Thomas Couderc, Spazio B. 2001 - Melted Pasts for Carved out Futures

The works of Thomas Couderc are vitalist, they are overflowing with energy that the format they adopt or the spaces he invests struggles to contain.
Flirting with the derisory, the miraculous and the poetic spurt precisely from this unbalance between the means and energies deployed and the finality or results hoped for.

The creative endeavor is promethean, developing with simple and effective acts of assembly and construction from found materials, often raw and poor, which may also be confronted with cutting-edge technologies, such as drones. For a long time, in fact, he had the ambition to project himself into the intimate life of his sculptural works : he made videos filming them from the inside, with this sometimes being their only form of visibility, exalting in their cinematographic potential.
Couderc’s work is also imbued with obsessive fascinations for specific motifs often relating to popular movies culture, and, in particular, childhood (the bear, the cowboy ...), scifi, deployed in an often serial fashion.

Creating a sort of hybrid connection between a retrofuturistic quasi-archeological iconography from a fantasmated past and an equally imaginary possible future, Thomas Courderc’s proposal for the concentrated space of Spazio Bidet originates in his fascination for Stanley Kubrick’s mythical 2001, A Space Odyssey as starting point for his installation. No bones here, but is indeed to a sort of diachronic journey that Thomas Couderc metaphorically invites the beholder

A fascination for the primeval gestures, and techniques of fashioning is directly visible : technically, on the lower level of the installation, we see carved monumental trunks of cut and engraved wood which refer to the very ancestors of all forms of engraving, the Mesopotamian cylinder-seals which appeared round 3500 b.c.. These trunks have here been carved in relief, serving as rolls marking ephemeral reliefs on earthen surfaces, which, in turn, were used as negative moulds for the founding of the "positive" aluminium reliefs which we see in the vitrine and above, on the redesigned and eponymous ascensional "insegna" of Spazio Bidet.

Two of humanity’s most traditional artefact techniques, woodcut and foundry are here associated to elicit and suggest a diachronic journey. The poverty of materials, the massive and raw gestures, the archaic rendering of the iconography, the simplicity of the set-up contrast with these fantasized futuristic projections.

The installation takes advantage of the condensed space of Bidet’s vitrine, which it,of course, duly trespasses, to unfold in several distinctive registers : at ground, we see a restored refractory earth low relief confronting motives and inspirations which overwhelmed the artist during a seminal journey to Southern France neolithic caves, namely a spiderlike form evoking an archaic space shuttle, figures of humanoid characters between foetal ancestors or visiting annunakis, a dolmen and a musical human figure. Evoking what is above ground, creating a connection with the upper register, the quasi-Brancusian (but totally rough) infinite column of carved matricial cylinders is confronted with the latter’s cast aluminium "offspring". Some of these concentric casts, evoking ad libitum orbital waves, smoke rings, flying saucers, suction cups, Courbet’s Origin of the World, or, also, in a humorous way, Spazio Bidet’s inspirational name, unfold in an ascensional way, exceeding also the usual exhibition frame offered by Spazio Bidet, thereby suggesting a sort of hardly-coded invitation to connect us diachronically to an imaginary possible future in the cosmos or, conversely, to our primeval origins.

E. Lambion, curator, Bn PROJECTS

Spazio Bidet
Via Giuseppe Giacosa, 11
20127 Milano

13 May > 30 June 2023