In ‘Enthrone Dethrone’, seats and thrones are seamlessly assembled from collected goods. In a space-wrapping scenography, flooring covers the walls and fencing protects the floor. Large panels of tracing paper divide the second space of the gallery in smaller compartments, in which light and sound are diffused.
The exhibition is conceived in two chapters, sequenced in time. In Chapter 01, the first part of this exhibition, his composed seats stacked and pressed together multiple unrelated found objects. Everything surrounding us was once designed for its own purpose. In this second chapter, Jadot gently stirs thoughts on how objects come into life and how we treat them afterward.
Dignified, complex, and somewhat humorous, the works are intuitively put together, from an archive of found objects that one can only imagine the dimensions of. Before you continue reading, do note: the show is best experienced seated, barring the distinction between object of use and object of attention, they invite for different types of conversation. The seats, chairs, thrones all make us think of our own physical comportment, and of how the seat lends its mood to the person sitting on it. The crackling floor, the felt walls, and the diffuse light slow you down into an oddly absorbing environment, in which you are left in always another comfort.
Being a descendant of a family of crafters, Lionel works magic in brutal and precise daring pieces that make us reconsider what we know as “a thing”. The precise finish of his pieces adds up to the unusual perception we have of them. Soft, hard, furry, or cold: each piece makes us rethink how we touch, sit, and feel. Looking around one could conclude that we seem to sit for allure, for softness, for recovery, for VHS, for glamour, for thinking, playing, and anticipating.
The first seat you see upon entering the second space of the gallery has among other parts: a Pontiac 72 seat and a headrest that was a mountain decor of electric trains. This opening piece nicely introduces puzzled reading and the desire to touch. ‘Enthrone Dethrone Chapter 02’ includes Lionel’s long-board broken during a fall, an iron-wood board from a submerged pontoon in Bali. There is a treated old wooden ceiling by Christophe Gevers that became a seat; as well as gilded leaf glass tiles from a 70’s nightclub. Wooden molds of sinks from the 1950’s look like spaceships, held together by an industrial fastening system. Their surface has an equally alien appeal, which is the result of ’flocking’; gun-sprayed textiles. The piece that looks and feels like a forest embrace, has a base of solid oak, uses Turkish wool canvas, and is covered tapestries of cartographies by artist Olivia Babel. As far as for strong backstories: the VHS pile is part of a collection of 35.000 videotapes, recorded over 25 years by the same person.
Lionel Jadot finds stories and solutions whilst playfully paving his very own middle ground between art and object.
Text by Céline Mathieu
Pictures by Silvia Cappellari