DAK’ART 2014

11ème Biennale de l’Art Africain Contemporain 09/05>08/06

Jimmy Robert


Untitled (Visage) : Tirage jet d’encre, 35.8 x 27.2cm, cadre en noyer avec fond en medium, 2013, Courtesy Jimmy Robert et Galerie Stigter van Doesburg, © Thibaut Voisin.
Untitled (Skin) : Tirage jet d’encre, 110 x77cm, 2013, Courtesy Jimmy Robert et Galerie Stigter van Doesburg, © Thibaut Voisin.

The work of Jimmy Robert manipulates language, form and object to make delicate works. the two works on display form a dialogue about the relationship between touch, the body and visibility. Robert underlines the limits of the body within a given space. The body becomes a surface, a platform for an artistic dialogue. Robert’ pieces, mostly made of paper, are an assembly of various sources (images taken or found by the artist himself). The images are then collaged and scanned before being printed again on paper. The result is an hybrid work that recalls the strength of the written language. The choice of paper is not trivial as this is a medium through which discourse is crystallized in the memory. Whatever passes through the mind goes also through the body. Performativity is for the artist a way to transfer not only the gestures but also the physicality of the object onto the viewer.

Jimmy Robert is a graduate of Goldsmiths, University of London, and the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam. In recent years, Robert has exhibited at 5th Berlin Biennale of Contemporary Art, Berlin; Tate Britain, London; WIELS, Brussels; Art:Concept, Paris; CCA Kitakiushu Project Gallery, Japan; Cubitt Gallery, London; Neuer Aachen Kunstverein, Germany; MoMA in New-York; CAC Bretigny, France and Diana Stigter, Amsterdam. Jimmy Robert was the 2009 laureate of the Follow Fluxus–After Fluxus grant. In 2012 Jimmy Robert had two solo shows one at gallery du Jeu de Paume in Paris and one at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) in Chicago and in June 2013 a solo show at the Power plant in Toronto. Born in French Guadeloupe in 1975, Jimmy Robert lives in Berlin. He works diverse media including photography, collages, objects, art books, short films and performance art. In his explorations into the relationship between images and objects, Robert draws attention to the dynamics of different surfaces. Questions of identity and its representation are his main interest, and he uses a variety of references to literature, art and music to emphasise the fragility of the materials he uses. Influenced by the Nouveau Roman genre and particularly by the novels of Marguerite Duras, Robert chooses to blur the meaning of his works. This results in subtle transitions from space to surface, from an image to its concept and from a text to an idea. These transformations of space and content are always placed in relation to the artist’s own body. In his photography, for example, we see the artist’s hand touching the materials, creating a connection between the image and its surroundings. In his performances, by contrast, Robert’s body becomes a projection surface, where the tension between the portrayal and the content reveal the relationship between appropriation and alienation.