Baptiste Debombourg - Soloshow - at krupic kersting galerie//kuk, Cologne, Germany
January 14 (opening reception) to March 18, 2011
Tradition of Excellence is a term that leads at first sight to some question marks considering the disturbing plastic and graphic work of Baptiste Debombourg.
Debombourg, born in 1978 is a graduated sculptor at the Ecole National des Beaux Arts in Lyon and has been then post-graduated at the Ecole National Supérior des Beaux Arts, Paris. In France - represented by Patricia Dorfmann - one of the outstanding young artists of his generation, with numerous public presentations at home and abroad, he is worth to be discovered in Germany. Along with his brilliant technical abilities and his provoking consumerist- and society-critical statements he’s got the credibility giving a strong voice in a fearful art world focusing more than ever on formal aspects only.
He brings up discussions on waste-oriented societies and inheritances of the consumption along with the idea of the needlessness of the pure ornament, which decayed not only in the art of the 60's but before. Coming a long way from Adolf Loos’ milestone article “Ornamentation and crime”, 1908, where Loos argues that functionality and absence of ornamentation in the sense of the human saving in power is an indication of high cultural development. From the outset of the last century to Raimond Hains aesthetic-political positions in form and content Debombourg takes contemporary artists like Maurizio Cattelan and Thomas Schütte into consideration for the most humorous and human momentum in his art.
To further draw the bow for Debombourgs installations one need to go back in time and to consult the early Duschamps interventions as references of his work. Though the inflationary use of „Objets trouvés “ frequently bared to an empty phrase artists still try to claim these topics for their openly popular attemps to strikingly reach the consumers conscience..
Baptiste Debombourg freshly hits the topic of used up objects looking for a broader impact by pointing on humanity deriving from the social integraton of his art projects.
He doesn’t create classical customs objects from the above specified „Objets trouvés”, but moulds in the condition of their transition. He develops with “Inception” a series of objects which present themselves as interlocked into one another broken raw furniture. The perspective negates any customs aesthetics and leads ad absurdum the former intended purpose. The re-use of the dumped, the distortion is thus carried to extremes. Though in the Duchamps sense it no longer serves as a „Ready Made “, it causes the same reflection process over the nature of its origin and generates the transformation into a new level of its reception.
Debombourg skillfully prevents himself of stepping in the trap of the weakened term of the infinitely repeated „Ready Made“. His criticism is directed thereby less against the consumption generally, but the loss of possibilities - the decrease of values and impact. The de- and re-construction of waste materials to sculptures refers with some optical shock and a major portion of irony to the vanity of all material and the metamorphosis of everyday life - thus throwing his objects back into a new cycle of life and reality.
Yet another way to dismembering and recomposing is undertaken by Debombourg along with his disturbing drawings. One who might observe Debombourgs weapon-
drawings for the first time from a distance is tempted to see technical designs and explosion views of the weapon itself. The eye is deceptive. With a closer look at models such as „Walther P38 silencieux“ or Dragunov SVD* (*the sniper-rifle in the Bosnia war) deeply branching out architectural sketches of precise accuracy can be detected.
The tradition of strength, implied in these weapons, is literally displayed. Nothing is anymore as it seemed before: the technical interior, which is the basis for the shooting and killing process, has been replaced by a bureaucratic heart, an operational center of the acting decision maker. In this center the deployment decision that initiates the mechanism of the deadly use is made.
Baptiste Debombourgs work can be seen at krupic kersting galerie//kuk until March 18, 2011