SYLVIE BONNOT &
Making Things Happen: Young Artists in Dialogue I
23 Sep – 12 Nov 2017
How does a young artist inscribe herself in the history of photography? TMH opens its cycle Making Things Happen: Young Artists in Dialogue with ZHU HONG and SYLVIE BONNOT, who use photography as a point of departure and idiosyncratic return. They chose to center the show on reciprocal wall art rooted in their approach to work as an itinerant practice, now extending to Amsterdam.
At the core of the dialogue are Amsterdam’s hallmark bridges, photographed by Bonnot. With the expediency of her honed “mue” technique, she is able to reposition the gelatin layer of one of the prints directly on a wall. Face-à-face, Zhu Hong reciprocates by applying her ultrathin painterly gesture in white on white to interpret the image of Bonnot at this actual photo-shoot. A complex exhibition radiates from this audacious, ephemeral conception to drive deeply into the territories of photography and painting.
Catalogue event with writer Dirk van Weelden, 10 Nov 2017 / Ways of Seeing and the Ephemeral with art critic Steven Humblet and media theorist Arjen Mulder, 28 Oct 2017 / For Iron I Gave Gold with Antoinette Vonder Mühll, 5 Oct 2017
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Over the ten-year period following their graduation from ENSA of Dijon (both with distinction), the artists have explored locations—physically on foot and in terms of the movement of the gaze—to ground an expert body of work:
As a student Sylvie Bonnot embarked on research trips with her camera. The natural and urban landscapes in Australia, Japan, Ireland, Norway, Russia and the high valleys of Savoie have informed her multi-faceted oeuvre. In Surimpressions at Quai des Arts, Cugnaux, she made her images jut out from the walls, rupture with lines as drawings, and coagulate as sculptures with a flourish of singular vision and technique. Allowing for the multiplicity of views beyond the planimetric surface of a straight shot, they capture perceptions in relation to her own body and physical movement.
Zhu Hong moved to France to study art in counterpoint to her classical painting training in Shanghai. TMH opens with her entire transcription of the 199 pages of La photographie dans l’art contemporain (French ed., Thames and Hudson, 2004), executed as a long row—to walk along—of 199 drawings in a pencil-on-black, negative/positive take. Also included are a number of paintings and drawings originating from her recent exhibition at Musée de la Roche-sur-Yon, which followed her work at the prehistory museum in Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil. These images reflect on museum displays in their essential institutional settings, both precious and everyday.
According to Hubert Besacier, who has followed the careers of both artists from early on, their paths were meant to cross. Placed in dialogue at TMH, they draw attention to the materiality and conceptual possibilities of their mediums, with the work at once bound to the reality of its origins and creation, and defying simple interpretation.
Texts by Marsha Plotnitsky, TMH Founding Artistic Director, and art writer Hubert Besacier.
Sylvie Bonnot (1982, FR) is best known for deconstructing photography in relation to sculpture and drawing. Bonnot’s work is regularly featured in solo and group gallery shows. She is the recipient of a 2021-22 residency award from L’Observatoire de l’Espace du CNES as well as a rare award, Mention Spéciale du Prix Internationale de l’Art dans l’Espace 2020, from L’Académie des Beaux-Arts, Paris. Her recent institutional exhibitions include: Mobile/Immobile, Musée des Archives Nationales, Paris, and Maison de la Photographie, Lille, 2019; Derrière la retenue I, II, III (solo public commissions), Fondation Facim, Savoie, 2018-23; and solo shows at Musée de La Roche-sur-Yon, 2018, Musée des Ursulines, Mâcon, 2016-17, and at Le Quai des Arts, Cugnaux, 2016-17. Bonnot was part of the Making Things Happen: Young Artists in Dialogue cycle at TMH in 2017-18, and was TMH’s artist in focus at Unseen Amsterdam, 2019.
Zhu Hong (1975, FR born CN) moved to France to counterbalance her training in Shanghai. Her solo museum shows included Musée de La Roche-sur-Yon (accompanied by the monograph 3m2 de lumière, published by Lienart Éditions, Paris, 2017) and the Pôle Internationale de la Préhistoire in Les Eyzies-de-Tayac, the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Dijon, and the Musée Ziem in Martigues. Zhu Hong featured in the Making Things Happen: Young Artists in Dialogue cycle at TMH in 2017-18. Her work continues to receive increased attention, notably including a solo feature at the Art on Paper fair in Brussels, 2019, with SinArts Gallery, NL, and the two-part solo show Les lignes de l’eau [Water Lines] at the Arts Museum of Nantes (Musée d’Arts de Nantes), July 2021 – January 2022. Zhu Hong lives and works in Nantes, FR.