gestuality when you're interested in painting ? Nicolas Floc’h choses to take a side road when he stages gesture. Three videos show this approach with humor and poetry. In the first one, we can see Rachid Ouramdane under a stream of paint which gradually recover his arms and shoulders. Then he starts a baroque choreography in which he projects the paint on canvas surrounding him, the rythme goes faster, gestures becomes bigger and violent, as if he was a Pollock « thaï master ». The second video presents the artist performing with Alain Michard, one of them is covered with black paint and the other with white paint. From contacts to contacts, the characters become grey and offer a painting with all the mixture of colors. With humor, the third video set in stage the artist, covered with paint, starting running before crashing against a wall. The expressive paroxysm is reached with an explosion of paint that entirely covers a room, from floor to ceiling. The aleatory composition resulting, let us see a paint with a rare expressive violence while also excluding the hand of the artist.