Eric Baudart’s new exhibition More at Galerie Valentin is his fourth at the space and presents a comprehensive view of the artist’s ability to skillfully move between materials and forms with calculated whimsy and aplomb.
Each work offers another glimpse into his very personal world, where readymades confront photographic images, where each of the artist’s points of view on the object produces a unique swing from simple materiality to the magic of the object thus displaced. As the viewer looks at the work Vinci—a simple doormat transposed to the wall and encased in a metal frame— it becomes a constellation, an unknown territory in which the eye loses itself. Skip, a simple cardboard detergent box discoloured by the sun and placed on the ground, offers an almost unreal image, an unfamiliar materiality, like a photographic negative of time’s imprint on the object. The artist moves viewers through the exhibition as if they were the lens of an imaginary camera trying several times to focus, searching the prism of Cubikron 2, a honeycombed plastic cube with truncated corners, or searching the golden volume of the glued posters of Concave, to find the logic behind the visual mystery at work before them.
Although the shapes may remain enigmatic to those observing them, they still also remain simple objects taking on an almost scientific character as they present the eye with unknown territories, such as Scotch, a scanner photo of a roll of adhesive tape, or Safe Cover, a safety cover coloured by the artist and simply attached to the wall. These stem just as much from that displacement which is part of the unreality in which Eric Baudart installs his work. A reality in which the simplest meets the most complex, in which the real becomes an image, like an artefact, but of a quite existent reality. Like the blue-painted gallery floor on which the artist has placed his exhibition, or the light of a single LED inserted in a gallery wall, everything contributes to this loss of bearings, a feeling of infinity. The objectivity of sight has lost its foundations, jeopardised by a “fictional” virtuality installed by the artist, like a permanent entry into the virtual age.