French artist Baptiste Debombourg creates sculptures and installations that play on the broken and un-usable. The Parisian based artist has shown his work across Europe and in the US and is due to exhibit at The University of Chicoutimi UQAC in Québec, Canada this May.
Alongside his sculptures, Debombourg presents a relevant quotation or definition. For example with his work called ‘Inception’ he quotes “An event that is a beginning; a first part or stage of subsequent events” The work is cracked furniture re-molded into awkward shapes that look un-stable and useless, however the statement suggests otherwise. ‘Volte Face’ is a tall broken glass sculpture made from car windshields held together with nails and wood. Debombourg states “A. Prohibited Conduct – No person either singly or in concert with others shall: Take any action, create or participate in the creation of any situation, which recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health of anyone for the initiation into or affiliation with any organization.” This suggests a correlation between the broken glass and endangering others.
In the ‘Social Philosophy’ installations, Debombourg spells out mottos in cigarette ends. He quotes “Social philosophy is the philosophical study of questions about social behavior, especially human beings behaviors!” The sayings include “Believable”. “Simply the Best”, “Trust Your Intuition” and “Reach Within Shape the Future”. A contrast between the uplifting phrases is made by the use of old cigarette ends that people have discarded and littered the earth with.
Debombourg ‘s most recent exhibition is a large group show with over twenty artists from several countries at the National Museum of Cluj in Romania. The exhibition was named “I Fought the X and the X Won” and was inspired by rock and roll song “I Fought the Law”. The show proposes different situations in which one is faced by antagonistic forces and defeat or failure, and the work is extremely varied, withmedia ranging from video to drawing, painting and sculpture.
By Heather Welsh