Roman Moriceau → Silver and Gold

March 7th - April 27th, 2024

Galerie Derouillon, Étienne Marcel

Roman Moriceau wishes to thank for this exhibition Bettina Moriceau Maillard, Atelier de Chopin, Alice Crouzery, Valentine Lacroix, Marc levent, Thomas Rossi, Atelier Valton and Mengyao XU.

How do you talk about an exhibition you haven't even seen yet? This isn't the first preface for an exhibition I've ever written, but it is the first time I've asked myself this question. Of course I already knew when I left the artist's studio that the gallery space would be divided with curtains, that animated sequins would slowly reflect light onto a wall, and that there would be a display of images of plants and animals. I even sat down on one of those crude hemp-concrete benches, one that was particularly short and covered with latex. I also listened to this out-of-tune version of “Be My Baby” by the Ronettes. And finally, a few days later, I learnt that the exhibition would borrow its title from the Neil Young album Silver and Gold... But what I didn’t yet know is how it would all look within the space. Commentaries about the artist focus on his ecological awareness. This much is very true. It's as much at work in his choice of appropriated images that follow the traces of extinct species as in the creation of the pieces themselves. As for the photographs, the artist prints them using silver salts recovered from print baths - the remains of other photographs - which, once under the light, react with the copper paints and with which he coats in found materials, like a glass tabletop, wooden planks or a empty packet of potato chips. Perhaps even more so than in the past,  the artist’s creative process uses assembling and up-cycling. It frees itself from any form of standardisation or repetition in an unprecedented way. But now that we've said that, we haven't said much about what the exhibition will actually deliver. For that matter, is that even possible? Will each of the elements seen at the workshop retain its individuality, or will their heterogeneity be fused into a whole? Will the images be perceived as an end in themselves, or will we pay just as much attention to what surrounds them? One thing is for sure: if the artist takes the risk with these ambiguities, we have to go along for the ride, to accompany Roman Moriceau in this assemblage of parts with their undefined statuses, functions, meanings, and effects. We’ll eventually see less the parts that make it up than the threads that, here and now, connect them together.

Étienne Hatt

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© studiothomasjames

Roman Moriceau
Ursus arctos nelsoni, 2024
Silver salts recovered from used bins of silver photography, copper on wood and varnish wood
62 5/8 x 44 7/8 inches

Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Derouillon, Paris
© Grégory Copitet

Ursus arctos nelsoni

The Mexican grizzly (Ursus arctos nelsoni) is a variety of grizzly (a subspecies of the brown bear) that probably became extinct in the late 1960s. It inhabited Arizona and New Mexico. The Mexican grizzly population was probably eliminated during an eradication campaign carried out between 1961 and 1964.