previous 6 / 6


  • Michael  Schouflikir, Pictus

    © Galerie Eva Hober

In a bid to understand the excesses of a world that goes too fast, Michaël Schouflikir creates compact works of art, in which the scaled-down format brings to- gether a concise formulation. His miniature pieces come in sculptures, collages and more recently paintings, and all show visual and powerful statements that can be comprehended in one glance.

Recent works result from the collection of random objects that Schouflikir so- metimes alter by painting them. The artist composes from heterogeneous ele- ments pieces of paper discarded in the street, a car fine snatched from its punitive function, nails and bits of wire rescued from urban building sites are all the remnants of human activities that he pockets as he wanders through the city. All these finds will be reassessed in his workshop. They are the starting point of a system where chance, i.e the object found, interacts with necessity, i.e the de- mands of composition.

Schouflikir thus develops dynamic worlds, the theme of which is our controlling society, its urban zoning, both ordered and commanding, and its overgrowth which smashes individual asperities. An art critique once wrote that “violence lies in smoothness”. When diverted from their trajectory, lost and found objects are hiatuses removed from a synthetic social system and its controlling ideal. They bear the peculiar signs of their resistance to the passing of time stains, rust, creases and cracks. Each of the Technicité et Ruines sculptures takes on the shape of panoramic views of cities. One of them is “trendy”, smooth and com- municating, the other one is broken, silent and ashen... What is the vestige of the first one? Looking at them simultaneously may act as a reminder of the Tower of Babel, the excesses of which eventually led to its destruction. It is a theme that both sculptures, explicitly named Icarus and Golden calf, deal with too.

The paintings follow the town-planning framework of our cities or their division seen from above. Punctuated with hand painted spots, the wooden sticks which make up the paintings seem to be a musical score also able to express the vibrations of the city –the circulation of pedestrians and cars and the flow of exchanges. The lines drawn by the artist’s hand animate these rigid structures, they breathe life and energy into their severe intricacy and transform them into an intervention that is nevertheless controlled and constrained; the spots quietly find their places in boxes and stripes. This tension initiates a feeling of claustrophobia which is emphasized by the frame, or rather, the building-in of the frame. Self expression is limited by environmental constraints, and this can be felt fully through these plastic equivalences.
These split spaces also represent our accelerated time, divided up by the necessities of a living that must be earned, where the notion of adaptability has become the key word of human resources offices. In that respect, the collages are the most flexible mode of expression of the artist. Their reduced means of production allows the penetration of the creative gesture at the heart of a busy day. Created from pieces of paper found on the ground, their concentric movement conveys an urge to gather what is scattered, to seize a possible harmony in the discordances of the week and finally, to seize oneself in the flood of heterogeneous moments that make and disintegrate our lives.

Press release for galerie Eva Hober