Gallery Derouillon is proud to present "Heidler Mailaender", a duo show featuring artists Angélique Heidler and Thomas Mailaender.
Cheeky, humorous, sometimes lazy, and completely light-hearted, Angélique Heidler and Thomas Mailaender eat up every twist and turn of all things kitsch. They mock imagery, sliding across its surface to find its missing depth. Born in 1992 and 1979 respectively, the two friends are the children of 4chan, 9gag, ebay, and the “Everything’s $1” store. Their repertoire is made of cheap images and chinsy materials. On and offline, they fill their curiosity cabinet with elements from the XXI century: the “Made in China” disposable, the absurd, the ridiculous, the charm of the obsolete, the questionably innocuous… To speak about their work is to first make an inventory. Heidler and Mailender are archivists of the present: they shape the herbarium of our lives from our crumbs and our garbage cans.
It’s not about cultivating, or even less so fetishizing, these residues and products of the second zone, but catching them mid-flight and throwing them in our faces. This is how the two artists thus retain, each in their own way, these evanescent and omnipresent circulating images, digest them, and store them before they disappear. Employing a method used in the field of funerary ceramics, Thomas Mailaender has transferred a faded advertising image from the 90s into the enamel of a lava stone. For her part, Angélique Heidler has taken a painting - the symbol of the bourgeoisie - and inserted an erotic postcard, patches for teenagers, safety pins and stickers. In both cases, the end result is obviously absurd: the seriousness of a tombstone is mixed with the forced smile of a pin-up. Elegant and girly coat-of-arms flirt with hastily-made collages, highbrow meets lowbrow; in short, these symbols have had their context eradicated and are now frozen but without any roots.
Placed under the patronage of Heidi, the exhibition has installed “mood” works, like the wallpaper of our distracted era, having sealed the union of fun and commerce. Each in their own way, they act as screens and shields from our busy daily lives where we’re bombarded with information and on which the leaves of capitalism - young, dead or decaying - have been deposited. Often produced in obscure conditions for a few cents on the other side of the world, ambassadors of racial, social or gender clichés, these articles from which the two artists draw their works, stick to our skirts and drawers like magnets. Faced with this invasion, the two artists confirm the deconsecration of art and exalt vacuousness. Fat, yellow or black, they laugh. If the world is an amusement park, Heidler and Mailaender are its nostalgic clowns.
© Grégory Copitet