Heureusement que la pensée est muette
Johan Muyle monte sa première exposition personnelle à la galerie J. Cerami. Il présentera un ensemble d’œuvres (mises en scène dans l’obscurité): sculpture animée, photographie, peinture, installation lumineuse ...
Johan Muyle (Charleroi, 1956; lives and works in Liege and in Valenciennes, France) is one of the most active Belgian artists on the international scene. He is known equally well for his assemblages made from heterogeneous objects and for his large-scale installations. Evoking ironic situations and referencing popular expressions, the latter frequently employ derisive humor as a means of coming to grips with complex social and political issues. He represented Belgium at the 1998 Sao Paulo Biennial and Milan in 2001.
Born to Flemish parents in Montignies-sur-Sambre, Belgium, in 1956, Johan Muyle lives and works in Liege and teaches at the School of Fine Arts in Valenciennes, France. In the 1980s he realized a series of designs and stage sets for cinema and theatre while focusing primarily on creating sculptures assembled from diverse objects and laced with autobiographical content (Man with Woman’s Hands, 1986). Using ingeniously devised motors, he animated the sculptures he constructed from found objects.
From 1993 to 1995, Muyle made several trips to Kinshasa, where he worked with local artists and craftsmen, among them, the painter Cherry Samba. Muyle involved the city’s street children in making hand-crafted objects which he subsequently incorporated into his animated sculptures. These pieces convey the artist’s strong impressions of daily life in Kinshasa under the regime of Mobutu, marked by the spread of famine, Aids, etc. Muyle’s Kinshasa experiences also galvanized his belief in the necessity of confronting the Other. “The humanist convictions I had entertained before going to Kinshasa were radically put to the test. I realized that, as an artist and a product of the West, I had to call into question my own ethnocentric reflexes and to take into consideration multiple points of view.”
In 1995, Muyle traveled to India, where in Madras he was struck by the billboards advertising newly released Bollywood movies. Early on, he acquired some of these gigantic illustrations, which are the work of commercial artists, in the same spirit of recuperation and recycling which he applied to the other objects he incorporated into his sculptures. But after several trips and many studio visits, he decided to collaborate with a team of Madras painters in order to create large-scale portraits based on photographs of himself, his family and friends. This is how, from 1996 to 2004, Muyle produced his major Indian installations. They introduced two new elements in his art--team work and monumentality-- and combine the cinematographic style of the Madras Bollywood painters with inscriptions emulating Indian calligraphy. The whole is stamped by Muyle’s kinetic signature. Electro-mechanical devices make lips move, eyes roll, and water spurt forth. With nostalgia and humor, Muyle’s imagery intertwines diverse origins, nationalities, social classes, and Eastern and Western savvy.
Ten years later, the artist had produced nearly two dozen monumental pieces, one of which was a 12-meter-high motorized self-portrait, Holyworld, presented on the façade of B.P.S. 22 in September 2004. Since then Muyle has acquired international recognition. He represented Belgium at the 1998 Sao Paulo Biennial; realized I Promise You(’re) a Miracle, a public commission (2001-2003) at Brussels’ North Station; executed an immense photomontage on the Zeebruge bridge for the triennial of contemporary art on the coast (What a Wonderful World, 2003); exhibited in major capital cities, etc. Many of his works have entered public and private collections.
Since 2004, Muyle has once again been concentrating on producing kinetic sculptures assembled from objects gathered during his travels, found at flea markets or ordered over the internet. In these works, he takes a singularly critical, poetically distanced look at the human condition (Death Will Come and It will have Your Eyes, La Redoute); current events: the far right (The Hidden Side of the Moon), the war in Iraq (Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho), the U.S. (Such a Tranquil Ocean, A Walk on the Moon), India (Not Much News of Mahatma, Sorry, So Sorry) the radicalization of religions ((No) More Opium for the People), the disappearance of utopian collectives (Red).
Johan Muyle lives and works in Liege (Belgium) and in Valenciennes (France) is one of the most active Belgian artists on the international scene. He is known equally well for his assemblages made from heterogeneous objects and for his large-scale installations. Evoking ironic situations and referencing popular expressions, the latter frequently employ derisive humor as a means of coming to grips with complex social and political issues.
Composed of diverse elements, Muyle’s works frequently include movement, sound and/or light, elements which at first sight make the pieces seem carnivalesque. The tangible components generally consist of found objects, flea market finds, and paintings executed by others. For instance, Muyle’s commissioned the Cine Banners Painters in Madras, India, creators of billboard portraits advertising popular movies, to execute large-scale paintings from images he provided. Muyle followed their work closely before incorporating it into his own kinetic installations.
Johan Muyle’s art is imbued with humanist values--most notably, respect for the Other. Without proposing solutions, he questions the world and induces his audience to reflect upon the issues raised in his work. For instance, Muyle treats the subject of human differences in such a way as to evoke the notion of coexistence rather than of opposition. For him, mixed-race and cross-cultural identities are emphatically positive attributes, and it is this complementarity of differences (sociological, cultural, religious, philosophical, etc.) to which his work alludes. Juxtaposing contradictory ideas which complete rather than oppose one another, and consistently privileging inquiry over assertion, Muyle presents a participatory, ethical and poetic view of alterity.
|Exposerende kunstenaar(s) / exhibited artist(s):|
Galerie Jacques Cerami
Route de Philippeville 346, B-6010 Couillet (Charleroi), +32-71-360065/+32-477784434, open: wo t/m vr 14.00-19.00, za 11.00-18.00
Expositieperiode van 26 april t/m 31 mei 2008