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Galerie Les filles du Calvaire

Current Past Upcoming
The Bells Angels

The Bells Angels

Future impact

Future impact
From September 9 to 24, 2022
Opening on Thursday, September 8 (6:30 pm – 9 pm)

Interruption from September 25 to October 6, 2022

Future impact 2
From October 8 to 23, 2022
Opening on Friday, October 7 (6:30 pm – 9 pm)

For their solo exhibition at Les Filles du Calvaire gallery, the Bells Angels present a new series of paintings entitled Crowd Processing Paintings. This title, with its predictive overtones, plays on the algorithmic impact of crowd images as well as on the history of reproduction techniques. It reminds us of scientific articles aiming to develop new algorithms capable of tracking the individual in a crowd image and anticipating his movements, his behavior.

It is precisely of crowds and flows that the series is about: migrants trying to cross the American border in Mexico, uprisings in Belarus, or even more metaphorically, crowds of highly identified objects floating on an apocalyptic background.

These processual paintings most often take as their starting point images of crowds broadcast on the internet by news agencies. These images, which are repeated according to the news, are imposed on our screens and end up taking on a generic aspect: taken from a distance and from above, these human clouds move from one catastrophe to another. The artists evoke a “Darwinism of images” to describe this algorithmic determinism.

In these black, white and chrome paintings, the absence of color reinforces their matrix effect. The images extracted from a flow are then the object of numerous analog and digital manipulations referring to an archaeology of the image: from the cropping of the image to the silk-screen printing, from the gesture to its reproduction, the images undergo numerous distortions. The masses are sometimes reduced to a set of points. Moreover, signs borrowed from tracking are superimposed on the photomechanical frames. They contaminate the image and replay on its surface the economic, identity and ecological disturbances in the content of the images. They increase the history of reproducibility in the serigraphic era, started by Warhol and Polke and continued by the appropriationist practices of the Pictures Generation, in the light of digital imagery and algorithmic science. It is no coincidence that The Bells Angels series incorporates a reprise of a Warhol crowd (1963).

With The Bells Angels, the appropriation of images is coupled with the appropriation of objects that populate certain paintings. Iconic medals from popular culture and advertising until the 1990s appear on the surface of the canvas. These objects that have fallen into disuse and that line our pockets evoke identity and in turn refer to the crowds. These traces of human activity come to parasitize the landscape under tension.

Thus, the canvases with shimmering chrome surfaces reflect their environment and alternate crowds, potential deserted landscapes, places of passage straight out of a science fiction story, and more abstract kinetic paintings where a vortex seems to catch us irreparably.

Audrey Illouz