Until 19 November 2023, Pascale Marthine Tayou is presenting “Petit Riens“, an exhibition organised by the Collection Lambert and covering both floors of the Hôtel de Montfaucon. This artistic presentation is an opportunity for the public to discover the Cameroonian artist’s new collection of works, which deal with acts that are minimal, but which over time have a major impact on our perspective of the world.
Born in Nkonsamba, Cameroon, in 1966, the artist lives and works between Belgium and his native country. Since the 1990s, his many participations in art events, including Documenta 11 (2002) in Kassel and the Venice Biennales in 2005 and 2009, have enabled him to develop a nomadic, borderless, sensitive and mixed artistic practice that assembles and remodels elements found in everyday life.
Pascale Marthine Tayou modifies the original essence of these objects by giving them a new, profound nature in a bewildering variety of media and forms, including drawings, installations, texts, performances, photographs, videos and sculptures. With a metamorphic artistic sense, the artist transforms and relocates the elements used in the practice of his art within new sensitive situations where the world is perceived as implacable according to social, cultural and political constructs, the very ideologies that it is a question of thwarting. Evolving in this spirit of deconstruction of established norms and retrograde devices, Pascale Marthine Tayou very early on added an “e” to her first and middle names. Through this feminine ending, he seeks to derisively remove himself from subjects relating to artistic authorship and attributes linked to masculinity/femininity.
In ‘Petit Riens‘, the Cameroonian artist is pursuing the same reformist ideology, with a sensitive exploration of ‘chaos-world‘, to borrow a phrase from Édouard Glissant. At the Collection Lambert, he is presenting an original artistic project comprising at least ten new monumental works and four existing ones, which have been redesigned to suit the exhibition space. During this presentation, twenty-three installations will be on view in the rooms of the museum. Each of them becomes a pretext for continuing an open conversation in which the public’s deepest convictions are reorganised. They present themselves as receptacles through which new situations are invented, giving rise to new ways of perceiving the world.
In support of her analysis of the exhibition, Pascale Marthine Tayou has this to say: “Petits Riens are those tiny things that, seemingly out of nowhere, raise the mountains around us. They are the tiny acts that, invisible to the naked eye, drive beams into our eyes. Les Petits Riens is a series of experiments that I’d like to put at the service of aesthetics, observations of banal scenes from my daily life put at the service of a new expedition, a set of plastic intentions that bear witness to my doubts, the foundations of my accumulated frustrations.
Les Petits Riens is my urgent appeal in the face of the multiple terrors that twist my guts. But I’m going to make sure that this adventure turns into a playful performance with joy and humour. In this exhibition in the form of a conversation, colour is the bullet in my gun, and I’ll be using it to get us out of the firing range, a long way from the tanks and other poisoned arrows that have been whistling through our meadows for nearly three thousand years. I’ll be offering you screens turned against the picture rails or sometimes against the floor, childhood memories for those who have already forgotten the drug of nursery rhymes.
We’ll certainly be dancing and singing our hearts out on the Pont d’Avignon, and we’ll also be looking for happiness on other continents beyond space. We’ll knead the muck to sculpt a new map of the world to share. We’ll form two coloured circles out of electric wires that we’ll bind together with a fragile socket.
Branches topped with coloured plastic bags will cut a hedge of honour in the air, or fall from the heavens in strange plastic and organic shapes. Birdsongs from near and far will fill the décor and stretch the dream even further. Corrugated iron roofs and other chimerical chairs will invade the space as if carried by tornadoes from afar…
We’ll be digging deep into the folds of our buried passions to extract the hidden truths, giving noble poetry back its verses of conviction, the fundamental tool in the act of creation… “