Opening – Saturday 24th October, from 2:00 to 8:00 pm
On display from October 24th 2020 through January 9th 2021
With : Jimmy Beauquesne, Bady Dalloul, Jesse Darling, Marijke De Roover, Ilya Fedotov-Fedorov, Olivia Hernaïz, Candice Lin, Adrian Mabileau Ebrahimi Tajadod, Simon Martin, Dala Nasser, Josèfa Ntjam, Bassem Saad, Hanna Zubkova
Curators : Lucas Morin & Sasha Pevak
Taking an ordinary love story as a starting point, to Thomas unwraps multiple narratives of attachment, dependence, anger, and resistance. The exhibition is imagined as a message to a lover of the past, a certain Thomas, an autobiographical and fictional character who could be known by other names. Like the chapters of a strange romance novel, the works in the exhibition follow conversations between curators and artists in which each of them invests and transforms their own Thomas.
The artists embrace the emotions and the political issues that condition and affect them. Each artist has worked with “their own Thomas”, making him emerge from their personal story in echo with the curators’ stories and emotions. Jimmy Beauquesne, Simon Martin, and Josèfa Ntjam offer direct responses to the invitation by making their works specifically for the exhibition. They adopt a resolutely intimate tone and focus on love as a feeling. The works of Jesse Darling, Marijke De Roover, and Adrian Mabileau Ebrahimi Tajadod, endowed with humor and self-mockery, dive into the emotions of a romantic encounter — a moment that can easily wake one’s inner saboteur. Ilya Fedotov-Fedorov and Bady Dalloul examine states of helplessness and loss of control: the first by seizing a brutal act of indescribable violence, the second by closely examining the notion of fate, carefully linking everyday actions, stars, and systems of domination.
to Thomas explores how emotions are collectively constructed through social conflict, working conditions, and the experience of being part of a minority. The works of Dala Nasser and Bassem Saad offer an approach that is both personal and political: addressed to loved ones and making use of autobiographical elements even in the very materials of the sculptures, they question the link between memory, care, and coercion. Finally, taking note of the fact that emotions are born and act only in relation to the collective, Olivia Hernaïz, Candice Lin, and Hanna Zubkova have chosen to adapt their works by addressing the context of the exhibition. They address the art school, its students, and those who make it function. They all question the emotional and political work that takes place there on a daily basis and offer methods of analysis, survival, and resistance.
Between euphoria in love, mourning the loss, helplessness, anger, and rage, to Thomas is an ensemble of deeply intimate gestures. Often put aside — considered as too personal or too singular, too strong or too messy — yet emotions allow artists and curators to make their work shareable and accessible while exploring the complex visual and political regimes that determine them.
to Thomas is produced in collaboration with La Box – Ensa Bourges and Renard – Arts visuels.
Centre d’art Ygrec-ENSAPC
29 rue Henri Barbusse