With Jean-Luc Vilmouth | Ange Leccia | Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster | Mao Tao | Véronique Joumard | Florian Mermin | Seulgi Lee | Leïla White-Vilmouth | Gaël Lévêque
Curated by Marie Brines
Atmosphères sensibilisées* takes the relationship to space in Jean-Luc Vilmouth’s work as its starting point. This space may be mental and encourage projections and dreams, or physical and conform to units of measurement. It could be social and facilitate encounters. The space is the expanse that does not obstruct movement. In philosophy, space refers to the ideal environment that holds all of our perceptions; indefinite, it contains all existing or conceivable objects.
The spatial dimension composes the work of Jean-Luc Vilmouth, who used to refer to himself as an “augmenter” rather than a sculptor. Combined with questions of disconcerting simplicity – how do we imagine other types of relationships? How do we continue to inhabit the world? – his works soberly highlight what already exists and what we don’t wish to see. Just like a breath, a space opens up. They thwart the cognitive biases of apprehending reality to consider more direct relationships, to narrow the distance that separates humans from their environment.
Jean-Luc Vilmouth has taught at the art schools of Grenoble – together with Ange Leccia – and Paris, and has led several generations of artists to question the exhibition format and the very idea of sculpture. About the workshop, he explained: “I try to give it a certain climate. Atmosphères sensibilisées perhaps sensitive to something other than just making artworks.” In France and internationally, his work has largely contributed to the shift from an aesthetic interest in the object, in the 1980s, to that of the installation and the environment, in the 1990s and 2000s.
To extend the monograph devoted to him at the MO.CO Hôtel des Collections in Montpellier last spring, the exhibition Atmosphères sensibilisées brings together the work of eight artists who have evolved through their contact with him: Ange Leccia, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Seulgi Lee, Véronique Joumard, Florian Mermin,
Mao Tao, Gaël Lévêque, and Leïla White-Vilmouth. It is about dream- and trance-like spaces, activable or suspended, dry climates or wetlands.
Atmosphères sensibilisées suggests the most intense and yet the simplest aspects of Jean-Luc Vilmouth’s teachings: “to be relational; to be experiential”.
*closing from July 31st to Septembre 2nd, 2022