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Rodney Graham and Jonathan Monk's 'Many hands make light work' on view at Until Then
Installation view.

ST OUEN.- From 1st March until 10th May, Until Then proposes an exhibition by Rodney Graham and Jonathan Monk. Formulated as a discussion, it presents new creations by the 2 artists designed for the recently opened space at the Puces de St Ouen flea market. Resulting from spontaneous play that swiftly took place during their exchanges, the works pose questions and interact.

To begin with, there is ‘Objet trouvé’ (found object) by Jonathan Monk: 3 monumental fingers sculpted from Carrara marble are scattered across the gallery’s rough floor. Like relics that have been bargain-hunted, they resemble treasure but their source remains uncertain… The work in response by Rodney Graham is more controlled: a made-to-measure ‘Optimo’ hat emerges from a huge steel sheet. Deliberately overwhelming, the sculpture contrasts with the freedom of the instigating gesture: an elegant and playful throw of the hat within the artist’s studio. Photos of it complete the installation.

The conversation continues, the references multiply… the 2 artists propose a series of exclusive works, taking full possession of their new playground.

Since the mid-1970s, the Canadian artist Rodney Graham (born in Vancouver in 1949) has been interrogating the fundamentals of our cultural and intellectual history through photography, cinema, music, painting and art performances. By using wide-ranging artistic strategies and literary references as diverse as Lewis Carroll, Sigmund Freud, Mallarmé, Edgar Allan Poe, Ian Fleming or the Grimm brothers, the artist resorts to stratagems that enable him to rethink the relation between reality and its representation. Humor and irony abound in this melancholy observer of a modernity that constantly blurs our bearings.

Jonathan Monk was born in 1969 in Leicester, UK. After graduating from the Glasgow Art School in 1991, he very quickly became an iconic artist on the international art scene. Often based on the principle of appropriation, his work resorts to well-known episodes of art history and borrows from famous artists, images, replicas of everyday objects that he combines in a humorous way to debunk artistic creation. Interrogating linguistic and semantic systems, he mingles homage and humor, as well as personal context and art history. Thus he creates conjunctions between the art world, its little stories and everyday life, lavishly using derision and humor. He lives and works in Berlin.

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