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Bétonsalon is partnering with Le Plateau, Frac Île-de-France to host a two-part exhibition by Judith Hopf.
Since the 2000s, the German artist has been making sculptures and films fuelled by her reflections on the relationships that human beings have with technology. For this first monographic exhibition in France, Judith Hopf unites existing and previously unseen works. Some of them resonate from one exhibition to the other. Its title, Énergies, refers to what fuels each of our everyday electrical appliances, viewed from both a technical and philosophical perspective.
While at Le Plateau, the works revolve around the transformation of the landscape into a source of energy, it is more a question of its consumption at Bétonsalon. A sculpture created for the exhibition represents a lightning bolt, a natural explosion that highlights the origin of electricity, its power and danger. Its use is at the heart of Énergies, where sculptures and films suggest a world dependent on electricity consumed without consideration for the terms of its production. We discover the Phone Users, human figures busy looking at their telephones. Absorbed in the contemplation of their screens, they seem cut o from their immediate environment, which is comprised of oversized apple peel sculptures.
Judith Hopf’s work is full of the contradictions that pervade our daily lives and which she brings to light in all their strangeness. The numerous inversions and shifts that she brings into play in her work, by representing scenes that are so familiar that they become unusual, even ironic, are an invitation to think of alternatives, to see differently rather than to consume more and more quickly. Moreover, Énergies reminds us that in this age of videoconferencing, large quantities of electricity and human energy are needed to set up exhibitions. The Phone Users are a metaphor for this, presuming that they try to reach each other between the two exhibitions, and that they try to communicate to the extent of announcing to each other: « There’s no network”.
This exhibition in two parts is co-produced with Le Plateau, Frac Île-de-France and is supported by the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen, and the galleries Deborah Schamoni, Munich and kaufmann repetto, Milan and New York.
Xavier Franceschi is the director of Frac Île-de-France.
François Aubart is an independent curator, publisher (Même pas l’hiver) and teaches at the École nationale supérieure d’arts de Paris-Cergy (ENSAPC).