“Like the crazy instruction manual for an improbable world factory, like a hybrid and timeless mythology, Frédéric Penelle’s ferocious woodcuts dialogue with the sharp video art created by Yannick Jacquet - or perhaps it’s the other way around - to recount, carefully and amusingly, the incontrovertible evidence of the meaninglessness of the world, the origin of the unknowable precedence of the chicken and the egg, of scientists and their machines, of your brain and its hallucinations. This implacably absurd demonstration hiccups and smiles, above all, at our own inundations and uncontrolled fumigations, at our own mechanical vanities.”
Words by F. Delvoye
While the passage of time seems to accelerate every day, Fred Penelle and Yannick Jacquet offer a pause, a suspension, a breath. A strange mechanism stretches across the wall, populated with shadowy chimeras. They are mysterious and yet somehow familiar. Is this a laboratory experiment or the plan for a future network?
Minutely constructed like a fine clock, it traces connections, routes, genuinely-false, looping itineraries, inviting escape, inviting dreams. The narrative is deconstructed like a thousand-storied film script. Every effort is made to lead astray, to turn around, to forge ahead. Time is shredded, decomposed, lost and yet everything references it.
Mécaniques Discursives is like a parenthesis between two epochs: Gutenberg's and Big Data's. By contrasting the oldest form of image reproduction (woodcutting) with the most recent digital technologies, the installation straddles centuries and contracts time.
“In just under ten years, Frédéric Penelle (Brussels 1973), winner of the Art contest prize at the end of 2007, has given engraving a sudden burst of energy through his novel use of it in a way that is fundamentally original, malicious and as funny as it is serious.The installation of each exhibition places on a wall a swarm of characters and objects which mix, either play- fully or seriously, times, epochs, drawing, paining, black, colour, old images and whatever else besides, to tell, not one, but a thousand tangled tales in which each will recognise his own according to his imagination, what he has lived through, his dreams or concerns.In a heterogeneous set astonishingly coherent in its linear weirdness like a frieze, starting from a personal my- thology that brings together images known to all it holds up a portrait of the world that is surprising yet familiar at the same time. And this arrangement that is playful, amusing, inventive, sometimes threatening and also tragic in its device, constantly gives the impression that it might set itself in motion as if it was a vast comedy put on by actors who bear a strange resemblance to us. Might it be possible that we are taking part unawares? Very inspired and convincing.” (C.L.)
(la libre belgique 16/01/08)
Born in Geneva in 1980, lives and works in Brussels. Yannick Jacquet has spent ten years developing an visual arts project exploring how to reverse the deterioration in- herent in our exchanges with the world. His process of vi- sual creation draws on structural elements as disparate as the architecture of the Centre Pompidou-Metz and a Ravel string quartet. While the precise stratagem may vary, from the spectacular to the intimate, each undertaking is always rooted in the concept of resilience. This is art haunted by a discourse on the end of time. Jacquet makes no mystery of it. He invokes parallels with the Belgian artist Berlinde de Bruyckere’s work on mutations in living matter, the Ja- panese Ryoichi Kurokawa’s stellar visions, and his fellow Swiss artist Jean Tinguely’s sardonic laugh and his 1960s machines designed to self-destruct. The installation Mé- caniques Discursives, created in 2013 in collaboration with the artist and engraver Fred Penelle, is something of an ar- tist’s manifesto. A step in the dark. Sonar, alarms, and radio frequencies resonate in the shifting glow of vectorial im- pulses and cut-out silhouettes that reference pop culture. Yet the experience challenges expectations. The electronic signals lead nowhere. The sounds and gures have no refe- rent beyond themselves. The message fails in transmission. Yannick Jacquet developed a subtle kinaesthetic method that strips the viewer of his conditioning via an immersive process. 2016 has seen the creation of the generative work Flow on a oating building at the foot of the Alexandre III bridge in Paris. Jacquet’s twofold research into colour and the notions of time and natural cycles has led him to esh out a new paradigm: slowness. Slowness as one possible path to the urgently needed restoration of sensibility.