Opening reception : Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Sculpt, Fix and Volume – three plastic sounding promises made by the Studio Line range of hair products from the French giant l’Oréal, which materialise in Dominique Sirois’ installation. Broadcast in 1988, the company’s advertising clip is here shelled and reformulated by the artist who was interested in the Studio Line trademark, developed by the multinational L’Oréal in the 1980s and whose visual identity is based on the work of Piet Mondrian – famous for its black grids on a white background with blue, yellow and red squares. The Studio Line logo, by becoming a variant of the neo-plastic work, recovers and diverts its values of universalism, innovation and rejection of traditions, in favour of the registered trademark. At Sirois, the geometric abstraction of the company logo functions as a metaphor describing the high level of abstraction of companies’ financial market activities. The new version produced by the artist, although faithful to the sequence of the original advertising shots, moves away from them by a slower rhythm (the duration going from 30 seconds to several minutes); the absence of colour (Sirois having turned black and white); a more neutral dynamic between actors (the seduction ratio, palpable in the advertising, is replaced by a formal choreography) and an introspective climate (resulting among other things from a soundtrack produced using a wave generator and the actors’ performance). The work explores the state of a breathless economic system by diverting familiar landmarks from the advertising world: the refined aesthetic gives way to the raw and recycled nature of the materials and the artisanal aspect of the objects. In the exhibition room, in addition to the video, sculptural elements evoking bottles, furniture and musical instruments, inspired by advertising and manufactured by the artist, are gathered.
Sirois’ recent projects articulate a reflection on our economic system and the fate it holds for objects produced in large numbers and intended for mass consumption. What determines the value of these objects? And how does this value assignment process affect their presentation?