Boliw, Stéphanie Cherpin, Katarina Fritsch, Charles Mason - Méfiance

With the kind collaboration of the Galerie Jean-Jacques Mandel and the Frac Aquitaine.

"The problem is always to see a work through to the end, whilst knowing that one can never get to the end of anything? The question that arises is: to continue, to always keep going, or to stop, to finish; it is all about doubt, mistrust and impatience."

Thomas Bernhard

For the next few months, the Galerie Cortex Athletico will present a project in three parts, in reaction to this question of doubt, mistrust and impatience, as it seems to be symptomatic of our time of "economic pre-recovery" that the media's economic pages mention. The term of "pre-recovery" has dispelled all promises of real change, including in our commercial activity where readjustments are not made on the models themselves, but based on the voracity of wanting to restore things.


The first opus of this project in three parts deals with mistrust and subterfuge.


This exhibition shows the caution that is necessary when faced with reality. The works that are displayed, in their form, their reality, answer hidden needs on different levels. Sometimes the extremely frontal aspect of their meaning hides a trick, a ruse, or a subterfuge, that sways from idolatry to fetish. What part of caution must we have when faced with these objects, whether they be facsimile or ritual objects? It may stem from the difficulty one has to isolate in them a form of presence with the world. Is this hidden need partly linked to the work? The moment in which each of these objects was created is strange. It can be through use, construction itself, in the intention, but it is in any case exterior to the object in a strict sense.

Stéphanie Cherpin's works only exist through their titles, that use grunge titles for the most of them. The creative process is almost like a trance, a unique moment when everything can be part of an ensemble by accumulation, input, "charge".

This is what one can find in a more formal sense in the Boliw masks, where blood libations use the initial sculpture as a support, but also modify it by the accumulation in layers, of all the sacrifices of Malian hunters.

On the contrary, Katharina's Fritsch's appropriation consists in reproducing in yellow resin the statue of the Virgin present in the Massabielle grotto, near Lourdes, as she appeared to Bernadette Soubirous. By tampering with the icon, she imagines an unusual object, close in its shape to the initial object, but whose meaning requires vigilance. Using artifice, she shifts and undoes the symbolic charge of this representation of the Virgin to finally bring her back to what she is: a statue.

Lastly, Charles Mason, a sculptor associated with the 80s trend of "new English sculpture", where assemblage, often in an elegant manner, is modus operandi. His transformation of banal objects changes their meaning to sometimes tend towards anthropomorphic forms. It is no longer just a question of mistrust, but maybe also of shrewdness, as humour plays down the lot in the end.