French artist Radouan Zeghidour presents his first solo show in England at Yamamoto Keiko Rochaix Gallery with pieces exploring an archaeology of forgetting. Zeghidour’s works are composed of memory, fragment and monument, through sculptures that are at once forbidden discoveries and fragmented rememberings of past places.
Zeghidour said: “The title for the exhibition comes from a Chinese legendary bird, the Jian, which has only one wing, and only one eye. To be able to fly, he must find a companion, since it is only with two birds together, that they will have two wings, two eyes, and thus will be able to move. This legendary bird evokes a lot: love, the idea of the couple, the need to bond with others. But also, and this is what I see in relation to the exhibition here, something that […] represents the need for the present to feed on the past in order to be able to fly to the future.”
Radouan Zeghidour’s practice encompasses a diverse range of references and media – drawing on his attraction towards the dark and forgotten spaces of Paris. The sculptures made in these spaces are ephemeral, hidden installations, often built with the materials found on site. Many of his works are clandestine and illegal; destroyed every time they are found, and existing only as pictures, fragments, memories and video works. Mythological themes tie into his practice, which emerges from the underworld to the surface, different, changed and full of secrets.
Building on these lost and hidden temporal works, Jian plays with the idea of ruins of the past, present, and the imaginary ruins of a future time. These imagined ruins, restored memory and archaeological (re)creation are made of various materials, from bas-reliefs, to monumental architectural sculptures evoking the doors and structures of the subterranean, here constructed in polystyrene, polished aluminium, plaster and cement. The final works in the show are composed of found objects and fragile matter, arranged under a Clepsydra, so that they disappear from the gallery little by little; sculptures torn from dark spaces, slowly fading in the light ‒ material dissolving into memory.
Keiko Rochaix, the gallerist and curator of Jian, says of Zeghidour’s works: “Grossly primitive and infinitely precious at the same time, his works are visually grasping, hitting the viewer at first sight. And that is before one digs into the conceptual sides of the body of his oeuvres; all the works are held together by almost enigmatic, other-worldly notions. Radouan’s talent as a visual artist is that he recreates/produces unearthly ideas with such base, physical, tangible materials. And that is exactly what you see in Jian: the notion of ephemerality, somehow physically present in the space of the Gallery.”
Zeghidour’s previous solo exhibitions include Hypogea, Galerie Catinca Tabacaru, New York (2016); DNSAP, ENSBA, Paris (2014) and Heterotopie, ENSBA, Paris (2013). He has also participated in several group shows, including Explorers I, Loft 19, Galerie Suzanne Tarasiève, Paris, and Explorers II, Londonewcastle Project Space, London, both in 2016.
Born in 1989, Radouan Zeghidour lives and works in Paris. He graduated from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (ENSBA) Paris in 2016 and received the Thaddaeus Ropac prize in 2014.
Radouan Zeghidour: Jian
12 January ‒ 23rd February 2017
Private view and opening reception: Wed 11 Jan 6:00-9:00 pm
Yamamoto Keiko Rochaix
19 Goulston St
London E1 7TP