artists & participants
Martine Feipel and Jean Bechameil: Garden of Resistance
February 5, 2022–January 9, 2023
Originating from the Luxembourg scene and active on the European scene, the artist duo Martine Feipel and Jean Bechameil (b. 1975, Luxembourg / b. 1964, Paris) has been developing a body of work since 2008 that is distinguished by the richness of its visual vocabulary and its socially conscious scrutiny of the contemporary world. Mudam Luxembourg – Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jeanhas commissioned the artists to produce a new installation for its Jardin des sculptures.
The work of Martine Feipel and Jean Bechameil draws on Cubism experimentations, Constructivist compositions, Bauhaus functionalism, the stylised aesthetics of Art Deco and even kinetic art. By freely appropriating these aesthetic vocabularies and the research of these historical movements, their installations offer an immersive, physical and perceptual experience that combines the illusory with the imaginary. Martine Feipel and Jean Bechameil’s work also addresses another aspect of modernity and the contemporary world: the automatisation of industry and everyday life and their impact. This increasingly prevalent mechanisation of our societies is evident in their sculptures which often depict cogs and other machine parts, treated with resin or synthetic plaster to look like petrified remains devoid of functionality. By creating forms that invoke industrial modernity, Feipel and Bechameil also examine the “mechanisms” of contemporary lifestyles, together with their social and collective settings, in order to establish “spaces of possibility.”
Their works often take as their starting point the history of a place or the analysis of a specific context, but their visual power is derived from the artists’ ability to create theatrical environments, enhanced by subtle yet dramatic lighting, to which is sometimes added a background sound that contradicts the silence of the objects. The installation designed by Feipel and Bechameil for Mudam’s Jardin des sculptures presents three works, including a new one, titled Garden of Resistanceproduced for the exhibition to which it lends its name. The ensemble composes an artificial garden that combines discreet mechanical movements with light rustling sounds in the background.
Curator: Clément Minighetti assisted by Clémentine Proby