At Balice Hertling gallery, Paris, the new exhibition of Camille Blatrix proposes visitors a guided tour to the artist’s curious world. This voyage already started last summer at Gasconade gallery in Milan. However, this notion of spatiality doesn’t finally matter, it is a continuous trip: this exhibition is based on the idea of departure, a departure into a world which can be modified to serve multiple purposes, where functions can be assigned and determined as we want.
A public transportation strike has halted traffic in all directions. The traffic will be discontinued until 2015. Whilst rushing to the terminal to take the first bus headed to Etretat, Ccb learns that all departures are cancelled. His path to reach Alison will be done on foot.
Let’s put aside Ccb for a moment. We find ourselves at the Balice Hertling Gallery, which has been slightly modified from its normal state. It is opening night; there are bus tickets for sale. The departure date is unknown and the destination as yet unclear. The ticket booth of the « N » transport company is all we see. « H » for Hotel, « B » for Bank, these other symbols have appeared in previous exhibitions. The « N » for Navette (Shuttle) following them adds a new site to this alphabet of services, of territories.
For the moment, that far off place towards which we have been offered a one-way trip does not yet exist. Something will happen there, or perhaps something will not. It must be put out of mind so as to concentrate on the present. Let us focus on the incongruous nature of this moment. In these few seconds is contained an electricity that we are invited to activate. We can leave. Momentarily distracted from our habitual moorings in time and space, we can think in different terms. The potential for escape, without regard for the duration or the distance of the journey that stands between here and our unknown destination. From this point forward, it is plausible to travel far off all the while staying close by, to laze about while savoring the speed with which we are borne away.
Despite appearances, Camille Blatrix does not linger on specific objects. This continual race allows him to create an ever-renewing impetus. The energy that results is not subject to representation; it is activated, harnessed. The refinement of the works functions as a smokescreen. What appears leaps and bounds. Not as leaps in time, because time doesn’t count here, but towards a constant mobility, both internal and without limits.
Through this conditioning, the gallery space becomes an interface in flux. It can be transformed into a bar, a vending machine, a multi-service kiosk…those places we pass through momentarily on our way to somewhere else or that we pass by altogether. It’s not a matter of being in a hurry; it’s about taking the time to get away.
– Julie Beaufils
Camille Blatrix at Balice Hertling gallery, Paris, 13.02 – 29.03.2014.