Roman Moriceau → Image Of Other Memories

October 14th - November 13th, 2021

Galerie Derouillon, Haut Marais

We are very happy to present Roman Moriceau's new solo show in Paris, entitled "Image of Other Memories".

“By "crisis of sensitivity", what I mean is an impairment in what we’re able to feel, perceive, understand, and weave within our relationships to the living”
Baptiste Morizot, Ways of Being Alive, 2020

A soft carpet in the centre of the room, colourful seats, dried flowers, and pictures up on the wall. For his new solo exhibition, Roman Moriceau has invited us into a living room where all the senses are awakened. There’s JD Emmanuel's music singing the title of the exhibition, the flowers evoking their scents, the soft carpet taking our feet back to some warm memory, and the ginger and cold maté drinks - prepared by the artist himself for the opening - delighting the taste buds. The entire body is involved, joining here that energy of those that some call "the new naturalists".

However, right from the outset, as is often the case in Roman Moriceau's work, it is the aesthetics of the pieces that are striking. Particularly so here, through the play of colours that seem to have escaped from the two-colour copper-silver photographs. In the centre of the room, shimmering puddles have been drawn on the carpet. Clusters of colours forming random patterns inspired by a Sonia Delaunay study of light. The artist has gathered batches of balls of yarn, the discarded scraps of old, likely unfinished work, to instinctively create little tufts with an electric gun, until the material is worn out.
We see commitment. Here, it’s the act of reusing which is noticeable, transformation being omnipresent in Roman Moriceau's work. Reusing materials, reusing images. The ones he’s made and hangs on the wall have stolen the floral details. They’re barely discernible as they play with light. As always, content and form are intertwined within the artist's work. One supporting the other in an interdependence of precision down to the millimetre. The apparition technique used here recalls the aesthetics of old photographic developing processes, giving a ghostly, elusive, almost nostalgic aspect to the images. By highlighting a practice that is in the process of disappearing, the artist has taken the salts of analogue photographs dissolved in the used liquids of the developing baths, and adhering them, through a chemical process, to copper plates. The latter act as the developer, revealing his doctored images, as if they were emerging from "other memories", from other eras, past and future, utopian and real.
Image is at the heart of this exhibition; it is the very principle of it. The artist has insisted on it. The plants photographed on display here would not necessarily be noticed at first glance; they have been made invisible, otherwise considered weeds, or ornamental plants. There, in these spectral images, due to the time needed to really see them, importance is breathed into this rejected vegetation.

The flowers, which could be seen as symbolic, are in the form of dried bouquets from a workshop where Roman Moriceau was invited by Elena Cardin/Orange Rouge to work with handicapped pupils. Together, they planted vegetation in the school's adjoining park that might not look like much, given how common they are in our gardens, but which, in fact, have amazing medicinal properties: the fascinating artemisia annua, for example, is said to help cure cancer and malaria. The artist, through this discreetly subversive gesture - growing certain of the chosen species is actually forbidden -, is repopulating our interiors with forgotten knowledge.

The furniture, created with hemp concrete using an eco-housing approach, and with natural materials (plaster, pigments), also defies any status symbol. What counts, these pastel, monochromatic shapes argue, is not the observation that pushes our contemporary societies to bet everything on zero waste - that awareness already exists - but how it is possible to offer solutions in each stage of our lives, starting, for Roman Moriceau, with art.

Sandra Barré

* Roman Moriceau wishes to thank DOC, Paris (Jérôme Valton et Raphaël Emine).

© Grégory Copitet