September 16th a new exhibition by Alexis Gautier (b. 1990, France) opened at M Leuven. Alexis Gautier often opts for a collective approach in his artistic practice. Out of an interest in the ways in which people or things are connected, he creates an oeuvre with varying protagonists through a reciprocal engagement. He provokes encounters and dialogue, researching the impact of relationships and their entanglement. In M, Alexis Gautier explores boundaries and ambiguities between fact and fiction, freedom and letting go of total control of his own work. The exhibition rooms can be seen as a film set, presenting a collection of new works born of a collective fiction.
L’Heure de la Soupe, an exhibition curated by Eva Wittocx, is an outcome of what Alexis Gautier calls ‘collective fiction writing’. The creative process is partly accidental, melding ideas and objects with the collaborative participation of several co-authors, who become protagonists in the exhibition. Gautier invites colleagues, craftsmen, museum employees, and namesakes to contribute to the creation of an overarching narrative. The exhibition brings together several works, like embroideries, ceramic doors, a site specific floor work and an outdoor installation with rotating kites.
For this exhibition Alexis Gautier collaborated with Shi Chunping, Anita Devi, Indu Devi, Minu Devi, Minu Devi, Reena Devi, Sanju Devi, Vibha Devi, Alexis Gautier, Alexis Gautier, Shi Jian, Abhishek Kumar, Anupam Kumar , Annu Kumari, Pinki Kumari, Saumya Kumari, Shilpee Kumari, Tannu Kumari, Shen Runzhong, Kanchan Singh, Richard Tuttle, Shen Weixing, Fang Yaqi and the museum attendants of M Leuven.
In 2022, Gautier will exhibit a new chapter of his work at CIAP Genk. On the occasion of the exhibitions, a book will be co-published by M, CIAP and Track Report (Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp), designed and edited by Nico Dockx. This book will be some sort of navigation tool throughout the work, archives and research processes of Alexis Gautier, in which a visual essay by Nico Dockx, an essay by Brian Dillon, and an artistic intervention by Laure Prouvost will be woven together and introduced by short text contributions by Eva Wittocx, Louise Osieka, and Alicja Melzacka.
For the finissage of the exhibition in March 2022, the room will softly merge into an improvised tennis court, a field where Alexis the artist is inviting Alexis the tennis player to perform a match, refereed by the staff of the museum – a bridge to CIAP, where namesakes connections will be pursued.
Playground 11.11 – 14.11.2021
During Playground, Alexis Gautier will take you on a car drive. You will explore the Leuven ring road on a unique 15-minute journey. You are invited to experience the moving city as a film, with the car as a camera. It will repeatedly travel the same route in a loop, in the same way that a film reel spins around its spool. This unique performance focuses on projection, fiction and narrative both at the setting of the sun.
Alexis Gautier (b. 1990, France) lives and works in Brussels and Brittany. He studied at the Städelschule in Frankfurt Am Main (Germany) and is currently a researcher at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. He has shown his work at BOZAR (Brussels, 2017), Blue Mountain School (London, 2018), Basis (Frankfurt Am Main, 2019), ISLAND (Brussels, 2020), The New Wight Biennial (Los Angeles, 2020), MANIFESTA (Marseille, 2020), Goethe-Institut (Dublin, 2021) and at M Leuven in the group exhibition The Constant Glitch (Leuven, 2021). He is supported by the Fondation des Artistes and the Günther-Peill Foundation. In 2022, Gautier will become an artist in residence at WIELS, The Center for Contemporary Art in Brussels.
Leopold Vanderkelenstraat 28, Leuven, 3000 Flemish Brabant, Belgium