COUPLE OF "APPARENCES"
The glass form and the iron form
By Romain DUVAL
PHD in Aesthetics and Art theory from University Paris-I-Sorbonne
The striking thing about these fake twins does not reside in the fact
that the iron and glass structures converge with one another despite
the difference of their matter. The important thing is, in this visual
proximity, that new visual complementarities appears, made from
scratch and with a subtle temporality, like a "game of apparences."
"The notion of "apparences" writes François Noudelmann, is far away
from the notion of "resemblance" which connects us to the world in
relatedness and similarity (while) it is from what comes after me that I
can get this "apparence" and not from what was before me."
This is what Noudelmann calls a "random filiation" and this is
exactly what is happening in Serge Delaune’s work, an overturn in the
relationship to the model, evoking "fragments or random memories".
Serge Delaune molds the metamorphosed shapes of the iron structures he
recovers on the beach or elsewhere. Those structures have been deformed
by time, the sea, the sun, the rain or wind or many other encounters.
This allows him to work with the transformations, contorsions and
asperities the weathered yet strong matter has to offer to create his glass,
not a "clone" but another shape emerging from the fire in a different
way. There’s more to just a connection with before (the iron shape)
and after (the glass). This implies a more complex relation, where the
original form is molded in one time and then becomes a model in a
second time. "The first one becomes both a sculptor and a sculpture,
because it holds the second one in his shape" says the artist.
What seems to interest Serge Delaune is not just to be able to reproduce
or create a shape that looks like something known, but more essentially
not to confirm the match with the model by preferring to see different
incarnation created by our own view as a spectator, those shapes now
seem to have been all made at the same time and to be complementary.
Those fragments of iron, found and gathered are not "prints" nor clues
or traces to be linked to an original presence, a moment "after" where
the glass would come from, they come from a superposition of moments,
time and memories and the found piece has an history of it’s own (a
previous life made of decomposition and recomposition created by the
abrasive movements of nature), and it becomes true with what was
before, in this case the glass construction.
Another significative detail is the choice of display and presentation.
On the wall we realize that the piece of glass is older than the piece
of iron (when there is no interaction), only because we believe in the
power of visual perception (our eyes move from left to right and from
top to bottom because of our occidental learning of reading). This might
count as another proof, conscious or not, of the artist’s will to reverse
the simple and didactic mechanism of this strange duet of matters, the
before (the original piece of iron who was used as a model) and the
after (the reproduction of this same piece of iron).
What Serge Delaune creates is a simultaneous fabrication of formal
matters, with contrasted oppositions as transparency and brightness of
the glass, versus the opacity and matt finish of the iron, the solidity
of the iron (high resistance, slow decomposition) facing the extreme
fragility of glass that might break at any moment and that decomposes
faster) as well as the reversion of "apparence".
We can now consider that those two primitive matters have met before,
and if one owes his existence to the other, the "second one" (the glass),
should be perceived as the origin, the matrix, the mold of the other.