"Through painting, drawing, photography and sculpture, Abel Techer embodies the performativity of genres as Judith Butler theorized in her book Trouble in Genre (1990). In 2015, he will produce a new self-portrait. An untitled work in which the artist depicts himself bare-chested, slightly three-quarters of the way. While he is staring at us, he pinches and raises his chest. On the wall above him hang two woollen pompoms, signs of a vulnerable masculinity. At the bottom of the composition on the left is a pair of scissors evoking cutting, castration and transition. Several stories are proposed to us, it is up to us to project ourselves. This work, presented at the Maëlle Galerie, bears witness to a plastic and political encounter with Abel Techer.
Five years have passed. If Abel Techer's research is determined by the problems of self-representation, autofiction and the performativity of genres, recent works attest to a radicalization of his position towards a refusal of a stifling binarity. Abel Techer prefers confusion and a plurality of alternatives to the determining and reassuring norms. With his hair shaved, the artist turns his body into an object, a plastic mannequin that he dresses, undresses, asccesses and makes up relentlessly. A hairless body, ageless and without context. A body liberated from a toxic identity to which everyone should conform: to be assigned man or woman from birth to death. A body staged in the depths of fantasies or phantasmagorias whose place would be childhood. The stuffed animals, trinkets, patterns and pastel colours send us back to this territory where movement is permanent. A moment of transition, of transformation where the bodies are not yet completely normalized. A moment of play, fears, dreams, becoming.
Abel Techer speaks of incomplete bodies: The body as well as the representation are in the process of being built or undone, it is a transitory state, a platform in movement. The choice of an academic treatment is part of a desire to be part of a history of art that has been written and produced by the patriarchate. The classicism of the paintings and drawings is a plastic and political statement. Through it and through a highly subversive gentleness, Abel Techer introduces insolence, joy, vulnerability, irony and impropriety. For it is an intaglio of the exclusion of bodies that have been carefully removed from an overly authoritarian and malevolent art history. In the tradition of his elders, the artist is committed to an art that is thought beyond norms and traditions, an absolutely queer art."
Text by Julie Crenn, curator of the exhibition.
Abel Techer (France) is a recipient of the Visual Arts Committees of the Cité internationale des arts.
All the information and schedules on the Maëlle Galerie website.
Opening on Thursday, February 6th, from 6 to 9 pm.