Tombée du ciel
This second exhibition of Jean-François Fourtou at the JGM. Galerie is an opportunity to take stock of his recent works, and particularly his projects at Dar el Sadaka in Marrakech (Morocco) where he lives and has his studio.
Born in Paris in 1964, Jean-François Fourtou lived for a time in Madrid and then in New York. He became known in the 1990s for his unique sculptures of animals, lambs, giraffes, snails, and orangutans, among others, following the inspiration of François Pompom. However, there is a fine distinction: Fourtou is less interested in animals from a naturalist's point of view than he is to evoking the world of childhood, half-magical, half-remembered, and most of all, his own. The self-portrait that Jean-François Fourtou constructs sculpturally finds its expressiveness through the astonishing art of re-creation. The objects of his focus are cabins, houses, interiors, hiding places, actual places that have disappeared, created on different scales; they are intimately linked to parts of his personal life.
Jean-François Fourtou's major work, in progress for a decade, has the unexpected form of a construction site in a neighborhood of Marrakech, in the form of a synthesis. Fourtou's objective: to gather in one site all of his works and obsessions. Shaped day after day with this intention, the property of Dar el Sadaka today contains within its 25 acres at the foot of the Atlas Mountains a unique project: an incongruous bestiary, with sculptured horses, giraffes, and geese; the interior of traditional houses re-created for people big and small; a house in the Charente region (as a child, the artist used to spend his holidays in Fouras) reproduced to scale, as if it had fallen from the sky and landed on its roof in a field surrounded by olive trees, and which can only be entered through a window. How to define this experiment as a spectator looking on this field of self-absorption? By letting one's mind mull over it, overburdened with its own past?
For this new exhibition at the JGM. Galerie, Jean-François Fourtou will present a series of photographic mise-en-scenes around the house fallen from the sky, the last realization of the artist in Dar el Sadaka. As so many disruptive elements, a bestiary made up of gooses, tortoises and snails will participate to this uncanny feeling, this part of childhood and fantasizing awakened by the house upside-down.