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ATTRITION:

- WINNER of the "BOURSE DU TALENT #46 (2011)" organised by Photographie.com, in partnership with "L'Express, Nikon, La BNF et Picto".

- WINNER of the "SFW ARTISTS AWARD" (2014)"

- NOMINATED for the "Prix Art Contemporain 2011" by ARTE

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- SOLO SHOW, from 23 February to April 2017, Galerie Bacqueville, Lille France.

- RESIDENCE Louis Roederer, September 2016 France.

- GROUP SHOW, "Divine Décadence", from April to July 2016, Museum Van GAASBEEK, Belgium (with Jan Fabre, Joel Peter Witkin, De Bruyckere Berlinde, Gustave Moreau, Kees Von Dongen, Erwin Olaf...)

- SOLO SHOW, from 19 May to 2 July 2016, Galerie Riviere Faiveley, Paris France.

- CONFERENCE Promenades Photographique de Vendôme, June 2016 France (La photograhie plasticienne; creation et diffusion).

- PARIS 104 CENTQUATRE: Doc "Work In Progress: Thomas Devaux" 26 mn (Cinq 26) (Projection: 14 May 2016).

- SOLO SHOW, from March to April 2016, Macadam Gallery, Brussels Belgium.

- SOLO SHOW, November 2015, Baku Azerbaidjan.

- GROUP SHOW, ("YIA" Paris), from 23th till 25th November 2015, Galerie Riviere Faiveley.

- PARIS Maison Europeenne de la Photographie (MEP): Doc "Work In Progress: Thomas Devaux" 26 mn (Cinq 26) (Projection: 15 April 2015).

- GROUP SHOW, ("ART PARIS), from 26th till 29th March 2015, Galerie Riviere Faiveley.

- GROUP SHOW, Paris ("Art is Hope"), from 3th till 7th December 2014, PIASA Paris.

- SOLO SHOW & CONFERENCE October 2014, Castle ЕĐŠЕGА, Serbia.

- BIENNIAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY LIEGE (Musée des Beaux Arts Liège: BAL) from 15th March till 25th May 2014.

- SOLO SHOW, MOSCOW (Photo fair): September 2013

- RENCONTRES INTERNATIONALES DE LA PHOTOGRAPHIE 2013 (Arles France: Theatre Antique): July 3, 2013

- LOS ANGELES "MOPLA" (Month of Photography Los Angeles): Pro'jekt L.A. (Projection: April 2013).

- HONG KONG Solo Show (Joyce Building: March 2013).

- ULSAN INTERNATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL (KOREA) September 2012.

- DALI INTERNATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION (CHINA): August 2012.

- COLLECTIVE EXHIBITION (BNF: French National Librairy): from December 15th till 19th February 2012.

and more exhibitions here

 

 

 

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/Rosa

Size A: 200x135 cm: edition of 2 // Size B: 160x105 cm: ed: 3 // Size C: 100x70 cm: ed: 4

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A T T R I T I O N

[at.ʁi.sjɔ̃]


1. (Physique)
A rubbing away or wearing down by friction.

2. (Theology) The regret of having offended God, caused by the fear of punishment, purgatory of Hell.

3. (Military) During a war, a strategy of attrition is a strategy in which the object is to wear out the combating forces and reserves of the enemies, rather than the progression into enemy territories or the destruction/occupation of the enemy’s objectives.

4. (Medicine) Attrition designates the loss of organic substance une perte de substance organique on the intestinal level by crushing, corrosion, etc. The attrition also designates excoriations caused by violent rubbing.

/Rosa (détail)

 

ATTRITION I & II


Thomas Devaux’s work can be described as ruderal plasticity, meaning that it is rubble based. From his first collages until his more recent Reliquary, including the Attrition series – a title referring to the loss of substance through wearing and friction – the plastic artist creates pictures using primary images’ scrap. Devaux’s technique is one of restructuring and reorganizing the whole body or its parts, by gathering its traces. Gathering organic or visual substance from backstage fashion runaways and art exhibitions, he aims to reinstall the social theatre’s codes to a controlled visibility, borrowing the features of religious art. While firmly atheistic, Devaux’s work nevertheless, treats his iconography as a repertoire of the “vestigial” – to use Jean Luc Nancy’s word – an ultimate survival of the world’s lost transcendence. Taking place in what one may call: the economy of the trivial, this iconography materializes figures as charnel as they are vaporous, and fetish characteristics cast a new look upon desire’s plasticity and its relation to art.

Chimeras. From the very onset of his first collages, which portrayed both a Christ-like and dionysiac dismemberment, Devaux has worked at dislocating figures, to better blur his representations. Adopting a certain cynicism towards photography, he modifies and sculpts light with a painting like finish, where the paper’s opacity and figures’ dissolution antagonize each other. The contour’s erasure, the hair’s evanescence and texture’s disintegration bring a spectral feeling, when adding ghost limbs (a baby’s leg, an intruding hand), or dissonant elements (a red flower bouquet with a fleshy quality) fully compromising the character’s integrity. The translucent bodys’ appearing inconsistency, their liquefied traits, circled with auratic light, create uncertain identities to surviving bodies. Plunged in a refined décor, these monsters of elegance are fixed in a sort of expectation, their gazes neutralized, revealing a naked and still presence, rather indifferent than melancholic, through which reality completes its undoing.


Profanation(s). Thomas Devaux acts as an iconoclast by confronting the “sacred” – literally, that which can’t be touched without profaning it – with the trivial. Through certain aspects, his compositions respect the classical conventions of religious representation: the sfumato and the diffused background aesthetic, seem directly borrowed from Renaissance paintings, allowing a divine elevation to take place… « Survivals » of art history, in the sense described by Georges Didi-Huberman, the Pieta scenes, the descent from the cross, Jesus’ burial and the hagiographies, are nevertheless the opportunity for a sensualist reinterpretation of Christian symbols. The highlighted feminisation of Christ, the Madonna’s stigmas, a white virgin with a lascivious hand touching her thigh, place these archetypes in flesh’s realm and instil an undeniable sexual tension. Such as this young girl on the edge of the window, whom we’re unable to discern whether she’s preparing to jump or enticing someone, these saints often adopt the likes of surreal and disabused prostitutes, enhancing confusion between phantom and fantasy.

Fetishism. From distorted religious iconography to supermarket photography, Thomas Devaux’s work is haunted by the fetishist question (such as body, body image seen as a masterpiece or merchandise). As he operates a historical transfer by conveying religious feelings into our consumer’s society, his portraits equate the metaphysical with the vulgar, the transcendent with the immanent. In so doing, characters and situations normally viewed as spiritual are made corporeal. Reliquaries radicalize this approach. Striding through fare exhibits and shows – duct tape on the soles of his shoes – he collects the visitors’ organic and personal fabrics (those of collectors and art professionals) framing them in variegated reliquaries, emptied of their original content. This canned intimacy acts as a sublimating distancing through which, hair acquires nearly supernatural aura, solemnity and preciousness. Playing with the ritual object’s performative function, Thomas Devaux ironically highlights an anonymous jewellery collector’s body transforming it to better ridicule it, into a gem, as kitsch as it is austere. Symbolically reselling a body piece from a collector to another, Devaux short-circuits the art circle’s market while perverting its libidinal investment processes, common to art, religion and sexuality. By staging the desire for art as much as art’s desire, he consequently diverts the strength of fetishism’s processes, carefully criticizing its artifice and superficiality.

Florian Gaité ...Critique d’art et chercheur à l’institut ACTE (Sorbonne-CNRS)

/ Menine

Size A: 160x130 cm: edition of 2 // Size B: 120x100 cm: ed: 3 // Size C: 100x80 cm: ed: 4

/L'Arbre

Size A: 150x150 cm: edition of 3 // Size B: 120x120 cm: ed: 3 // Size C: 80x80 cm: ed: 3

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LES RENCONTRES INTERNATIONALES DE LA PHOTOGRAPHIE D'ARLES 2013 (FRANCE) 3 July 2013, Théâtre Antique

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LES RENCONTRES INTERNATIONALES DE LA PHOTOGRAPHIE D'ARLES 2013

(ARTE France & 13 Production: Conference Thomas Devaux "ATTRITION" 12 mn )

(ici la version en français)

/Les Visages et La Main

Size A: 120x90 cm: edition of 4 // Size B: 80x60 cm: edition of 5

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Projection du documentaire "THE SHOPPERS: Work in progress" (réalisé par Cinq26) à La Maison Europeenne de la Photographie (Paris) (April 2015)

 

 

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Discussion après la projection du documentaire "THE SHOPPERS" à La Maison Europeenne de la Photographie (Paris) (April 2015)

 

 

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BNF: FRENCH NATIONAL LIBRAIRY

........Thomas Devaux has authored several complex and ambitious series. In each of them one can find a subtle but strong game of jousting played out between his core values and the evolutions brought about by modern technology. The inflammatory value behind the photography is not so innate. It is more a direct effort meant to mirror a fragment of a future re-composition. He employs his harvest of photos in the same way that he uses his other fragments of images found in art books in the final objective of elaborating beautiful yet fiercely haunting collages for his series. Here is where the capital notion of “tearing asunder” comes into in his work. The manual destruction or digital tearing asunder of a reproduced image is the same conceptual posture for the artist. It is truly about the dissemination of a unit and then its later resurrection in another form. Certainly it may at times manifest itself as arbitrary, born from his imagination and from his visual knowledge. Thomas Devaux works to move his forms from the realm of ideas to near-endless possibilities.


........The works in the “ATTRITION” series were selected according to their composition and their figurative will. This is a double articulation between what is borrowed and that which is a reinterpretation on one hand and an axe in art history on the other hand. “ATTRITION”, thanks to the expanded possibilities of digital techniques of which I have become very experienced, shows a n affluence of forms and materials such as an organic proliferation of hair, of body parts, etc. The portrait becomes a division of a face created by itself or vanishes in its own contour. The development material, though shadowy and opaque, is light and see-through. It raises the texture of the paper which allows for an automatic refinement of the forms and pigments.


........The final result is both sensual and onirique in the very image of the models that Devaux photographs in the openings exhibitions or in the backstages of fashion shows. They allow him to grasp the pictorial qualities which remain anchored in this field of photography. His surface does not rely upon the thickness of painting materials but rather on an artificial yet original vocabulary which is personal and photographic.

Original text by Anne Biroleau-Lemagny, General Curator Charge of Contemporary 21st Century

 

 

/La Couronne 2

Size A: 150x150 cm: edition of 3 // Size B: 100x100 cm: ed: 3 // Size C: 60x60 cm: ed: 3

/Le Sommeil

Size A: 160 cm: edition of 2 // Size B: 120 cm: ed: 3 // Size C: 80 cm: ed: 4

/En Haut

Size A: 100x100 cm: edition of 3 // Size B: 80x80 cm: ed: 3 // Size C: 60x60 cm: ed: 3

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Projection au CENTQUATRE du documentaire "THE SHOPPERS: Work in progress" (réalisé par Cinq26) à (Paris) (2016)

 

 

/La Robe et les Fleurs

Size A: 200x150 cm: edition of 2 // Size B: 160x120 cm: ed: 3 // Size C: 100x75 cm: ed: 4

/La Douche

Size A: 100 cm: edition of 3 // Size B: 80 cm: ed: 3 // Size C: 60 cm: ed: 3

/Le Ventre

Size A: 200x150 cm: edition of 2 // Size B: 160x120 cm: ed: 3 // Size C: 100x75 cm: ed: 4

/La Tête

Size A: 100x100 cm: edition of 3 // Size B: 80x80 cm: ed: 3 // Size C: 60x60 cm: ed: 3

/Les Bras

Size A: 200x150 cm: edition of 2 // Size B: 160x120 cm: ed: 3 // Size C: 100x75 cm: ed: 4

/La Femme et L'Enfant (160 x 130 cm // 120 x 100 // 100 x 80 cm)

Size A: 160x130 cm: edition of 2 // Size B: 120x100 cm: ed: 3 // Size C: 100x80 cm: ed: 4

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PIETA

An aureole of light, blonde locks, chiselled haloes, robes of feathers...figures that are almost heavenly emerge from these disparate elements - fortuitous images that caught the eye of the photographer during an opening exhibition - and the magic with which they have been assembled: ethereal compositions in a dreamlike world.

Delicately arranged, these arms, legs and head, all from different bodies selected by Thomas Devaux in a kind of photographic poaching, give the illusion of autonomous individuals enveloped in a hazy atmosphere. These fictional figures - a woman clasping a gaunt male, or supporting him, aided by a macabre companion crowned with a halo - can evoke grand themes from Christian iconography: the Descent from the Cross, the Entombment, Pietà and so on. Thus, from these few trivial or mundane images, the motif of the mother mourning her son emerges - the archetype of pain in Western painting.

Yet these references emerge and meet in an original creation without pastiche. Pictorial allusions can be felt in the visual imagination of the artist; the religious theme, however, is freely interpreted, open to multiple readings that combine the secular and sacred at the whim of the eye of the beholder.

Pietà 1: Mary, young and graceful - as was the Virgin of Michelangelo’s Pietà - holds to her bosom a pallid and suffering Christ figure, a figure who, as he draws his last breath, seems to be returning to his origins at his mother's breast. As if in a reverse echo to the Nativity, the Pietà depicts the mother holding her son in a strange fusion of the two bodies, from which superfluous limbs, such as extra arms, emerge and shake our points of reference and visual certainties. Should, then, the interpretations be doubled – just as the images and contours split themselves in two – so as to see in the sensuality of the figures’ bearings a Mary Magdalene taking her place in a Passion that is both mystical and carnal?

Pietà 2: Between the Marian figure, bearer of stigmata, and a dismal futility, the Man Christ seems to be drawn into a macabre dance, or maybe he is being carried to the tomb. Yet he is far from being a burden for the arms that hold him; he seems to be weightless, ready to rise or dissolve into the ambiguity between organic decomposition and ethereal appearance.

 

Isabelle Saint-Martin, EPHE – IESR ( Institut européen en sciences des religions)

 

/Pieta 1

Size A: 300x200 cm: edition of 2 // Size B: 200x130 cm: ed: 3 // Size C: 120x80 cm: ed: 4

/Pieta 2

Size A: 300x200 cm: edition of 2 // Size B: 200x130 cm: ed: 3 // Size C: 120x80 cm: ed: 4

/Pieta 3

Size A: 200x150 cm: edition of 2 // Size B: 160x120 cm: ed: 3 // Size C: 100x75 cm: ed: 4

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FRANCE 2 REPORTAGE "LES PIETAS DE THOMAS DEVAUX" (5')

Réalisation Audrey Lasbleiz

(France 2: "ATTRITION" LES PIETAS: 5 mn, diffusion sur France 2, le 10 Janvier 2015

 

 

/"Divine Décadence", from April to July 2016, Museum Van GAASBEEK, Belgium (with Jan Fabre, Joel Peter Witkin, De Bruyckere Berlinde, Gustave Moreau, Kees Von Dongen, Erwin Olaf...)

/"Divine Décadence", from April 2016, Museum Van GAASBEEK, Belgium

/Catalogue Exposition Divine Decadence avec la Pieta 2

"Divine Décadence", from April to July 2016, Museum Van GAASBEEK, Belgium (with Jan Fabre, Joel Peter Witkin, De Bruyckere Berlinde, Gustave Moreau, Kees Von Dongen, Erwin Olaf...)

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HONG KONG (2013)

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Grand Palais Art Paris 2015 (Galerie Rivière Faiveley, Paris)

 

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Grand Palais Paris (Art Paris 2015)

 

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Projection du documentaire THE SHOPPERS à la MEP (Paris)

 

/Conference Promenades photographique de Vendôme (June 2016)

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SOLO SHOW (Macadam Gallery, Brussels, March & April 2016)

 

 

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Atelier Thomas Devaux (Paris France)

 

 

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Atelier Thomas Devaux (Paris France)

 

 

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Interview Serbia TV (PTB - RTV)

 

 

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SOLO SHOW (Angoulême France, April & May 2014)

 

 

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ULSAN INTERNATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL (KOREA) September 2012

/The Shopper 1 (Macadam Gallery, Brussels, March & April 2014)

150 x 150 cm

 

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LES RENCONTRES INTERNATIONALES DE LA PHOTOGRAPHIE D'ARLES 2013 (FRANCE) 3 July 2013, Théâtre Antique

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MONTH OF PHOTOGRAPHY - LOS ANGELES (USA) April 2013

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CHINA EXHIBITION 2012

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HONG KONG Exhibition: Project "Gigli by Joyce" (January 2013)

 

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COLLECTION BNF (French National Librairy)

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