Barbezat-Villetard and Patric Sandri
at Tart Gallery, Zurich
In painting and photography one calls ‚Scheinräume‘ (german) as the negative space. This negative space does not represent the center of attention, but rather the background and describes the basic surface of the object-ground relationship. In the three-dimensional space, the negative space is that area that surrounds the objects and also points to the cavities in and of the objects themselves. This is the space defined between the things, an immaterial space. In the exhibition ‚Scheinräume‘ Barbezat-Villetard (* 1981 / * 1987) and Patric Sandri (* 1979) create interventions in the gallery space which act almost like shadows and underline the actual space. The interventions generate spatial atmospheres in a very painterly manner that touch the subjective feeling, dissolve and diffuse the observed. The installations and objects succeed in different ways to weaken the visual image of the limitation of space and to strengthen the spatial imagination.
Patric Sandri’s painterly objects shift between assignment and dissolution. In his objects, light and color are not used as an illusionistic stylistic device, but rather are incorporated into the entire work. Dissolving takes place through the white surfaces, which act like floating walls and create an open image space. Depth is not depicted but is produced by the backsides painted with neon pigments. Again and again, one tries to see the ‚paintings‘ of Patric Sandri ‚to an end’. Each time, however, one fails again. The interspace are illuminated by the artificially generated light effect of the neon pigments, which radiate on the surfaces of the surroundings or the environment. Everything ends in a pictorial nothing, an illusion.
The works of Barbezat-Villetard also produce an ‘expanded space‘. The couple is concerned again and again with the questions of identity and reality. The light installation “je suis l’espace où je suis” *, which adorns a wall of the exhibition, points to the unlimited possibilities of legibility. It animates the viewer to read between the lines. In this simplicity of supposed logic, a space is hidden. The sentence works as a palindrome, so it can be read backwards and forwards ‚I am the space in which I am, or am I the space in which I am’. The seemingly visual construction of space and the necessary parameters are not present any more by the play of visible and invisible. Through the simple gestures or the pure reduction, they create new perceptions of the space, whereby the visual perception of the possibility of ‚sighting‘ is not a matter of the visual perception, but rather the action of the viewer himself.
In both of the works by Barbezat-Villetard & Patric Sandri ‚perception‘, is a main subject in this exhibition. Both positions are concerned with the experience and the recognition of complex processes, whereby this questioning is not merely taking place through intuition, but above all on a sensory emotional level.
*Noël Arnaud (1919-2003, French)