L’immanence de la rupture (The Immanence of Rupture)
In Tergiverser vers le vide and Behind Closed Doors: Body of Evidence, Yannick De Serre and Natascha Niederstrass respectively highlight the notion of rupture, staging and questioning its most irrational, violent and moving ways. Of course, each artist gives this brutal act of separation their own narrative form. In broaching the unacceptable, Natascha Niederstrass slyly prompts discomfort with a surrealistic proposal that links the macabre facts of the Black Dahlia with Marcel Duchamp’s last work Étant donnés : 1° la chute d’eau, 2° le gaz d’éclairage (1946-1966). As for Yannick De Serre, he captures the weight of absence and emptiness in a delicate and poetic manner, using the theme of departure as inspiration.
Although the notion of rupture is not, strictly speaking, the subject of the two exhibitions, it links them through the cutting nature of separation, which incidentally is the origin of the facts or related acts in the two projects. As an action, inducing a form of brutality or suddenness, the rupture necessarily implies an interruption in the course of things, whether it is expressed as a temporal discontinuity, marking before and after, or as a relational disjunction, forcing individuals to experience the discomfort of duality “presence-absence.”
For Yannick De Serre, the object of the rupture is in presencia. At the heart of the exhibition Tergiverser vers le vide, there is a pruner, a horticultural tool for pruning. This object is what gave creative impulse to the project. A few years ago, the artist asked his entourage, people more or less close to him, to send him letters answering the question: “What would you leave on the table to explain your departure?” Of course, he received several letters and some of them now line the gallery walls. More than attempting an explanation, these objects reveal a state of mind, a state of being in which the letters writers often need to let loose. Hence the rupture necessary to achieve this! Facing these letters, the pruner sits on a pile of leaves, a reference to past works, knowingly shaped by the artist. Is this hand that guides the cut, not also the one that metaphorically accompanies or prevents departure, retaining the other or letting him/her go? From the series of flower bouquets made of embossing and graphite, and exhibited on the gallery walls, facing the letters, a range of emotions emerges created by the gestuality and positioning of the hand holding the bouquet. Here a hand delicately grasps the bouquet, revealing the fragility of the connection, then releases it. Elsewhere, the hand grips the bouquet firmly, with anger even, preventing it from falling. Finally, open and stretched upward, the same hand merges with the bouquet, likely a sign of letting go. In this cartography of emotions, Yannick De Serre situates the rupture as a lever in an inner struggle, constantly engaging the weight of presence and absence: to stay and lose oneself or to leave and live again. So much tergiversating before and in the act! If the rupture seems to be thought about in the mind of the one who causes it, it causes a lack of understanding in the one who suffers it. Then comes questions and doubt; an act shrouded in mystery.
– Émilie Granjon