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Standing by

— ­On Louis Chaumier’s work

Louis Chaumier’s artworks trace empty spaces. If the human presence can be felt through the materials used in his metallic structure set on the floor or his collection of works gathered on a wooden platform covered in grey carpet — all products of the normalization of our societies — the absence of bodies strikes. The remains of possible uses of these objects seem to have been erased, as if the area demarcated by a poetically banal carpet or empty metallic shelving had just been abandoned.

Among those standing by objects, some seem to have been destined to serve as storage. Shelves from a warehouse, plywood sculptures resembling wardrobes and a metallic coat rack are left empty. They call for a reflection on accumulation. As architect and theorist Yona Friedman wrote: “the use of an object takes up [...] only a tiny fraction of the time of its lifespan, which represents an unimaginable waste. […] During the time of non-use (of standing by) these objects take up storage space (which represents yet another waste)[1]”.



Objects of all kinds, forms created to put them away, the amount of space necessary for the storage of the whole: out of this triptych of contemporary consumption, the artist chooses to work with only a few elements. He extracts materials and reworks archetypal shapes. His approach disrupts the habitual uses of objects and space, leaving room for uncertainty, and inviting a poetical contemplation of emptiness.

Marie Plagnol


[1] Translation by the author. Yona Friedman, Utopies réalisables, [Collection 10/18, 1975], 2e édition, Paris, Éditions de l’éclat, 2000, p.103.

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Des soleils encore verts, collective show, Champs magnétique. Photography : Clément Boute
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Des soleils encore verts, collective show, Champs magnétique. Photography : Clément Boute
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