Kévin Blinderman at Le Confort Moderne / Poitiers

Kévin Blinderman / YOU'RE THE WORST

January 21 - May 9, 2021 

Curator : Yann Chevallier

Le Confort Moderne
185 rue du Faubourg du Pont Neuf
86000 Poitiers


As I’m writing this text – we are just a few days before December 31st 2020 – a man’s figure, fully dressed in black leather, static and not addressing anyone in particular, stands amongst artworks, documents and artefacts, in the middle of a collective exhibition inside an empty Kunsthalle. The exhibition is No Dandy No Fun at Kunsthalle Bern, and the figure belongs to a group of objects gathered by Kévin Blinderman, Charles Teyssou and Pierre-Alexandre Mateos in order to draw a portrait of Jacques de Bascher; aesthete, dandy and prominent personality of Paris’ nightlife during the 1970s and 1980s. This portrait is as much an artwork as it is a document, a sociological investigation on a given era. 

As Kévin Blinderman’s exhibition ‘You’re the Worst’ at Confort Moderne in Poitiers will open, on January 21 2021, the leather man will still be standing inside Kunsthalle Bern, for the very last days of the exhibition No dandy No Fun. And it’s funny because I find morphological similarities between this figure and the main sculpture in Kévin’s exhibition; this speaker mounted on a tripod and sitting on a pedestal, with its anthropomorphic qualities, its skinny little legs and black chest, yelling Bulma’s music sporadically, very loudly, standing in the middle of this vast empty space. It has somehow a powerful voice but no face. As a signifier, this sculpture contains and compresses within itself a whole social, emotional, aesthetical and physical experience. So, it is pleasant for me to think about these two black figures with no face, simultaneously standing up in the middle of art institutions located 813 kilometers away from one another. Yes, I like to think about these two figures which are substitutes for extreme experiences, poor signifiers which “refer to” something much stronger than themselves. 

Kévin’s sculpture makes me think about Felix Gonzàlez Torres’ gogo dancer, of course. These two are kinds of perfect opposites: while Gonzàlez Torres’ gogo dancer is listening to music in his Walkman through headphones, therefore listening to music we can’t hear, Kévin’s sculpture is projecting loud music throughout the nearly empty space of Confort Moderne, but nobody’s dancing, and the sculpture isn’t dancing either. Gonzàlez Torres’ gogo dancer dances one hour per day, I think, at fixed times in the space where it is exhibited, meaning that when he isn’t dancing only the little white podium (or pedestal) decorated with little white light bulbs remains. Kévin’s sculpture is a functioning speaker, but only at irregular intervals, one could even say at stochastic intervals, this way it may potentially surprise the visitors of the exhibition with its intensity and loudness or conversely let them experience the show in complete silence. When Kevin’s sculpture is not functioning, that is to say when it does not play Bulma’s music, I suppose that, just like Gonzàlez Torres’ little podium or pedestal, it is an abstract sculpture or a kind of an assisted ready-made. What they do have in common is that when there is no audience, they still perform their little performance: the gogo dancer is dancing, the speaker is spitting its music, without any regards for the attendance of art institutions.