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Le Grand Cafe Contemporary Art Centre presents Vincent Ganivet – Severine Hubard. The balance of opposites

Le Grand Cafe Contemporary Art Centre, Saint-Nazaire presents Vincent Ganivet – Severine Hubard. The balance of opposites, on view 5 June–2 September 2012.

Collection, détournement, and recycling are central to the practice of a number of contemporary artists. By using natural objects mixed with more modern materials or manufactured products, all fabricate in their own way a universe populated by hybrid forms that tends, against all expectation, towards energy and equilibrium. Within this artistic ‘family group,’ Vincent Ganivet and Séverine Hubard, brought together for this exhibition at the Grand Café, stand out for the particular interest that they take in materials and in the logics of construction.

Vincent Ganivet – Séverine Hubard, The balance of opposites, 2012.
Documentation Séverine Hubard, © S. Hu

With the adventurous trajectories that they follow, they take the vocabulary and syntax of the specialist and deregulate it, playing around with scale and space. Making a deliberately elementary use of technology, they leave room for the improvisation and ingenuity of the bricoleur. This allows them to create ephemeral spaces within practices that resemble vast, open-ended construction sites.

Séverine Hubard
The gestures of assemblage, collage, accumulation, and displacement in Séverine Hubard’s art originate in actions of construction. In a continuous link with the context in which she intervenes, the artist often concretises her interventions in the form of ephemeral structures made of recuperated materials. An ebullient researcher, the artist chooses materials that refer to her favourite hunting grounds of towns and the materiality of their buildings: offcuts from a DIY shop, broken windows or doors from condemned blocks.

The artist delivers herself to a pursuit of raw materials that celebrates the pleasure of the find. As the real substance of the work, these materials have a trophy value. The found object, repeated and accumulated, becomes a reserve that when worked on forms a landscape that is both familiar and unexpected, in which the simple gestures of the artist always remain readable.

From this material diversity emanates a frank energy doubled with a direct poetry: as a rebellious bricoleuse, Séverine Hubard manages to invent a primitive vocabulary that best expresses the spirit of towns and of the peri-urban zones she has a particular feel for.

Séverine Hubard was born in Lille, France in 1977. She lives and works in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Vincent Ganivet
For a decade, Vincent Ganivet has been obstinately and acutely deploying strategies that divert the everyday. Beginning with an elementary material vocabulary, his overall policy is that of counter-employment: in his hands rubble becomes landscape material, he exhibits water damage, dust forms constellations, fireworks go off in broad daylight, and breeze block arches fly away. The artist developed a taste for simple and modest materials from his experience on building sites: his works make the universe of the construction industry converge with modular games and with the constant urge to go further.

The transcendence of physical constraints is particularly felt in the Catenaries series, vertiginous blocks that he develops with an extreme concentration on the gesture. So that these self-supporting arches hold firm, Vincent Ganivet goes back to the catenary formula, an equation traditionally used by Gaudí, and allies it to age-old building techniques (the arch, leverage, and drystone) in the intuitive way of a DIY enthusiast excited by mechanical forces. To push the system as far as he can, the artist is always raising his trajectories higher, twisting them or taking them to their precarious limits: in 2011, at the Karlsruhe Kunsthalle, a sculpture with five supports and a keystone collapsed during the exhibition. Although he includes failure as an integral part of his research, Vincent Ganivet nevertheless prefers to walk on the edge of the precipice rather than experience the fall, and to continue defying the laws of gravity using just naked materials with finesse and without trickery.

Vincent Ganivet was born in Suresne, France in 1976. He lives and works in the Île Saint-Denis, France.

The exhibition The balance of opposites. Vincent Ganivet – Séverine Hubard is a part of Estuaire 2012

Le Grand Café, Contemporary
Art Centre, Saint-Nazaire
Place des Quatre z’horloges
44 600 Saint-Nazaire, France
Hours: Tue–Sun, 10–7pm
Free entry

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