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Stephan Balleux et Porz an Park - Bounce

Exhibitions Art > Botanique
Following Cédric Dambrain’s performance as part of Stephan Bailleux’s monographic exhibition "La peinture et son double", at the Musée d'Ixelles in 2014, the two artists decided to further develop their collaboration and to jointly explore common means of expression within the same architectural framework: the Botanique Museum.
This space not only provides a sense of cohesion between their respective disciplines, it also serves as a setting inextricably linked to their artwork.The exhibition’s title, Bounce, refers to the question of bouncing, to what happens in the process of connecting: an active perception where the spectator is incorporated as an indissociable element of the artistic process.Conceived as an experiment, this new exhibition identifies the relationship as a key issue in today’s artistic debate.Porz An Park a.k.a. Cédric Dambrain presents a complex interweaving of sounds broadcast into the venue through directional speakers and reflectors. This intricate tapestry of direct and reflected sound stimuli encourages visitors to explore the spatial structure of the mechanism in conjunction with their own perception. Suspended in the space, the reflectors resemble black monochromes and visually reinforce the effect generated by the sound. They contribute to immerse the visitor in a contemplative confusion where the boundaries between “Self” and “Other” become somewhat blurred.Stephan Balleux presents several groups of paintings and drawings that interact with each other as though they were at the pinnacle of a pinball game. The supports are manifold: paper, copper, wood, and canvas. The exhibition features large figurative paintings where the organic subjects refer to vital fluidity (a raging sea with no horizon, a laughing parrot, a sun-scorched jungle, an empty nocturnal garden, an enigmatic portrait, a marble sculpture of a god, a hornets’ nest, etc.). Then, the artist proposes a collection of deceptively abstract paintings that spectators have to interpret with their eyes.The stability of the images and their interpretation are called into question: How do they appear? How do they vanish? How are they perceived and – most importantly – why is the brain constantly trying to interpret them? Deliberately incomplete, most of the paintings are conceived and executed to be completed when they are seen by the spectator. Alongside the paintings, images retrieved and collected from various sources are taken out of their original context. Devoid of any captions, they are subjected to the same game of association and interpretation.The artworks on display were produced before, during and after the first covid-19 lockdown. The outcome is a complex body of work that echoes the uncertainties and tensions engendered by the pandemic. These different bodies of work are also presented in the three MAGMA venues (Triennale d’art contemporain d’Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve) along with sixty or so pieces, including a 60-metre long continuous canvas. They are also shown at Schaerbeek’s La Maison des Arts within the framework of the “Clouds” exhibition. These different works shed light on the complex, fluid and organic aspect at play in the artist’s oeuvre.A limited edition on vinyl created as an integral part of the exhibitionFor the occasion, both artists have created two audio pieces on vinyl.Stephan Balleux has produced a limited edition/work for Bounce: a boxed set consisting of a deck of cards of found images and a vinyl record. Entitled “La Criée”, the A-side consists of a list of statements written and recited by the artist, while the B-side features a sound that was discovered and recorded at night and whose random beat allows the listener to enter a state of intense concentration. Both the playing cards and the sound are intended to evoke a sensation or an image that every spectator can sculpt with their own imagination. This edition is a supplement to the exhibition that can be experienced at home in order to create a truly sensory experience.Porz An Park presents a double vinyl made up of 13 electronic miniatures. Each thumbnail is a free composition based on sounds developed for the “Incidence of You” installation, but that were not included in the final version of the piece. Simultaneously concealed and revealed, this audio material (engraved on transparent vinyl) documents the hidden dimension of a creative process while exploring various contradictory psychoacoustic or physiological phenomena.