A Belgian Ikon

There are only a few days left to see the UK's first show, Pieces of evidence, of Belgian Artist Michel François whose work is integrated into the Birmingham gallery in which it is housed, Ikon Gallery at Brindleyplace.

Using a range of media objects, photographs, video, light-based works, and architectural installations which he considers all to be sculpture, François intends for all of the works to be read as a whole, integrated into the building, http://ikon-gallery.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/ikon_guide_A4_2pp-FINAL.pdf.  Like the earlier David Tremlett exhibition, http://ikon-gallery.org/event/3-drawing-rooms/, which saw Tremlett's works painted directly onto the walls creating almost a disorientation between the building and the works François' pieces are entwined so that you are both observer and participant in what he approaches as movement between two sides.

“The idea is to show how you can take any object and it becomes an art work. That an object has a life of its own,” adds curator Stuart Tulloch.http://www.birminghampost.co.uk/whats-on/arts-culture-news/revered-artist-makes-uk-debut-7084154

The overarching theme is duality - between growth and disintegration, structure and chaos and the exhibition title, Pieces of evidence, refers to François’ fascination with a netherworld, drawing comparisons between the ingenuity of artists and criminals, http://ikon-gallery.org/event/michel-francois/

François often perforates architectural structures to suggest the possibility of movement between two sides with Retaining Wall outside the entrance the first clue as to the exhibitions engagement with the building and the exhibition works but also as an uneasy consideration of the integrity of architecture, http://ikon-gallery.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/ikon_guide_A4_2pp-FINAL.pdf  

This work forms a loop, uniting disparate spaces through tangible matter.http://thisistomorrow.info/articles/michel-francois-pieces-of-evidence

Permanence has perhaps always been an interesting concept for Birmingham which has seen successive regeneration and planning schemes shape the city and led to an almost 40 year cycle of renewal which has seen library, station and shopping centre redeveloped at these time intervals. 

Parts, the first work you see on entering from the lift on the first floor is both mesmerising but also filled with tension.  Constantly on the brink of collapse the work is made of rods suspended by powerful magnetic balls.

Pièce Détachée (Parts) (2010). It is comprised of a cube frame, the inner sanctuary of which is ruptured by steel rods suspended in perpetual collapse by powerful magnetic balls.http://www.aestheticamagazine.com/blog/michel-francois-pieces-evidence-ikon-gallery/#sthash.aC1M3fRv.dpuf

The exhibition is on until 22 June with the Ikon Gallery open from 11am - 6pm, http://ikon-gallery.org/event/michel-francois/


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