Theo Michael, "It’s Complicated", 180x130 cm, 2018
«Entre l'homme et l'amour, Il y a la femme. Entre l'homme et la femme, Il y a un monde. Entre l'homme et le monde, Il y a un mur.» Antoine Tudal, Paris en l'an 2000
In erotic literature, we often find descriptions of the impasse of a relationship based on sexual difference. The exhibition takes as its point of departure a poem by Antoine Tudal, Paris en l'an 2000, which describes the difficulty of love through the acoustic and verbal similarity of “love” (l’amour) and “wall” (le mur) in French. However, Jacques Lacan’s reference to the poem as a semiology of difference and similarity provides a basis in order to justify the relationship through the two lovers’ blunders and fumbles, their vain and unfulfilled reveries, even through excruciating pain (la douleur exquise) that turns into tragicomedy when there is no mutual response. The exhibition reveals what pushes away instead of uniting, what stands as an obstacle and makes relationships incompatible uniting instead of pushes away. Archaic and biblical references about the eternal battle of sexes, as well as the rhetoric of contemporary psychology on “complementary” relationship, become the ingredients of an indirect acceptance of the separation caused by biological difference. The emergence of divergence between desire and the obstacle that annuls it conveys the comical or melancholic outcome of an event that echoes not just the division of the relationship, but also the conflict, the struggle and the effort surrounding it. Here, there may be winners and losers, but in reality both sides annihilate each other, since idealizations and erotic frenzies are altered and extinguished in the corrosive flow of time. In perceiving the wordplay of l’a-mur as an insurmountable “love-wall”, or even as a temporarily surmountable obstacle, the exhibition aims at parodying discontinuity in this libidinal architecture of delimitation and cut.