"People" / Narcisse Tordoir
Texts by Domenico de Chirico and Hilde Borgermans
14 May – 3 July, 2021
2018 Antwerp, Belgium
dance together in an aesthetic rhythm that takes the word to the word and decants not the pure form, but the image in all its historical complexity scrutinised and sniffed from the moment of its very formation, and then questioned from an ontological point of view until reaching the bustle of meanings that the modern world has assigned to it. Tordoir is certainly known for having broken pre-existing models, mainly his own; his productive ardour is punctuated by methodological deaths and rebirths that stimulate the internal energy of his research, always spurring new impulses of renewal. This is how his polyphonic choreographies, in which the chromatic language enters an intimate conversation with the abstract form, while the vaguely figurative elements filter current events through the remnants of representations belonging to various cultural spheres, are born. The group of works Z.T., among others, developed between 2019 and 2020 and presented in the exhibition, seem to make up a further evolutionary step in the artist’s prolific production. Indeed, compared to the early works in which fields of pure colour, geometry and enigmatic signs interacted, and to later works characterised by the collage technique, in which fragments were stacked one on top of the other and in which no hierarchy distinguished the abstract compositions from the colour fields, the spatial supports from the cut-out images, we can now observe a more mature methodological result, in which everything appears decidedly more relaxed, where colour has already shouted out its value amidst the intricacies full of hermeneutic references and each element, though vivid, carves out its own moment in the crowd: People.
Peoples, Peoples, Peoples
In any case, Narcisse Tordoir is referring to you and I, since he himself is standing solitarily across the street. The artworks of this exhibition oversee the graffiti spectacle from behind TICK TACK’s high vitrine window. These witnesses, however, are neither silent nor compassionate. The artist translates his observations into a blatant sense of monumentality. Every now and then a good stirring of the pot can catch our gaze and hopefully inspire us. Tordoir’s attractive visual language is a way of seducing us and sometimes give a slap on the wrist.
Some visual artists try to construct a kind of dam, a stillness or even rigidity regarding the extensive flow of images with which we are confronted. Tordoir once noted that for him reality is an endless source of images.1 At TICK TACK, he is presenting himself as a Luftmensch, a man of smoke, unwilling to comply. A free mind that doesn’t rely solely on intellectual references but on the image itself which, ultimately, cannot be restrained by logical terminologies. He bombards us with razor sharp images of current affairs without, at any moment, the need to be discursive. For Tordoir, it’s all about a kind of logic that only unfolds through images. Although derived from reality, these images are completely reconstructed. In this case, the image as method is of great importance since the artist’s practice
is not based on a concept but directly on an image. Tordoir is not producing manifestos and the original image must always undergo a transformation.
a clearly defined airtight language, he’s after all a man of smoke, and invites us to be one as well. The image grabs him and not the other way around. His ego is subordinate. There’s still room for the other.
a (clandestine) DHL service for people, more precisely emigrants. It might even be a more humane alternative than the cur-rent situation where people attempt to make the crossing in boats not fitted for sea. This is of course no solution, only a sigh reflected in an image. Peoples, peoples, peoples (my oh my).