Fake Estate and independent curator Béatrice Gross are pleased to announce the opening on February 26, 2009 of American Wall Nut, an anarchitectural installation by French artist Davide Balula.
Emptied of its usual markers of labor and display, the interstitial space of the transfigured, hardly150 square foot exhibition venue evokes, with its parqueted floor and bare walls, an abandoned domestic space. In the back of the room, as though the perpendicular planes of the floor and the wall had folded onto each other and left a trace of their unlikely encounter, fragments of walnut lumber encrusted in the dry wall and strips of plaster inlayed in the parquet floor mirror each other in a strict inversion of matter.
The reflective motif reveals itself as inherently site-specific, as it is determined by the modular relationship between the wood paneling and the general structure of the ground it covers. Paradoxically, despite its three-dimensional embodiment, Balula’s geometric intarsio prevails as an essentially bi-dimensional delineation: the artist draws here with space, like others draw with ink or graphite.
If, not unlike the ornamental art of marquetry in the Italian Renaissance, the artist’s environment relates ultimately to sculpture, architecture, and pictorial composition at once, its purpose exceeds merely formal explorations: suggesting, with a tremendous economy of means, a magical phenomenon, Balula investigates the structure of space, giving life, through a delicate conjuring trick, to the inanimate.
Davide Balula is represented by Galerie Frank Elbaz (Paris). He has shown internationally, in numerous venues such as Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Museums Quartier, Vienna; Museum of Contemporary Art of Kyoto; Museum of Contemporary Art of North Miami; Total Museum, Seoul. He is currently a member of the LMCC Residency Program.