JGM. Galerie is presenting a collection of recent sculptures and photographs of Jean-François Fourtou. "Mes Maisons" reveals a new side to this artist's work, through a considerable number of works created specially for the exhibition.
For several years, Jean-François Fourtou has devoted himself to transforming the places in which he lives or works into a work of art. His bachelor flat, perched between the sky and the earth amongst the Paris rooftops, houses no less than 250 giant snails, extending from the floor to the ceiling. On the model of this animal hidden in its shell, the artist designs his Maisons like envelopes in which he hides and rediscovers his inner world. Everything here is designed on the theme of a hiding place : a bed behind a display wall, a bathtub under a desk? A real box of tricks, this life-size shell introduces us to the artist's intimate and resolutely playful world. Understandably, it is difficult to remain unaffected by this world, which revives childhood memories in everyone.
His Madrid workshop is also a playground : here a giant mollusc-like hand unexpectedly intrudes on the toilets, there a pile of cubes form a very imaginative piece of furniture.
His Maisons are also areas on which buried memories are projected. Each place functions like a dream that the artist has decided to transpose in three dimensions: condensation, ellipses, loss of spatial and temporal markers, games of scale, the same disorder, the same strangeness as in dreams.
In Marrakech, Jean-François Fourtou recreated from memory, and on three different scales, a part of his great grandmother's house that made a mark on his childhood. On a double scale, objects regain the disproportionate size that they had when we were children. The three-quarter scale is perfectly adapted to the artist's daughter, who is about to celebrate her fourth birthday. Finally, the 1/5th scale is hardly larger than a doll's house. Two colossal photographs show the artist curled up in a foetal position, in a miniature room. Mother house, womb, protective recess, the house is all of these things.
In a parallel to the photographs and house mock-ups, Jean-François Fourtou is exhibiting a series of monumental objects, such as an 80 cm pitcher, a broom of over 4 metres and a knitted jumper hung from a one metre wide coat hanger. Gigantism that causes the onlooker to recall how he felt and how he saw things as a child.
The exhibition depicts a journey into the twists of time and the collective memory. How do we live in our internal world, this house that, in itself, never leaves us? How can we assess the true value of a space? These are perhaps the questions that run through the living spaces and giant sculptures of Jean-François Fourtou.