press release

Opening Friday, May 20, 6 to 8pm

Everything about Guillaume Pilet questions the status of the work of art: artifact, pedestal, background, wallpaper –all genres and origins get mixed and combined. From popular culture, the artist uses childish shapes, batik, pressed wood, ceramics, and representations of objects from daily life; from art history, he evokes emblematic figures, institutional criticism, Pop Art, the “Gesamtkunstwerk”. He successfully incorporates into his work the items used to display the objects themselves by creating a setting made of clashing juxtapositions. The items used to display the artifacts become installations, drawing in the visitor and his world with panache. The use of naïve figures only serves to emphasize the feeling of empathy that takes the visitor by surprise and with humor. “L’Art de la Fugue” (“The Art of the Fugue”) is the first monographic exhibition in Zurich devoted to this artist from the Canton de Vaux. The title itself is a play on words using the language and reference to classical German culture. The double meaning involves two words that are very close, since the art of the fugue by Johan Sebastian Bach could also mean the art of flight (Fuge, Flucht) by the French-speaking Swiss artist in the face of the serious of “high” art. Does this mean he is running away like a child in the face of the pseudo challenge reflected in the fact of showing his work in the country’s cultural capital, or is this a tribute to the art of combined chaos like in the work of the Leipzig composer? The answer, naturally, is a combination of both and much more. The shaped canvases with motifs of brick walls or chains rebel against the principle of artistic representation by making everyday shapes into geometrical abstractions. The ceramic sculptures mock great art by symbolizing existential themes such as representations of death, still life paintings, Greek mythology and cynical philosophy, but in the style of a cartoonist. Concrete Series (2011) is a joke on language and styles: objects from everyday life are frozen in a layer of concrete that becomes a painting; at the same time, the word concrete refers to Swiss concrete art, based on a mathematic geometric, and by extension, it refers to the highly concrete look of the objects displayed this way. Active since 2005, Guillaume Pilet combines presentations of his plastic work with his curatorial and critical research. Aside from numerous personal exhibitions, he has participated in group exhibitions in Switzerland and abroad. With Tiphanie Blanc and Vincent Normand, since September 2010, he has been a member of the Forde Art Space committee in Geneva. Since 2009, the three of them have edited the fanzine “Criticism,” defined as the magazine critiquing the critics. The exhibition “L’Art de la Fugue” (“The Art of the Fugue”) offers the opportunity to see in Zurich first-hand the latest work by Guillaume Pilet who bordered on the iconoclastic because of his irreverent views of artistic codes.

Denis Pernet

only in german

Guillaume Pilet
L´Art de la Fugue