Le Goût du néant
amphora, plaster, tire, wood
240 x 110 centimeters
Le Goût du néant unfolds as a landscape of sculptures consisting in unstable combinations of heterogeneous objects – ancient objects and contemporary objects, originals and reproductions: an antique amphora, imposing 18th-century ceramic jars, a Mesopotamian vase, stone cannonballs, spheres, a column capital, a tyre, etc.
Théo Mercier is a virtuoso for creating precarious balances and paradoxical relationships of scale. The bases, whose usual function is to support and protect sculptures, now seem to threaten them – a new answer to the central question of the relationship between a sculpture and its base. Contradicting the idea that sculpture is a perennial medium, Théo Mercier creates unstable, fragile, dystopian works, mostly doomed to disappear, like so many monuments to the glory of collapsing: “time-dismantling machines”, in his own words.
14 CD racks, 14 black marble bases, 300 white marble CDs
Panorama Zéro emphasizes one of the characteristics of our age: obsolescence, whether planned or induced by the acceleration of technology. CD tower racks came in various shapes and sizes as an attempt to make us forget how unsightly they looked and how they were already obsolete from the beginning. They ended up in the discount stores of history even faster than the now outdated technology of which they were an accessory. In this piece, Théo Mercier recycles them, turning them into the skyline of an incongruous, post-modern city, where marble has replaced plastic.
203 x 32 centimeters
Paysage sauvage is a set of catcher’s masks of which only the wire cage remains – their skeleton, so to speak. They become symbolic objects in an unrecognizable space-time. Do they represent an army of prisoners? Are they remnants of medieval masks of shame? Fossils of a sport, of a torture, or both? Théo Mercier’s erratic compass finds the past in objects that have just been manufactured and the future in masks belonging to ancestral cultures. He makes everyday objects become anthropomorphic, without establishing a hierarchy between the living and the nonliving, through an identification of the self with the environment – in line with the cannibal metaphysics of Brazilian anthropologist Eduardo Viveiros de Castro