Apres la vague, les tourbillons des bas-empires



 EXHIBITION DATES:2018 . 09. 01 --2018. 11.05
 EXHIBITION OPENING: 2018 .09. 01. 16:00


The sentence “The wind sweeping through the Rostrum heralds a coming storm in the mountain” comes from the Tang dynasty poet Xu Hun’s poem “The Eastern Rostrum of Xianyang”. “The wind sweeping through the Rostrum heralds a coming storm in the mountain” embodies the poets own particular societal experience; the evolution of history, the changing of dynasties, the vicissitudes of life, all render the poet unable to hold back his feelings of reminiscence on the days of old. The origin of the corresponding French title “Apres la vague, les tourbillons des bas-empires” spoke of the historical crisis in the classical period of the late Roman Empire during the 3rd century: the state of anarchy, foreign invasion, civil war, economic collapse… The tremendous changes the Roman Empire underwent, from Christianity becoming the national religion to the Western Roman Empire being replaced by the Eastern Roman Empire. The Capital was then moved from Rome to Byzantium, then renamed Constantinople.

      Human history is constantly repeating itself….The rapid development of technology leaves the people of today with heavy hearts as they are faced with ecological crises, economic crises, and political crises. Irrationally setting the artist as the “remnant " which Giorgio Agamben writes of, yet the remnants aren’t those who live on after the world ends, instead they are those who live now. Unlike the people who live in historical chronicles, the remnants are full of potential and an imminent sense of urgency.

    We often see this sort of talk in the media: A world without humans might not only exist in science fiction novels, it could also be the result of global warming. In the past, we used to say that the world of nature was far too vast for us to comprehend completely. But in today's world, AI is omnipresent; a hyper-organism controlled by the information network that has successfully homogenized every square inch of our planet, this world is no longer limited to nor operates in accordance to the cognitive abilities of man. Precisely because of this, a world which is so difficult to control, we have been given the chance to experience loneliness.

     How far off is the so-called future we speak of? Statistics show that many factual occurrences are far more direct than portrayed in Science fiction novels, apart from the invisible catastrophes of the future, and with the advent of the media networks; the many intersections of spectacle and future, the remnants of the future humans will take shape in the old factory products. The construction of memories thus become an alternative side to the digitalization of man.

    Fanny Paldacci’s piece “Where a Wave Ends” took place on a small beach in the Chinese Sea. Black steel plates were placed flat along the beach forms a line along the coast, sinking gradually. With the rise of the tides, the seawater lingers on the surface of the metal plates. The plates oxide from contact with the saltwater and what we observe are the remarkable results of a chemical reaction. In ”Ground’s Undersides”, thin layers of plastic sheets are brought to a construction site in the periphery of Hangzhou. After laying them on the ground, Fanny systematically and daily applies series of resin coats at the surface of the cloth, until the form completely solidifies. The mold of the covered area becomes a record of the topographic change.

     Paul Duncombe’s work, however, has constructed an entire scene for us. A plethora of ravaged litter, plants, micro-organisms, animals, leading into the world created by the artist, manifested on silent objects. Paul offers us an imagined possibility of life. Destruction hints at a possible link between the transformation of past and future. He transfers from the artist’s perspective of the "microscopic future" back to the current reality, seeking to understand the relationship between people, objects and nature in the current threshold of the seemingly "overbearing" and “overcrowded” state of today. The installation is conducted in the form of an experiment, taking place in the bio material of cells, and germs; the memories of the future might be formed in the scenes of the video work “The Falling Kingdom”. From the contemporary ancient past, it’s the object that has been destroyed and left behind, it’s cells, it’s germs, it’s life.

     All of this takes us from our quite lives in the city to a natural world booming with life as well as the present moment. The present moment is always in-between the future and the past, .
At the moment, there is always a difference between the past and the future that persists without being affected by time. This is a kind reminder that when the future becomes present, we must use difference to open the possibility of the future.

CHENG Manman


Paul Duncombe

Graduate with honors of the école Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs de Paris in 2014, Paul Duncombe (born in France in 1987), develops numerous projects in France and abroad : Unicorn Center for Art (Beijing, 2018), Salon de Montrouge (Paris, 2018), Shelter (La Vallée, Brussels, 2017), Appareiller (Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2017), Jeune Création (Thaddaeus Ropac Gallery, Paris-Pantin, 2016), Sur Fond Blanc (Avatar - Coopérative Méduse, Quebec, 2015), Sunken Wall (Kyoto Art Center, Kyoto, 2012).
Between performances, minimal sculptures, mixed-media installations or in-situ interventions, his work crosses borders and disciplines. Whether it be for the orga- nization of an expedition on a frozen lake (Sur Fond Blanc, 2015), or the installation of a large-scale electronic project with the French Large Heavy-ion Accelerator (Nova Stella, 2018), he used to collaborate with many artists, engineers and craftsmen but also with specialists as biologists, archaeologists, astrophysicists, professional guides and even the army, thus multiplying the points of view and the experiences.

Fanny Paldacci

Trying to approach the artistic practice as an exploration mean to understand our relation to the land and direct environment, Fanny Paldacci, through her ensemble of «performed shapes», inventories different ways of cataloging habitat : wave recordings, ground’s fragments’ collections, accelerated fossils. The displayed works embody fragments of stories related to the territory they are extracted from.

The diversity of her practice drives her to study various materials’ ageing process and to investigate how matter corrupts through time. it drives her to collaborate with various craftmen (lacquerers, blacksmiths, moulders, founders, stonecutters, cabinetmakers...) but also ingineers, archeologists, architects... Born in 1989, Fanny Paldacci graduated with honors from l’École Nationale des Arts Décoratifs de Paris. She’s currently living between Paris and Beijing, and is part of the PhD program of China Academy of Art (Hangzhou), under the direction of Qiu Zhijie and Emmanuel Lincot.