Shores of Confidence
Curated by Florent Frizet
One minute space, Athens
28.01 –26.02. 2022
When it comes to objects, possession gives title. For this new solo exhibition, Eric Stephany once again undermines the codes of ownership and appropriates a multitude of objects and their contents. The circulation of these same objects and of the bodies and the looks that accompany them, politicise all relationships to our environment. The public space, a real field of action where everything could be available to all, is the real matrix of a secret harvest that the artist reveals to us. In contrast to Nicolas Poussin’s painting of Moses and his companions saved from hunger by a mercy that fell from heaven (The Harvest of Manna, 1611), Stephany looks for what lies beneath our feet. These objects are above all links, intermediaries, suggesting by their traces what unites us in everyday life. Whether it is through the ground, a bottle, a light, a language, or even a meeting, our bodies, our words and our feelings stumble on the sincerity of the links we create every day.
However the exhibition contains in itself its counterpoint. The wandering inevitably moves in a much more exclusive and impermeable way towards a progressive deprivation of information, transforming our condition of spectators to that of accomplices. Through this ultimate test of trust, from one individual to another or even from a state to its citizens, Stephany leaves room for a violence hidden within its most visible signifiers.
Finally each interaction would be determined by tacit agreements of which only time would be the judge. Whether they exist to bring us closer or to isolate us, each object carries within it every possibility, every probability. Like Felix Gonzales-Torres’s ‘Untitled (Perfect Lovers)’ (1991), nothing assures or certifies that we are as immutable as the rock and that our wills will break the chains of chance. On the contrary, we belong to an inaccessible tangent that the artist, by his displacements, comes to transfigure in his works.