Photo Feature: Jean-Luc Moulène: Larvae And Ghosts At Thomas Dane Gallery

Thomas Dane Gallery presents ‘Larvae and Ghosts’ an exhibition of new work by French artist Jean-Luc Moulène. This is the artist’s fourth solo show at the gallery. Moulène’s approach is one of perpetual interrogation. Essentially a pragmatist, the artist sees his objects and images as ‘tools’ to reveal social or natural phenomena, and his working method constitutes a series of ‘protocols’ or rules for making.

The artist severs generic English garden sculptures from their context and breaches the surface of one figure with the substance of the next, Moulène collapses all narrative, allegorical and material distinctions. The skulls of a donkey and pig – each embedded in a concrete shell of itself and then severed in half – are presented as re-imagined bivalves.

Image: Jean-Luc Moulène, Piggy, 2016, Thomas Dane Gallery. Photo: P A Black © 2016.

The artist’s primary concern is the relationship between the object and the image, which are negotiated via propositions around the body – ‘pre-born’ or ‘already-dead’, human and animal, whole and in fragments, declined, allegorical, carnal, grotesque, or clinically exact. This preoccupation with the body may result from Moulène’s work with French performance artist, Michel Journiac, during the late seventies.

Image: Jean-Luc Moulène, Piggy, 2016, detail, Thomas Dane Gallery. Photo: P A Black © 2016.

In contrast to the sobriety of concrete and stone is juxtaposed with colour and plastics. ‘The idea is simple: if you objectify floating mental images, they no longer float, they become legible. My work has often been about that: giving concrete existence to mental images’ – Jean-Luc Moulène.

About the artist:

Born in 1955, Jean-Luc Moulène studied Aesthetics and Sciences of Art at the Sorbonne University in Paris, where he currently lives and works. Important solo presentations are in preparation at the Centre Pompidou, Paris (Autumn 2016) and Secession, Vienna (Spring 2017). Moulene has participated in Documenta X (1997), the Sao Paulo Biennial (2002), the Venice Biennial (2003), the Taipei Biennial (2004), the First International Biennial of the Image (Laos, 2007) and the Sharjah Biennial (2010). Among the institutions that have dedicated solo exhibitions to his work are Centre d’Art Contemporain de Genève (2003), Musée du Louvre, Paris (2005), Culturgest, Lisbon (2007), and Carré d’art-Musée d’art contemporain, Nîmes (2009), Dia:Beacon (2012), Hanover Kunstverein (2104), Villa Medici, Rome (2015). Moulène’s work has been included in countless group exhibitions all over the world.

Lead image: Jean-Luc Moulène, Two, 2016, Thomas Dane Gallery. Photo: P A Black © 2016.

Jean-Luc Moulène: Larvae and Ghosts – Thomas Dane Gallery – until 28 May 2016

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