Here Didier Marcel, whom we know as a romantic model-maker to quote Jérôme Mauche takes us for a stroll. More exactly a stroll through the exhibition venue. Fortunately everything we see is a mix of the fake and the very fake, as in the case of Mother Nature and our media-mediated relationship with her.
Didier Marcel borrows from reality and sculpts from life. Whether the imprint is taken from the living or the mineral, and whether the model itself is artificial, the choice hinges systematically on a highly personal rapport with the banal: with everything that's ordinary and invisible, everything that merges with the landscape.
For the ARC
Marcel has come up with something like the last stage of a work in progress, the bit you only get to see on opening day. From one project to another there's an ongoing something or other, a kind of attempt at documenting reality, some endlessly renewed Sisyphean operation. But then his work always contains this radical questioning of man's engagement with nature.
His method is founded on mise en abîme, on the realisation that the natural is itself something staged, to the point where it is all but impossible to sort out the true from the false. The artist samples fragments of man-made landscapes, then reproduces them artificially before situating them in the pared-down setting of the museum.
Didier Marcel was part of the ARC Workshops of 1988 and won the first Ricard Foundation prize in 1999. He has had a number of solo exhibitions, notably at MAMCO in Geneva (2005), the Musée dArt Moderne et Contemporain in Strasbourg (2006) and MUDAM in Luxembourg (2009). He is also a contributor to the art segment of the new Paris tramline T3 East.
Didier Marcel was born in Besançon in 1961. He lives and works in Dijon.