« 38″ 18″ 33″ »
Following the success of his first solo exhibit at Espace B51 in the spring of 2007, artist photographer Martin Rondeau is back this autumn with a new plastic exhibit enigmatically entitled : 38’’ 18’’ 33’’. Winning combination?
In his first solo, the large photographs of the exhibit ‘IMG_48X72’ attracted a crowd curious to see what was produced by Martin RONDEAU’s artistic experimentation. The majority of the exhibited pieces found homes among avid art collectors and young new amateurs.
CAPTURING THE AUDIENCES GAZE AND CONFUSING THE SENSES seems to have become RONDEAU’s modus operandi. Seizing the gaze however, is definitely largely attributed to strategies of seduction contrived by the artist. Representations of the woman’s body are predominant in his work, but her body is lacerated, perforated, blended, and embroidered with surgical perfection. Duality is at the core of his work, as his creativity is expressed by means of an almost clinical technique.
A LATENT WAR OF THE SEXES. In his new series, from one piece to the other, the mix of the one with the other, the male with the female, creates a contrast, either subtle or blatant. Our notions of corporeal and aesthetic perfection are put into question by means of trashy or pornographic iconography inevitably pushing the viewer towards an introspection of the media, and fashion. This questioning, without complaisance, touches upon generic images produced by our capitalist consumer culture. RONDEAU’s work is not victimization, culpability or a radical denunciation, but a play on contemporary imagery to bring to the fore our societal perversions.
ENLIGHTENMENT AND ORNAMENTATION. RONDEAU’s ‘woman’ acts as a symbol with various associative meanings, on the one hand femme fatal, warrior, princess and on the other defined simply as a logo, or an object. She remains always an accomplice of her dichotomies, always being defined by the other’s point of view. In fact, the journalist Stéphane Leduc coined a few questions in the face of RONDEAU’s women, ‘Am I myth or reality? Am I a dream or an illusion? Am I desired or rejected? Am I flesh or plastic? Am I an object or desire? Am I Marilyn or Venus? Am I consumption or expression? Am I a code or a password? Am I sex or love? Am I an icon or a fantasy? Am I you?’
THE TOOLS. Patience and determination mark RONDEAU’s artistic process, as his work is almost compulsively perfect and involves meticulously sliced strands of enormous photographic prints, which are then woven together, braided so tightly as to create a unified image from fragmented parts. One could say that his photographs under go a kind of surgical procedure; gloves, scalpel, insertions, incisions, and the whole in an antiseptic white room (no slip ups allowed).
DOUBLE CUT. As a 2D sculptor in low relief, RONDEAU reconfigures and transfigures his original prints. Days worth of interlacing and knitting, such that the final image is a composition of multiple images. The product is therefore unique, as a special chemistry holds the disparate parts together, creating a whole new image.
Am I the myth or the reality?
Am I the dream or the illusion?
Am I wished or to reject?
Am I of flesh or plastic?
Am I the object or the desire?
Am I Marilyn or Venus?
Am I of consumption or expression?
Am I a code or a password?
Am I the sex or love?
Am I an icon or a fantasy?
You am I?
Stéphane Le Duc