Le Plateau

Charles Avery

27 May - 08 Aug 2010

© Charles Avery

May 27 - August 8, 2010
Opening: May 26, 2010, 6-9 pm

Exhibition curator: Xavier Franceschi

The FRAC Ile-de-France/Le Plateau is organizing Charles Avery’s first solo show in France. This Scottish artist, who was born in 1973 and lives and works in London, is the author of nothing less than a mythology—The Islanders, an Introduction—to which he has devoted himself fulltime since 2004.
By way of texts, drawings, installations and sculptures, Charles Avery describes for us an island and an imaginary world—its geography, its fauna and flora, its inhabitants—governed by specific laws, which an explorer gradually reveals to us.
Over and above a narrative imbued with an accomplished realism—his drawings, in particular, illustrate an amazing virtuosity--the narrative reveals a complex system in which logical and philosophical considerations seem to hold sway: the facts, gestures and events which are recorded for us appear to be continually responding to dialectics based on equivalence and uncertainty.
Right away, this relationship to a line of thinking structuring a whole, as it happens just like the artist creating a world for us, is displayed by names given, not without wit, both to certain areas of this parallel world and to certain protagonists of The Islanders: Onomatopeia, is the central city on the imaginary isle, the Noumenons are animals whose heads we never see, and the archipelago of Wittgenstein’s Axiom is set in the Analytic Ocean.
Charles Avery’s overflowing imagination, combined with his astonishing inventiveness, do not, moreover, seem to recognize any limit, and come across through the meticulous creation and description of an endless host of characters, godheads, scenes and phenomena which confuse probability with perfect unusualness.
The resulting strangeness, over and above the style of a kind of drawing that is to say the least novel, and over and above associations of forms where the rawest kind of realism rubs shoulders with an abstraction with idealist emphases, is also that of the approach itself, which, in many respects, contains a form of obsolescence: if the fictional undertaking calls to mind that of illustrious predecessors—Faulkner, Borges, in particular, and, in the field of art, Broodthaers—it may appear, in the age of Second Life and the new media, thoroughly incongruous.
In a new-fangled way, and by more than one token, this undertaking actually combines conceptual position and extended narrative, producing an immaterial make-believe conceived above all as a medium.
The exhibition at Le Plateau, which represents a new stage in our knowledge of this project, offers an occasion to show new works. It is being organized in partnership with the Hanover Kunstverein which will exhibit Charles Avery’s work at the end of August 2010.

Charles Avery was born in 1973 in Oban, Scotland. He lives and works in London. He regularly exhibits in galleries in Great Britain, the United States and Italy, and has taken part in many group shows, including Altermodern for the 4th Tate Triennial, and Walking in my Mind at the Hayward Gallery in London in 2009, and at the Venice Biennale as well as the Lyon Biennale in 2007.

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