Nothing Else Matters
David De Beyter
February 12th > May 7th 2016 — Centre d’art contemporain image/imatge, Orthez
Curator : Émilie Flory
Cécile Poblon, Émilie Flory and Nathalie Giraudeau, artistic directors of art centers and curators, worked together to invite and accompany the artist David De Beyter from 2014 to 2016 to build and produce 3 exhibitions and a monographic edition around his project Big Bangers.
Build and Destroy, October 9th > December 18th 2016, Centre photographique d’Île-de-France, Pontault-Combault — Curator : Nathalie Giraudeau
Just A Good Crash, May 27th > July 11th 2015, Centre d’art Le BBB, Toulouse — Curator : Cécile Poblon
Big Bangers is a long short project mixing together film, photography and sculpture. It leans on an amateur experience derived from auto-cross, the Big Bangers, which is a popular car-destruction practice one can see in the North of France, in Belgium and in the United-Kingdom. The beauty of the gesture as well as the philosophy of the community resides in the act of destroying usual cars with violent crashes that compress motors and car bodies. An esthetic of destruction where, for the amateurs, the resulting wreck is called an « auto-sculpture ».
The Big Bangers project spreads out around three research axis. The first one, the transfiguration of landscape through an amateur experience of destruction, is inherent to the project. The second axis, chaos inertia, tries to imply the limits of the sculptural gesture. Inspired by the performative acts carried out by fans through experience, this search opens a door to a reflexion on the ambiguity of the status of a destructive gesture, characterized by a deep violence although totally empty of any political, social or moral claims. The third axis is the one of archive/document and plays on the ambiguity of the images registers. Although they call their pieces « auto-sculpture », the Big Bangers amateurs usually keep nothing more than images of their work. Archives, fanzines, videos or amateur photographs are the starting point of this third research, both as a subject and a medium, in the idea of an archive manufacturing.
Big Bangers project seeks to reveal, in the representation of a destructive practice, a reflexion on the obsolescence and the dematerialization. With its anthropological approach, it brings us face to face with a sort of brutal and chaotic culture where a destroyed car becomes a trophy. Voluntarily extracting a series of shapes echoing sculpture from this practice, that project challenges the notion of progress and plunges us in what seems to be the echo of a society that manufactures its own ruins. The whole project brings to mind the disarticulation of a world that reconstructs itself pieces by pieces in the exposition space. I conceive the exposition space as an immersive space. Being a musician, I am also touched by the live experience, especially from the post-hardcore scene where I evolve. Those communities maintain different correspondances on several levels. Thus, what I attempt to capture with the immersive, and maybe aggressive space, results from the experience of destruction as I observed it in the circuits backstages. The exposition space then offers a smashed, fragmented interpretation, as an hypothesis linking photographs, films, archives and sculptures within the same context.
— David De Beyter
Exhibition realized in partnership with the art center Le BBB (Toulouse) and the Centre photographique d'Île-de-France (Pontault-Combault), with the exceptional help of the Ministry of Culture and Communication - DRAC Aquitaine.
The Big Bangers project received the support of the Commission Patronage of the Fondation nationale des Arts Graphiques et Plastiques as well as that of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region.
The Artist’s Website
David De Beyter
Far Above the World
Fleeing the Field
Look at Also
Big Bangers : relecture d’une pratique de la destruction
L’espace des possibles
Art works and views of the show : © David De Beyter
Views of the exhibition : © Nino Laisné