From November 24th to January 26th, Galerie Lot 10 will host Baptiste Debombourg’s first solo show in Belgium, in collaboration with Galerie Patricia Dorfmann. Named after the wooden installation that serves as the pivotal axis of the exhibition, IRIS immediately stands as a riddle. Beyond the accuracy of perception, the artist plays with paradoxes while constantly yearning for a perfect balance of material, ideas and senses.


From outside the gallery, The wheel-Iris violently tears the ground with its blades; it seizes the passer-by into its sharp and unstoppable dynamics. The motif of vision runs throughout the exhibition, from the blind violence of the wheel to the Aggravures of a defaced « Angel appearing to Joachim » (after Albrecht Dürer) or of a Virgin Mary that is left beheaded by its tight framing. At a different level, mail-order « La Redoute » catalogues are scooped out and sculpted into topographical landscapes.


Iris also stands for the « eye » of the storm, the patch of stability that arises at the very heart of violence and chaos. This oxymoron is one that the artist tirelessly explores, re-enacting the most ravaging outbursts of violence through a paradoxically meticulous and tenacious creative process. By confronting opposites, he reaches the most fascinating and subtle balance. With his reference to mythological and religious iconography, the artist underlines how reproduction triggers out all kinds of distortions. His portmanteau word « aggravure » spontaneously evokes an engraving (gravure) made of staples (agrafes), but also refers to the aggravating processes of an image and its subject. Architectural is the least one can say about this work: its relation to space and its mastering of forces, counterforces and points of balance reveal those same processes that silently mold our environment and shape human relations. This very foucaldian approach also surfaces in the series Tradition of excellence where the internal mechanics of an anti-personnel mine evolves into the architectural plan of a church.


French artist Baptiste Debombourg attended Lyon and Paris Beaux-Arts schools and teaches Plastic Arts at La Villette’s Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture. In the same way that he likens his creative processes to the work of a lab researcher, he wants his art to trigger encounters, to link foreign universes, to make « elite » and « popular » cultures meet. Violence may be a motif in his work, but he does not engage in any fascination for arbitrary ferocity: his work considers what comes after, traces and scars. He thus exposes the distance between our ideals and reality. In this gap, and quite ironically, he reveals human nature in its fragility, powerlessness, but also tenderness.