Philippe Cam, Damien Mazières - Damien Mazières & Philippe Cam

"Urban Chamanism"


The gallery is in a fantastic expansion mode. Damien Mazières and Philippe Cam are bustling about, finishing the last touches to the installation of a monitor and of camped speakers on a large ensemble of pallets covered by a metallic paint. Its configuration can remind us of the dragsters and its cars that propel themselves to excessive speeds, tells us Cam. Some slow-motioned images compile certain sequences of West Side Story, Apocalypse Now and of Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

Intitled "Heroes 4", the video belongs to a serie, whose previous 3 chapters borrowed sequences from the movies "Star Wars", "Taxi Driver" and "Ghost Dog". The movie industrie is here used like a preexisting landscape, in which Mazières compiles, assembles and retraces the outlines in order to give another point of vue, a space of real definition, nearly mystical. As for the sound atmosphere , he calls upon Philippe Cam, who has composed a soundtrack of different sounds taken from his environment: cries of children, a train that passes, the sound of a door slamming, the whole with a calm rythmic background. With ghostly voices, the piece is marked by silence, disturbing and recreating a narration of different endings.


Behind all those installations, shells is registered on a small canvas, in a soaking typography reminding us of the posters of old horror movies. Further on, in the other room, there are 9 canvas's all holding the word "Fire", 9 times. For Damien, graduate from the Beaux-Arts School of Bordeaux in 2000, a word can be seen as a landscape, calling upon references and individual and collective knowledges. A word can be composed of souvenirs triggering a series of mental landscape pictures. Then a little further, "My Life so Far 2", is composed of standard framings repainted by a mechanic, whilst "Fin de grèves", is constituted of two neon light lines, each starting from one of the corners of the walls, so as to form an impoverished cross in its central point.

For the artist, the cross is a reference to multiple things: the one of the vanishing point, the imaginary point used in perspective, like the one that is linked to restriction, a dead end, the finality of something. The starting point of the exposition, whose main theme, pointed out by Mazières and Cam is the one of chamanism, of a ritual and the one of voudoo culte, that needs to be analysed in a competitive sens where the objects compete in space, in a scene where elements are completely independant, weaving imaginary, symbolic and individual lines throughout a journey whose outline is an esoteric urban initiation.


                                                                    Anna Maisonneuve

                                                        Published in " Sud Ouest" on the 27/05/2010


"My work consists of building cells, who are often very small, from various records that can be very real or those produced by machines. I play on the repetition of cell sounds, each of them built around a unique sound, a texture that becomes live. This subject seen as a real physical one has been obtained by ciseling the sound in detail. The musical colors appear by fractions of frequences that I dissect. First, it is one cell that is copied and the filters that are on that cell enable me to obtain this musical pallet of colors that I then pick from.

In that sens, there exists a great similarity between my work and McLaren's work, in the sens that there is a constant reconsideration, in a radical manner, of the differnet dispositions of the foundations of the film industry. Because of its multiplying and interference effects, he creates a texture. The illusion of the mouvement is not in his work where the result is a succession of various images, but rather in the projection of a series of consecutive portions of one and only drawing.

Moreover, I dissect, cut, manipulate and mixt sounds to plunge the public in a completely absorbing atmosphere".

                                                                          Phiippe Cam, April 2010