Wilfrid Almendra

Untitled, 2017
Series of works
Copper, glass and found materials
Courtesy the artist

Compagnie Fruitière's Residency program
Guest artist: Wilfrid Almendra

As ART-O-RAMA’s main sponsor since 2015, the Compagnie Fruitière reiterates their trust in favor of international contemporary creation and offers to present their first ever African residency program. Organized by Sextant et plus / Group, the Compagnie Fruitière residency program welcomes this year Wilfrid Almendra, French artist based in Marseilles, at the heart of Penja plantations in Cameroun.

Selected for the first ever international residency program of La Compagnie Fruitière organized this year in 2017 at the heart of Haut Penja's Plantation in Cameroun, Wilfrid Almendra offers to present a series of works that seams autonomous. The apparent fragmented works are actually connected to each other, building a behind the scene Faraday cage turned into a radio transmitter.

During his stay in this Sub-saharan area, the artist has witnessed gestures and sampled materials he then reintroduced into his work. We can retrieve primal ideas in his work such as flow and issuance, alternative economics and precariousness, but also, in the uncertain movement engendered by a change of residency, the attendance of new usages, customs and landscapes, a practice of manufactured objects transformation next to core and slippery elements such as water and electricity. The artist builds his own alternative circuit and insists on creating squares out of round copper tubes, collected among gypsy wreckage. Through an intensive hammering work and the patiently joint successive layers, the objects now wave between architecture and jewelry.

A still life ends the circle. The metal fruit comprising it comes from an intended meeting by the artist with an exceptional master founder and aluminium wreckages coming from ruined verandas after the Xyntia tempest in 2010. Coming to residential areas, Xynthia swept all working-class families retirement dreams and their nice secondary houses. The frailty of their recovery and recycling tells us a lot about the importance of material but also of the attention to those gestures and practices in the artist’s work. As such, those objects, some may say left as such, are augmented with traces of the past, foreshadowing a whole life where men have to be accompanied in their desires and everyday life.