(Draft material for Photomonitor, published here to coincide with the last weeks of the extended Thomas Dane exhibition)
|Installation at Oxford, with blown and cast knots|
|From the series 'Monochromes / Samples'|
|The Three Graces|
|'Le Fontaine des Amoureux'|
Moulène, then, plays complex games in a serious way, with none of the irony or kitsch which is common in contemporary art. I’ve room to mention only part of his diffuse stream of work and ideas. Topics I haven’t said much on include systems of control; the derive and the nondescript; the eye as viewfinder; mysticism and the sun; the anthropology of cultures; his literary inspirations; and the circulation of documents and objects.
|Installation at Thomas Dane|
So what pulls all this together? Perhaps the relationship between art and commerce; the analysis of complexity; the movement from inside to outside; chaos and conflict; and the judgment of beauty – all touched on above. But Moulène has also spoken frequently about other potential candidates, suggesting that it’s another strategy of his to float multiple explanatory frameworks. Those include the centrality of the body; and ‘negation as a means of affirmation’, by which I take it he means that one can define a position by showing what it is not, as when he pulls a knot from its surround to leave its position defined by the clay. By taking a critical stance on much of reality, one can by implication define a core body which has a different status. That body, I suggest, is the body of the artist looking, of an artistic consciousness seeking to understand. Ultimately, what Moulène’s many approaches and frameworks demonstrate is the complex and elusive nature of our relationship to the world.