Etienne Chambaud, Inexistence

Etienne Chambaud, Inexistence

Esther Schipper, Berlin
July 14 – August 28, 2021
Closing in
  • Esther Schipper is pleased to present an Online Viewing Room dedicated to Etienne Chambaud’s exhibition Inexistence, the artist’s first with the gallery. The works included in the exhibitions are a scent and a sound installation, a sculptural work generating a pattern of temperatures, three light installations, glass works, bronze sculptures and modified panel paintings.

  • Exhibition view: Etienne Chambaud, Inexistence, Esther Schipper, Berlin 2021. Photo © Andrea Rossetti
  • Multiplex, 2021


     

    Multiplex is an olfactory installation. From a cut cleanly circular hole through a dividing wall, two scents emanate. The two scents share a chemical compound yet are fundamentally different. While one derives from tiger marking fluid, the other has an aroma reminiscent of the scent of an empty movie theater—it contains notes of dust, velvet, sweat, plastic, candy as well as pop-corn.

     

    The shared component is 2-acetyl 1-pyrroline (2AP), an aroma compound and flavor that gives, for example, freshly baked bread, jasmine and basmati rice their characteristic scent. At the same time, it is found in fresh marking fluid and urine of tigers (Indian, Amur or Siberian) and Indian leopards.

  • The two scents are variously diffused and thus experienced differently: while the scent associated with movie theaters is diffused wider and continuously, the one associated with animal markings has a narrower range, in order to recreate the passage of a tiger. This difference suggests a distinction between territory and a more generalized sense of space, between the realm of animals and a cultural space.

     

    The work draws on the archaic power of olfactory perception, and on the encoding of information either altogether beyond human perception or outside of conscious knowledge. At the same time, Multiplex reinforces the notion of art works that are appearing and disappearing, a major theme of Etienne Chambaud's exhibition at the gallery, Inexistence.

  • Exhibition view: Etienne Chambaud, Inexistence, Esther Schipper, Berlin 2021. Photo © Andrea Rossetti
    Exhibition view: Etienne Chambaud, Inexistence, Esther Schipper, Berlin 2021. Photo © Andrea Rossetti
    • Etienne Chambaud Fever (Harlequin Malaria), 2019 Computer simulation, heating device, sensors, aluminum, cables Dimensions variable
      Etienne Chambaud
      Fever (Harlequin Malaria), 2019
      Computer simulation, heating device, sensors, aluminum, cables
      Dimensions variable

    Fever (Harlequin Malaria), 2019


     

    With the installation Fever (Harlequin Malaria), Chambaud transposes the symptoms of an illness onto an inanimate object: a section of the wall exhibits the temperature pattern of a specific disease. Palpably warm, the development can also be read on the thermometer’s display from where several sensors extend antennae-like across the wall.

     

    The temperature variations, modelled from the febrile patterns of actual diseases, are transmitted to the architecture of the exhibition space, measured back and displayed on a screen. The system self-regulates its own temperature as the climactic conditions of the space change.

     

    The parenthetical part of the title names both a specific condition which may cause this temperature profile and the color in which the graph is shown on the display.

     

  • Exhibition view: Etienne Chambaud, Inexistence, Esther Schipper, Berlin 2021. Photo © Andrea Rossetti
    Exhibition view: Etienne Chambaud, Inexistence, Esther Schipper, Berlin 2021. Photo © Andrea Rossetti
  • Necknot, 2020


     

    A bronze sculpture from the series Necknot is placed on the floor. Both organic and mathematical, it consists of an assemblage of severed bird’s necks—among them ducks and geese—joined together in a continuous knot.

     

    Beautiful and quietly poignant, the necks of the Necknot hold each other end to end in infinite loops. Their softly shimmering shapes oscillate between abstraction and representation, their undulating lines invoking past impressions of the graceful long necks of wild fowl yet its anatomy here also registering as harmonious geometric composition.

     

    • Etienne Chambaud Necknot, 2020 Bronze 28 x 27 x 21 cm (11 1/8 x 10 5/8 x 8 1/4 in) Edition of 3
      Etienne Chambaud
      Necknot, 2020
      Bronze
      28 x 27 x 21 cm (11 1/8 x 10 5/8 x 8 1/4 in)
      Edition of 3
    • Etienne Chambaud Necknot, 2020 Bronze 32 x 26 x 24 cm (12 5/8 x 10 1/4 x 9 1/2 in) Edition of 3
      Etienne Chambaud
      Necknot, 2020
      Bronze
      32 x 26 x 24 cm (12 5/8 x 10 1/4 x 9 1/2 in)
      Edition of 3
    • Etienne Chambaud Necknot, 2020 Bronze 50 x 32 x 21 cm (19 3/4 x 12 5/8 x 8 1/4 in) Edition of 3
      Etienne Chambaud
      Necknot, 2020
      Bronze
      50 x 32 x 21 cm (19 3/4 x 12 5/8 x 8 1/4 in)
      Edition of 3
  • The neck is the body part that allows the distinction and separation between the torso and the head. But if the neck is a separator, it is also a connector: the place through which air and food pass, where screams, voices and songs are produced, through which interiority expresses itself. This paradoxical form exists almost only because of what it both separates and connects, because of what it holds at its two extremities. By the simple fact that it can be more easily severed than other parts of the body, the neck has enabled the invention and development of dualism—the distinction between body and mind, between physical and mental states—and has thus had a lasting influence on the fate of human thought. 

    — Etienne Chambaud, 2021

  • Exhibition view: Etienne Chambaud, Inexistence, Esther Schipper, Berlin 2021. Photo © Andrea Rossetti
    Exhibition view: Etienne Chambaud, Inexistence, Esther Schipper, Berlin 2021. Photo © Andrea Rossetti
  • Syrinx, 2021


     

    A sound installation entitled Syrinx brings into the gallery space the sound of multiple songbirds. Each work from the series consists of a neural network producing the song of a single bird from an identified species of origin (a blackbird, a nightingale, a duck, etc.).

     

    Installed alone, the bird will sing with various rhythms and an internal logic during the day, for example, less vocal at certain times and more active during other periods. Its vocalization will remain within a given range of its original species / identity (for instance, the one of a given nightingale), yet its song could slowly evolve and drift. If exposed to another bird (from the same species or another) or multiple birds, one bird would slowly transform his song, as it is influenced by the song of the other(s). If exposed long enough, the specific identity might disappear.

     

    A livestream of the sound installation currently presented in the exhibition can be experienced HERE.

  • The title of the series, Syrinx, refers to the specialized “second” voice box of birds. That organ was named in reference to a Greek myth: in this story, told in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, the nymph Syrinx, fleeing from Pan’s advances, is turned into reed. Pan cuts the grass and hence makes his pipes from this reed. 

     

    Similar to the myth of Daphne and Pan, the god’s use of the material constitutes an act of appropriation and even violation.

     

    Following works from the series are presented in the exhibition:

     

    Syrinx (Ex Corvus), 2021 (two variations) – genus Corvus which includes crows and ravens

    Syrinx (Ex Anas), 2021 – genus Anas which includes dabbling ducks

    Syrinx (Ex Mimus), 2021 – genus Mimus which includes mockingbirds

    Syrinx (Ex Erithacus), 2021 – genus Erithacus which includes robins

    Syrinx (Ex Luscinia), 2021 – genus Luscinia which includes nightingales

     

     

     

     

  • Exhibition view: Etienne Chambaud, Inexistence, Esther Schipper, Berlin 2021. Photo © Andrea Rossetti
    Exhibition view: Etienne Chambaud, Inexistence, Esther Schipper, Berlin 2021. Photo © Andrea Rossetti
  • Model for Afar (Solis Lacus, 7 November 1492), 2021


     

    The only light source in the exhibition space is provided by the three works from Chambaud’s series Models for Afar. Between a lightbox and a lamp suspended from the ceiling, each work from the series emanates softly modulated light formations as it is programmed to simulate the atmospheric and meteorological light conditions of the sky at a specific time and place.

     

    Bathed in a red glow, Model for Afar (Solis Lacus, 7 November 1492) the spectator will experience a solar Martian day of the late 15th century.

  • The specified location is the so-called Solus Lacus on Mars, while the date refers to the earliest witnessed meteorite in the West, still existing today. It was a “media” event, with broadsheets printed and at the time was read as a propitious sign for an impending battle by King Maximilian with the French in 1492. The meteorite event then had historical consequences, even though it is little know today.

     

    The familiarity with the date from other events is intended: the landfall of Colombus in Caribbean, the fall of Granada, the edict of expulsions of Jews from Spain, are other associations that come to mind in this period.

  • Model for Afar (Regensburg, 5 November 333 BCE), 2021


     

    The work combines the date of Alexander the Great’s battle at Issus, depicted in a work by Albrecht Altdorfer (now held in the Alte Pinakothek in Munich) with the German artist’s location when he painted the representation in 1529. 

  • Model for Afar (Terror Bay, 14 July 1789), 2021


     

    The specified location is Terror Bay, in the Canadian Arctic, the date coincides with the Storming of the Bastille, considered a defining moment of the French Revolution. To this day, July 14 is a national holiday in France.

     

    The bay in the Arctic was named Terror Bay in 1910. Coincidentally a shipwreck of the HMS Terror, lost in 1848, was found here in 2016. The bay was one of a series of landmarks along the waters explored by Franklin's lost expedition between 1845 and 1848. The more than 400 years search for a Northwest Passage connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans was a near mythic quest, with far-reaching consequences for the history of colonialization, commerce, and, today, climate change.

  • Exhibition view: Etienne Chambaud, Inexistence, Esther Schipper, Berlin 2021. Photo © Andrea Rossetti
    Exhibition view: Etienne Chambaud, Inexistence, Esther Schipper, Berlin 2021. Photo © Andrea Rossetti
    • Etienne Chambaud Globe, 2021 Glass, staples, snake skin, bronze powder, coffee, coprolite, electrical cable, horse hair, sand dollar and credit card 21 x 20 x 18 cm (8 1/4 x 7 7/8 x 7 1/8 in)
      Etienne Chambaud
      Globe, 2021
      Glass, staples, snake skin, bronze powder, coffee, coprolite, electrical cable, horse hair, sand dollar and credit card
      21 x 20 x 18 cm (8 1/4 x 7 7/8 x 7 1/8 in)

    Globe, 2021


     

    A glass sculpture from the series Globes that contains and conserves the remains of objects and materials that were destroyed and transformed by the very process of their inclusion in the molten glass, refracts the light from Model for Afar (Regensburg, 5 November 333 BCE).

     

    An ancient practice, the production of glass has always been considered a particularly poignant transformation of materials such as sand into a material miraculous for its durability and fragility, its apparent fluidity and actual solidity.

  • Detail: Etienne Chambaud, Globe, 2021, glass, staples, snake skin, bronze powder, coffee, coprolite, electrical cable, horse hair, sand dollar and credit card, 21 x 20 x 18 cm (8 1/4 x 7 7/8 x 7 1/8 in). Photo © Andrea Rossetti
    • Etienne Chambaud Globe, 2021 Glass, electronic circuit, nutshell, seashell, feather, bone powder, rust, banknote and RJ45 connector 27 x 20 x 23 cm (10 5/8 x 7 7/8 x 9 1/8 in)
      Etienne Chambaud
      Globe, 2021
      Glass, electronic circuit, nutshell, seashell, feather, bone powder, rust, banknote and RJ45 connector
      27 x 20 x 23 cm (10 5/8 x 7 7/8 x 9 1/8 in)
    • Etienne Chambaud Globe, 2021 Glass, coloured pencil, bone, plaster finger, hard drive, copper wire, makeup and dust 31 x 20 x 17 cm (12 1/4 x 7 7/8 x 6 3/4 in)
      Etienne Chambaud
      Globe, 2021
      Glass, coloured pencil, bone, plaster finger, hard drive, copper wire, makeup and dust
      31 x 20 x 17 cm (12 1/4 x 7 7/8 x 6 3/4 in)
  • Exhibition view: Etienne Chambaud, Inexistence, Esther Schipper, Berlin 2021. Photo © Andrea Rossetti
    Exhibition view: Etienne Chambaud, Inexistence, Esther Schipper, Berlin 2021. Photo © Andrea Rossetti
    • Etienne Chambaud Uncreature, 2021 Oil and gold leaf on wood panel 17 x 14 x 4 cm (6 3/4 x 5 1/2 x 1 5/8 in)
      Etienne Chambaud
      Uncreature, 2021
      Oil and gold leaf on wood panel
      17 x 14 x 4 cm (6 3/4 x 5 1/2 x 1 5/8 in)

    Uncreatures, 2021


     

    Quiet gazes appear to issue forth from Chambaud’s series Uncreatures. The historical icons, panel paintings of religious figures represented against a golden background—the symbol of uncreated light—have been modified and the figures, except for their eyes, covered entirely with gold leaf. The chromatic difference between recently applied and original gilding, perhaps paradoxically, makes visible the outline of the hidden figure.

     

    Their gaze acts as a spatial marker, emanating from the expanse in a certain direction, but also a temporal one, as if the observer were encountering not just a representation but its spectral presence.

    • Etienne Chambaud Uncreature, 2021 Oil and gold leaf on wood panel 41,5 x 29,7 x 4 cm (16 3/8 x 11 3/4 x 1 1/2 in)
      Etienne Chambaud
      Uncreature, 2021
      Oil and gold leaf on wood panel
      41,5 x 29,7 x 4 cm (16 3/8 x 11 3/4 x 1 1/2 in)
    • Etienne Chambaud Uncreature, 2021 Oil and gold leaf on wood panel 31 x 26 x 6 cm (12 1/4 x 10 1/4 x 2 3/8 in)
      Etienne Chambaud
      Uncreature, 2021
      Oil and gold leaf on wood panel
      31 x 26 x 6 cm (12 1/4 x 10 1/4 x 2 3/8 in)
    • Etienne Chambaud Uncreature, 2021 Oil and gold leaf on wood panel 25 x 22 x 5 cm (9 7/8 x 8 5/8 x 2 in)
      Etienne Chambaud
      Uncreature, 2021
      Oil and gold leaf on wood panel
      25 x 22 x 5 cm (9 7/8 x 8 5/8 x 2 in)
  • Works from the Uncreatures series. Exhibition view: Etienne Chambaud, Inexistence, Esther Schipper, Berlin 2021. Photo © Andrea Rossetti
    Works from the Uncreatures series. Exhibition view: Etienne Chambaud, Inexistence, Esther Schipper, Berlin 2021. Photo © Andrea Rossetti
    • Etienne Chambaud Uncreature, 2021 Oil and gold leaf on wood panel 43,3 x 37,6 x 7 cm (17 1/8 x 14 3/4 x 2 3/4 in)
      Etienne Chambaud
      Uncreature, 2021
      Oil and gold leaf on wood panel
      43,3 x 37,6 x 7 cm (17 1/8 x 14 3/4 x 2 3/4 in)
    • Ec Works55
    • Etienne Chambaud Uncreature, 2021 Oil and gold leaf on wood panel 54 x 41,5 x 5,5 cm (21 1/4 x 16 3/8 x 2 in)
      Etienne Chambaud
      Uncreature, 2021
      Oil and gold leaf on wood panel
      54 x 41,5 x 5,5 cm (21 1/4 x 16 3/8 x 2 in)
    • Etienne Chambaud Uncreature, 2021 Oil and gold leaf on wood panel 31 x 25,5 x 5,5 cm (12 1/4 x 10 1/8 x 2 1/8 in)
      Etienne Chambaud
      Uncreature, 2021
      Oil and gold leaf on wood panel
      31 x 25,5 x 5,5 cm (12 1/4 x 10 1/8 x 2 1/8 in)
    • Etienne Chambaud Uncreature, 2021 Oil and gold leaf on wood panel 52 x 41 x 7 cm (20 1/2 x 16 1/8 x 2 3/4 in)
      Etienne Chambaud
      Uncreature, 2021
      Oil and gold leaf on wood panel
      52 x 41 x 7 cm (20 1/2 x 16 1/8 x 2 3/4 in)
    • Etienne Chambaud Uncreature, 2021 Oil and gold leaf on wood panel 40 x 30 x 5.2 cm (15 3/4 x 11 3/4 x 2 1/8 in)
      Etienne Chambaud
      Uncreature, 2021
      Oil and gold leaf on wood panel
      40 x 30 x 5.2 cm (15 3/4 x 11 3/4 x 2 1/8 in)
    • Etienne Chambaud Uncreature, 2021 Oil and gold leaf on wood panel 140,5 x 60 x 7 cm (55 1/4 x 23 5/8 x 2 3/4 in)
      Etienne Chambaud
      Uncreature, 2021
      Oil and gold leaf on wood panel
      140,5 x 60 x 7 cm (55 1/4 x 23 5/8 x 2 3/4 in)
  • Exhibition view: Etienne Chambaud, Inexistence, Esther Schipper, Berlin 2021. Photo © Andrea Rossetti
    Exhibition view: Etienne Chambaud, Inexistence, Esther Schipper, Berlin 2021. Photo © Andrea Rossetti
  • Etienne Chambaud was born 1980 in Mulhouse, France. He studied at Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL), Villa Arson, Nice, and Ecole nationale des Beaux-Arts (ENBA), Lyon. Since 2018 he has been conducting a doctoral research in the SACRe program of PSL University, Ecole Normale Supérieure and Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris. The artist lives and works in Paris.

     

    Etienne Chambaud works across a wide spectrum of media, exploring the categories we impose on experiences, objects and disciplines. Individual works, installations and exhibitions destabilize notions of what art is and can be, how an artist conceptualizes and produces a work, and the form, function, and history of the exhibition. Beautiful and complex, Chambaud’s works can change the way we see and know.

     

    The artist participated in several residency programs: EMPAC, Troy, NY (2017), Fieldwork: Marfa, Marfa, TX (2014), International Studio & Curatorial Program, ISCP, Brooklyn, NY (2011) and Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris (2003-2005).

     

    Institutional solo exhibitions include: Negative Knots, La Kunsthalle Mulhouse, Mulhouse (2018); Undercuts, Forde, Geneva (2012); Contre-Histoire de la Séparation, CIAP, Vassivière (2010); The Sirens’ Stage, David Roberts Art Foundation, London (2010); Le Stade des Sirènes, Kadist Art Foundation, Paris (2010); Lo stato delle sirene, Nomas Foundation, Rome (2010), and Color Suite, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2009).

     

    Chambaud’s work is held in the following collections: Musée national d’art moderne – Centre Pompidou, Paris; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Fond National d’Art Contemporain (FNAC), Paris; Fond Municipal d’Art Contemporain (FMAC), Paris; FRAC Île-de-France, Paris; FRAC Languedoc Roussillon, Toulouse; FRAC Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand; FRAC Piemonte,Turin; MACBA, Barcelona; Ishikawa Foundation, Okayama; Fondation Lafayette, Paris; Fondation LVMH, Paris; Kadist Art Fundation, Paris/San Francisco; Nomas Foundation, Rome; David Robert Art Foundation (DRAF), London.

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