FLOW is resurrection, rebellion, the sudden mirror of our mass consumption society that kills human beings and the objects it mass-produces.
Here the windscreens surge up like the wave that engulfs towns in catastrophe films such as 2012 or The Day After Tomorrow. They are broken, discarded, ignored objects that take the place by storm, rebel and attack us. Like ignored vomit being spewed out from on high.
FLOW is nothing other than the formalization of our gradual engulfment in consumption in which neither human beings nor - even less – objects are respected.
There is no pre-acquired resilience on the pretext that windscreen protects from shattering. There is resilience only for the woman journalist who though frightened still believes it possible to think she has been preserved in an ocean of accidents. Or is it in fact to reassure the future visitor about a trauma he or she will not have to experience?
We would have to take another look at the subjects of classical, romantic, modern and contemporary painting to understand that no true artist seeks to spare the viewer. The last DALI exhibition at the Pompidou Centre attests to this where people throng in front of scenes of perversions, fits of frenzy, the subconscious laid bare, incest.. "Oh! Isn’t that pretty! Let’s buy the card!" Tremble... the images are looking at you.
With Flow it is objects, manufacture, and even global warming – which this work alludes to – we will die from.
It is not about being miraculously saved by a FLOW of honeyed concepts.
Before seeing the solution, the miracle, we have to hear the thunder of the impending cataclysm.
In the fish eye (Oeil de Poisson) there is Darwin’s nightmare. When the development of the species kills all species.
We do not swim in a sea of windscreens, we remain under the glass, suffocating as if under ice, devoured by our own creations.
That is the experience we are invited to join in: becoming aware of our folly and our finiteness, that we are bringing about ourselves.
No political or psychological discourse. That is the strength of art.
With Baptiste, the physical always takes a knock. The very shock he causes us to experience is for each of us a door open to a conceivable and possible resilience.
The artist opens the door as Moses divided the sea. But unlike him, he never points the way.
"Flow", solo exhibition of Baptiste Debombourg in the Art center l’Oeil de Poisson from 03.05 until 02.06.2013, 541, rue de Saint Vallier Est, Québec, Canada, contextual installation in windshield
Antoine Melchior is an independent video maker