Is my soul losing control?
Exhibition: 19 May – 15 Jul 2006
32, rue Blanche
186 rue Washington str
Tue-Fri 11-18, Sat 14-18
Daniele Buetti: Is My Soul Losing Control ? Daniele Buetti's new video installations are on show at the Aeroplastics Gallery, as well as a wide selection of work on paper under the title Is My Soul Losing Control? For anyone whose knowledge of his work is limited to the big portraits of top models with scarred faces or bodies, the pieces on display here offer a different, more fundamental facet of his work. The glamorous side of the images has given way to the minimalism of installations whose apparent hermetic nature contrasts with the immediate nature of the message in the large photos. The same applies to the work on paper, the dark colours and very graphic appearance of which is far removed from the aesthetics of fashion magazines. Yet these pieces are a key to understanding the protean work of Daniele Buetti. In his previous work, in the case of the names of the big couturiers or of big multinationals, the simulated tattoos contribute to the demystification of canons of beauty and of the corresponding marketing strategies (G. Carmine). While the critical dimension of this approach is clear, the simplicity of the means applied to develop it is perhaps less so. However, this refusal to access "rich" materials, upheld by Buetti, is to be found in the pieces he is now displaying at Aeroplastics: the video installations consist of second-hand chairs and tables, while the work on paper is produced using an inkjet printing process. There is a symbolic dimension to this formal relationship: the entire work of Buetti – photographs, luminous boxes, installations, sculptures, objects, etc. – illustrates the artist's perception of what he calls the "Comédie humaine", the huge freak show of our lives. The series Is My Soul Losing Control? reflects the need to achieve a more intimate knowledge of ourselves and of others: these hands and bodies produce and exchange energy flows which illuminate and transcend the grey or brown background against which they stand out. Daniele Buetti proceeds by producing a collage of elements, some of which he has drawn himself, with others taken from various sources. The transposition of the composition in a digital printout confers the final unity. The representation of the vital energy is borrowed quite naturally from the punctuation pattern used by the artist for his light installations. According to one commentator of his work, the artist is here engaged in "experimentation concerning formal possibilities of image production". His videos form part of a similar approach: they are more "images in movement" than actual films. The very special way in which they are exhibited naturally influences the way the viewer looks at them. Buetti considers that the aim is to achieve unity between the sculpture which, quite literally, underpins the images, and vice-versa – without commenting on one or other. The simplicity of the materials used for the "base" are echoed in the studies of the fixed scenes, such as that of the swimming-pool where nothing happens: an empty moment which depicts the idea of waiting or expectation. The artist approximates this image to that of the young boy in the sand whose face is hidden by a diving-mask, and who seems to be struggling like a wounded swan. An isolated individual before a kind of hut brings about a feeling of "uncanny strangeness" in the onlooker (Freud, das Umheimliche), but who seems for a while to be frightened by us. Waiting is expressed here, too, waiting for a meeting with the other, a meeting that may not occur. The mask is not surprising here: this idea of physical deformation, which is grotesque in the original meaning of the term, was already found in Le Grand Rhume (Marseilles, 2004), an installation in which a huge, hyper-realistic nose seemed to have pierced the ceiling and dripped endlessly on the floor of the room. The plastic ball that goes forward and backward without any apparent logic represents the drunken ship on which a human comedy that is both comic and tragic is being played out. P.-Y. Desaive