Exhibition

Sentier: In the shadow of the panopticon

espace d'art contemporain 14°N 61°W, Fort de France, Martinique
26 Mar 2016 - 07 May 2016

SENTIER, A l’ombre du panoptique, 2016, etchings, monotypes & stencils, 125 x 165 cm

As an individual, reality appears to Sentier as dominated by the fragmentation, by the dislocation, the however inseparable processes for him of the ideas of assembly, of interlacing, and relation. It is the conclusion that anyone can make.

Disaster is a powerful force present throughout the macrocosmic universe in all its dimensions, and mankind can not escape its course, but he resists it via creation. Society is fragmented into subjects, in individualities over which it has all sorts of powers. In many ways, it ressembles a prison and more precisely to a panopticon, this singular shape of prison architecture designed in the XVIIIth century to allow close monitoring of every prisoner. Michel Foucault interprets this concept in his book “Surveiller et punir” (Monitor and punish) as a paradigm of our society that isolates people from one another to better control them. We all realized in recent years, thanks to those now called whistleblowers, how we never know who is watching or listening to us. We can not even hide in a crowd, because it is individually that we are observed through all the appliances we are equipped with.

The artistic practice is for Sentier a field of resistances. For him it is an open and free activity, even if it seems too often framed, misguided, reduced to the production of goods.

Art is for the artist an attempt to overcome confusion, even from this revolt which sometimes invades him, in the face of natural catastrophic phenomena, listening the official discourse of too often falsifiers, or even in front of injustices and cruelty. By practicing, Sentier tries to connect the inescapable presence of disaster with this desire to compose, to structure, which dominates his actions and thoughts, he accompanies what forms and falls to pieces simultaneously.

Art can disrupt the categories and practices, but it will certainly never have the power to prevent the destructions and the massacres, however powerful certain works can be. How could aesthetic contemplation , poetic emotion counter violence and devastation? When the worst arises, when the devastation annihilates beings and things, when personal freedoms are scoffed, art has no place, but it does not disappear.

The works displayed in this exhibition are assemblies made using very different techniques. They are forms of heterogeneous arrangements, layouts of ill-assorted fragments, patching up remnants and ruins, temporary arrangements of makeshift objects. In this singular approach, an assembly is not the creation of a unified structure, but rather a careful experimentation playing with the complexity of disasters.Old and new mingle in the processes and in the artistic words of Sentier.

This is the way digital photography meets engraving and drawing or that synthetic resins are combined with plaster and wood. Image and volume join them also. Photographs are printed using an ink jet printer on a paper usually reserved for drawing or etchings which provides the ability to draw and paint directly on the print. The assemblages of images or objects are arranged in the exhibition space like a theater stage. Like the elements that are used to structure the scenography of a show, they are not designed to keep definitive shape. They are removable, that is to say, each part which composes them can be considered as an autonomous work. The works on paper are temporarily fixed to the wall with tacks or small nails, while volumes can be displayed on the floor or on supports of varied sizes and materials which participate in the sense of achievement.

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