At the heart of the exhibition ‘Buildering: Misbehaving the City’ at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, two of Didier Faustino’s works help to redefine urban and physical borders, to express his transgressive vision of architecture and the misuse of codes regarding housing, thus exploring limits to physical and psychological freedom.
Crossing the space diagonally, the Point Break installation reflects on the materiality of metal fencing and the use of it in towns and American suburbs. It provides a formal criticism, misappropriating this commonplace material to create a passage. The barriers refer to private property, fundamental in the USA, and the passage that they provide here remains extremely dangerous, requiring visitors to take a physical risk connecting them to illegal immigration and to the notion of border. Changing the exhibition space into an ambiguous territory, Point Break expands as if to delineate space, raising social, political as well as psychological questions.
With Home Suit Home, Didier Faustino invites us to enter a disturbing world, strangely resembling ours but haunted by another ‘us’ in customized armour in the most banal domestic material. The artwork draws on signs from our familiar environment but endeavours to turn it inside out, literally, like a glove, projecting the visitor into an unstable world. It plays with elements representing hindrance, displacement and inversion and takes on bodily characteristics consisting of poor materials from our standardized homes. Unusually concerned in front of our apartments and offices that have suddenly become unwelcoming, we are drawn to think about the lives that animate our familiar environments and the fictional borders that claim to separate art from our lives, political decisions from our aesthetic models. Reversibility characterises this installation, where the home is in turns designated like a compartment to be occupied and an impossible destination, where the anthropomorphic figure forms an interior as well as an exterior, a container and contents. Our housing models, our way of organising and accommodating our bodies, our spectacular buildings, the constraints opposing our flesh are in question here. Didier Faustino’s ploy radicalizes the architectural intention, to the point of formulating a resolute criticism of future planning for households.Photo credits : Buildering: Misbehaving the City
Point Break. 2009
Didier Faustino © ADAGP
Courtesy of the artist and LA><ART, Los Angeles
Photo : Kelly Barrie
Group exhibition from 28th February to 24th August 2014 – Curator: Steven Matijcio
Preview: 28th February 2014