10.04 - 22.05.2022
Mrzyk & Moriceau
Never send Flowers
Mrzyk & Moriceau, Sans titre, 2021. Ink on paper, 42 x 29,7 cm © Mrzyk & Moriceau
Tout semble légèrement détraqué au moment de franchir le seuil de l’exposition à la galerie Hair de Paris : difficile à décrire, ce sentiment d’altération du réel que l’on perçoit parfois à la vue de menus détails qui, additionnés les uns aux autres, dessinent un tableau d’ensemble divaguant.
Mrzyk & Moriceau, Dans les bras de Morphing, 2022. Film d'animation, Apple ProRes 422, couleur, silencieux. © Mrzyk & Moriceau
Everything seems a bit haywire when you enter the exhibition at the gallery Hair de Paris: it is hard to describe that sense of altered reality you sometimes get when you see minor details which, taken together, produce a delirious overall picture.
The title of the exhibition, Never send flowers, already has a strange perfume to it: because naming things is always tricky, Mrzyk & Moriceau came up with the smart idea of drawing systematically on the titles of James Bond novels, which works out well as there are more than eighty of them, so they can see what is coming without any fuss. It is worth noting that these titles take up recurring themes, organised as follows in order of importance: death, love, enemies, places experienced, followed by a few that seem to fall into the category of the ‘somewhat incomprehensible’. Never send flowers is one such title. Until we find out that Bond is on the trail of a former stage actor, a shifty character called David Dragonpol, and quickly discovers that Dragonpol’s sister is linked to all the murders in the plot: she cultivates a variety of rose that is found at the funeral of every victim.
After this taster evoking flowers and corpses, Mrzyk & Moriceau’s exhibition opens into a group of coloured ceramics, a practice the artist duo has recently been exploring. An elongated platform suggests the idea of a catwalk: on parade are a medieval crakow (or long-toed shoe), a cowboy boot with fungus growing on it, an open-toe slipper, a sock-and-sandal combo in the wrong size, and a moccasin-style nubuck loafer. Along with a chicken’s foot and a human hand. And it turns out that these different fragments of bodies, shoes topped with socks and boots all resemble vases, the containers in which we carefully arrange the bouquets we never send.
In this first room, other ceramic objects continue the work’s peculiar spirit of something gone awry, inscribed in a dynamic world of the imagination, everything sliding into the unpredictable and unexpected, shifting between games of analogy and games of displacement. Cigarette butts show up on the rims of mugs, earthworms scroll away on iPhones, a slice of pizza gets all origummy-chummy with a paper plane: concrete reality hangs out with the supernatural, the identifiable never strays far from the bizarre. Carelman’s Catalogue d’objets introuvables come to mind: these ceramics would slot in perfectly between the glove shoes for foot jugglers and the soft pincers. This quirky collection is rounded off by twelve drawings exploring Mrzyk & Moriceau’s favourite themes: brains and dogs, uninhibited fruit and vegetables, and sexual pastimes. Three delirious drawings, stuffed with recurring motifs that are nonetheless incongruous, are indicative of how the energy of these spontaneous drawings runs riot, when the hand is freed from the brain’s injunctions and expresses all its figurative urges. Finally, a tempest of eyes is let loose on four glass panels placed one on top of the other, combining the characteristics of transparency and obscuration with focal points and openings in the material, a flip-through device inspired by old-fashioned cartoon cellulos.
From the catwalk to the cosmos. In a second space plunged into darkness, a hitherto unseen cartoon is projected right across the back wall, creating the maximum immersive effect. Dans les bras de morphing recounts the pleasure derived from the constant metamorphosis of lines – a metamorphosis or distortion that is at the heart of Mrzyk & Moriceau’s aesthetic: the story of a movement that falls in love with itself while taking into its orbit the rational vestiges of a world that has become too staid and immobile. The hallucinatory phenomenon rests on a classic form-generating principle, with the arrival of successive linear waves, a kind of arcade game. Even if there is no direct influence involved, the graphic and chromatic approach brings to mind certain visual poems animated by Oskar Fischinger and Norman McLaren, or the psychedelic fantasies of Vince Collins. All through this disturbing chain of events, Mrzyk and Moriceau’s universe unfolds itself in serial effects: as with desire, the drawing slakes the fantasies of hybridisation, where everything mutates and intermingles. Objects, vegetables and animals find themselves endowed with human attributes, while human bodies are transfigured at every possible opportunity. There is no time to linger in this frenetic morphogenesis. Swingers equals winners.
Translated by Simon Cowper