Portrait by Camille Houzé
Nicoletti | Without Nature, Group Show, 2018
NiCOLETTi is pleased to present without Nature, an exhibitionthat reflects upon the conditions of perceptionand representation of the environment in an ecologically-concerned, digitally-mediated era. The exhibitionspans sculpture, digital painting, print and video froma selection of ten international artists, including Aram Bartholl, Julius Von Bismarck, Hugo Cantegrel, Petra Cortright, Chris Dorland, Rachel de Joode, Mathieu Merlet-Briand, Eva Papamargariti, Nicolas Sassoon & Rick Silva.
In De-coïncidence: d’où viennent l’art et l’existence(2017), the French philosopher François Jullien arguesthat modernity, less than a rupture or a process of systematicrevaluation of prevailing systems of thought,scientific equations and artistic traditions, was a singularevent which consisted, first and foremost, in acknowledgingthe death of Nature.
Taking Jullien’s reflection as a point of departure, the exhibition furthermore reflects on both the consequences and the possibilities that stem from our existencein a world without Nature. If modernity consisted inacknowledging the death of Nature as a metaphysical model, the artists presented here propose a series of visual scenarios which demonstrate the actual shift in the condition of perception, intellection and representation of the environment consecutive to the accelerating convergence of the natural and the computational.
In Mathieu Merlet-Briand’s practice, it is the relationship between physical and digital ecosystems which is being scrutinized. Commissioned by NiCOLETTi to produce a new series of work, the French artist realised three new pieces which further his ongoing exploration of digital (im)materiality. Starting with the analysis of thousands of images collected from research on Google – where he searched for words such as ‘flower’ or ‘tree leaves’ –Merlet-Briand conceives complex algorithmic protocols through which he recycles and re-materialises these flows of data into sculptural fragments and pigment prints. Pointing to the industrial production and pollution engendered by the development of purportedly immaterial technologies, Merlet-Briand’s work speculates on what might become the ruins of our technology-driven societies in an indeterminate future.