Thursday, November 23, 2023

In apnea. Paintings by Caroline Ledoux. Gallery Nostrum (BE). Nov 2023.

November 10th - December 9th, 2023.

Man is captive and a stranger to a world that escapes him.

Animist thought.

Pastel colored bunkers, refined or dark landscapes, the world is magical and scary.

The landscape is active.

Fascinated but resigned, spectral beings, wander melancholically and passively in this strange universe for which they do not have the codes.

In apnea. Between two eras.

And our ruins in freeze frame…

Man is captive and a stranger to a world that escapes him.

In the 1960s, the chemist James Lovelock (1919-2022) formulated the hypothesis of an Earth capable of self-regulation.

This theory is still subject to controversy but it is, for the philosopher Bruno Latour, as important as the discovery of heliocentrism by Galileo. It still infuses current thinkers and is at the heart of numerous debates around the Anthropocene.

In this vision, each organism necessarily contributes to the balance of the system. This notion of community induces an equivalence of roles: it is a fragile alchemy of the whole which allows life to continually adapt and persist for three billion years. If an element fails, it is eliminated.

In my paintings the earth system, deterministic, has decided to continue to function without man.

No longer having their place in this model, spectral beings, wander resigned, in apnea, in a worrying world for which they no longer have the codes, and which ignores them.

Existence hanging by a thread.

The traces of their passage remain, like stigmata of their dysfunctions: empty battlefields, bunkers from the Second World War, the ghost mining town of Ha-Shima*... so many marks of failures of being at world.

*Ha-Shima (or Gunkan-jima) is a coal mining island city off the coast of Nagasaki, Japan. Massively exploited by Mitsubishi since 1890, this territory of 0.063 km2 had the highest population density in the world in the 1950s. After having suffered numerous typhoons, hostile and dilapidated, it is today listed as a UNESCO world heritage site.

Caroline Ledoux is originally from Namur (Be). In 2014 she began studying painting at the Academy of Fine arts in Wavre (Be). Since then she has participated in numerous exhibitions across Belgium and in 2020 was awarded the public prize at the Concours des arts plastiques et visuels de Nivelles (Be). Recent exhibitions include Osmoses, Osmosekes  at Espace Hors Les Murs (Tangissart, Be) and Cracks at Wetground (Brussels, Be).

This is Caroline’s first solo-exhibition at Gallery Nostrum. Her work was previously included in the Galleries’ group exhibition bodies: noun/verb (Jan ’23) and JOY SANDWICH (Jul ’23), a world-wide project devised by renowned British artist, Stuart Semple.

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