Mécènes du Sud are proud to present for this new edition of ART-O-RAMA Étienne Rey.

Etienne Rey’s work explores the very concept of space. He distorts physical phenomena and harnesses the process of perception to induce an awareness of “being there”. His installations are by nature experiential. They don’t offer an experience, they contain one. They are active works that engage presence and space. By accentuating coexistences (pattern/blankness, light/structure, void/undulation), Etienne Rey challenges our perceptions by using notions of infinitely connected elements as first evoked by Leibnitz. Here space and material are perceived as being at the same time distinct, inseparable, and interdependent. As a tool for both grasping reality and revealing forms, light becomes a medium of choice. Combinatorial interferences, whether intangible like breath, light, or emptiness, or material, like movement and point of view, act to multiply the forms that dictate the appearances of the works. The Mediterranean Sea, which meets the J1 industrial hangar at the prow of the city, inspires an initial coexistence as a result of both its reality and its representations.

Instabilités, the selection of works presented here, is the product of ongoing research, it places space and time under tension to create a vibratory experience. Chaos and crystal stoke unstable forces within a framework of constraints that determines the complexity of the work. The confrontation between air and light gives birth to seemingly caustic substances. Within this context, movement disturbs a stable visual state. The turbulence of the luminous folds gives rise to the image of a floating body. The wall drawing and the screen print Variable Density are generated by the coercive nature of a fixed perimeter of action, the optimization of interconnections, and the requirement for maximal efficiency. Within the paintings from the Instabilités series, which involved prolific modeling, the topography of the crystal shapes comes fleetingly to life as a result of cognitive illusions. Faced with their constraints, neurological systems are literally subjugated, leading to the emergence of unstable figures.

The works, through a system of correlations that are at times controlled, at times random, and which are amplified by their adjacency, are easily dismissed as artifacts or visual deceptions, thus raising questions about the manner in which representation alienates our perception of what is real. By acting upon variations and radiations of a physical nature, Etienne Rey has conjured the existential breadth of the void. With his naturalist approach, he casts a serene gaze at this invisibility that he so intimately explores, and in so doing he connects us to the imperious powers that are ever-present.

Etienne Rey lives and works in Marseille.
He was a Mécènes du Sud laureate in 2011.
The Mécènes du Sud Aix-Marseille collective brings together companies supporting Art-O-Rama.