Michel de Broin Interception
Works in the exhibition
In Michel de Broin’s second solo exhibition at Division Gallery, the artist turns his attention to the governing laws and strategies at play in games. Interception, the exhibition’s title, implies being caught by surprise and reversing a course of action. Interruption and chance set the rules for disorderly architectural paradoxes, where the binaries of top/bottom, inside/outside, and individual/collective are collapsed in an open field of play.
Artefact (2015), a large-scale photograph of excavated wallpaper previously concealed behind layers of paint, is a scene of football players randomly dispersed on a field. In this choreography of tactical moves, the players are caught in a trajectory within which the goal of the game is ignored. The repeating patterns contrast with the overall alteration of colour and texture that time has imprinted on the players. In the midst of this buried childhood dream emerges a broken structure in the wall, opening up a hole in the players’ field.
Also on display is Jeux de Tables (2014), composed of 24 ordinary tables reconfigured into a multilayered defensive structure. The title of the piece offers a play on words, with Jeux de Tables materializing the French term for board games (games of tables). With legs pointed out, the upturned tables are transformed into the armored components of a fortress-like structure. A shield against assault, the piece contradicts its own purpose by deploying the precarious equilibrium of a house of cards. The interlocking pieces of this puzzle are mutually self-sustaining, revealing their backsides covered in traces of their use through time.
With Drunkated Buckyball (2015) de Broin returns to a familiar form, that of Buckminster Fuller’s truncated icosahedron. Inspired by utopian architecture, the piece is made of cast and re-painted swizzle sticks—mass-produced, collectible objects used as advertizing mediums and globally distributed in casinos and bars. The geodesic formation of the swizzle sticks aims for stability, balancing tensile and compressive forces within its surface.
De Broin's video FreeBall (2014) sees a hundred balls, found in the backyard of the artist's residence in New York, unleashed from the window of his apartment, one by one, onto an adjacent court. The video recounts the subsequent effects of these actions.
Solo exhibitions and projects for Michel de Broin include Reciprocal Energy, at Musée d’art contemporain Val-de-Marne, France; Reverse Entropy at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin; Disruption from Within at Plug In, Institute of Contemporary Art, Winnipeg, Canada; Épater la Galerie at Villa Merkel, Esslingen, Germany. Group exhibitions include; Car Fetish. I drive, therefore I am, Museum Tinguely, Basel, Switzerland; Acclimatation, Centre d’art Villa Arson, Nice, France; Untethered, Eyebeam, New York, NY; and Au courant, Hessel Museum of Art, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, among many others. A mid-career survey of his work was mounted by the Musée d’Art Contemporain, Montreal last year. His public art works and commissions in the last decade have included, Mehr Licht, a newly commissioned 20-meter project in Berlin for the Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders-Haus; Possibilities, 2012, Mississauga; Interlace, 2012, Changwong; Majestic, 2011, New Orleans; Revolution, 2010, Rennes; Arc, Montréal, 2009; La maîtresse de la Tour Eiffel, 2009, Paris; Overflow, 2008, Toronto; Encircling, Christchurch, 2006; Shared Propulsion Car, 2005, New York and 2007, Toronto; and Révolutions, 2003, Parc Maisonneuve-Cartier, Montréal. Recipient of the 2007 Sobey Art Award, de Broin has also received grants from the Harpo Foundation, Los Angeles, and Krasner-Pollock Foundation, New York. Most recently, he was awarded a residency at the International Studio and Curatorial Program in New York City.