Edith Dekyndt / L'Origine des Choses
Edith Dekyndt / L’Origine des Choses
Feb 8 – Dec 12, 2023
Pinault Collection / Bourse de Commerce
Paris, France

“With the collapse of the market economy, we begin to see the monuments of the bourgeoisie as ruins before they have even crumbled.” –Walter Benjamin

Following Bertrand Lavier and Anri Sala, Belgian artist Edith Dekyndt will take over the Passage display cases of the Bourse de Commerce. Closely linked to commercialization and colonization, the notion of the vitrine arose with industrialization and the first world’s fairs. It was based on this fact and on the imposing, structural presence of the panoramic canvas in the Rotunda that Edith Dekyndt has constructed her project, which reveals her deep-seated interest in things using the concepts of still life, tableaux vivants, and active objects. The artist is interested in images “as a phenomenon of appearance and resurgence in motion”, as she describes it. Edith Dekyndt uses these subjects to comment on the appearance of the artwork and its status, ultimately to address an ambiguity, a suspension between two states: that of the object and that of the artwork, which she explores to its utmost limits.

[ . . . ]

Inspired by Bruno Latour’s “actants”, Edith Dekyndt defines her compositions and her objects as “patient”, because all these objects that she activates are waiting to be found, repaired, and transformed by chemical, physical, meteorological, and atmospheric factors. Edith Dekyndt’s work is formed by this intermingling of doing and seeing. As a starting point for this vitrine project, Edith Dekyndt decided to use her video that has recently become emblematic and viral, Ombre indigène (2014), in which we see a flag made of cut black hair that was planted on top of Diamond Rock on Martinique. It was here that, on the night of 8–9 April 1830, a merchant ship smuggling some one hundred African captives ran aground before being totally destroyed. Filmed next to the tomb of Martinican philosopher Édouard Glissant, this video is an homage to the person who formulated the concept of “tout monde” and “creolization”. It is the polysemic nature of this piece, and of Edith Dekyndt’s work in general, that grabs our attention. In creating this work, Edith Dekyndt has composed a tableau moving at a slow, languid, meditative, and hypnotic pace depicting something that, years later and in another context, would become a central gesture of a contemporary resistance movement.

Pinault Collection / Bourse de Commerce
Paris, France

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