During the residency at Villa Villekulla (05/23–07/23), I faced again life in the countryside.
I grew up in a rural space. As soon as I could leave, I moved to the city and then abroad. Returning to this context was a way to embrace insecurity, as it aligned with the theme of the residency : how to stay insecure ?.
I remained insecure about the context and the shift to primarily an artistic practice for three months, a situation I only experienced during COVID and never before as an architect.
From this territorial and social displacement—in a queer atmosphere created by the wonderful people I had the chance to live with (Aruna, Charlotte, Fred, Madeleine)—
I decided, through an incomplete series of paintings, to work on what Lacan calls «hontologie» meaning to turn shame into a power to act.
As a faggot, back in the countryside, I attempted to create a dialogue between those who stayed and those who left. I chose to represent objects of common desire between rural heterosexuals and urban gays (sports and mechanic gear, bull skin, pliers etc.).
These objects represent the shame of the social environment I come from and the shame of being homosexual. «Shame as a social structure of inferiorization», as Eribon says.
With this series «Malaise – Male Gaze – Merguez», I ask myself : Has the typical image of rural heterosexuality become a queer phantasm? Does the aesthetic of heterosexual and dominant bodies conceal a common fetish or illustrate an unconscious closet?
I addressed my own desires and represented them without focusing on the question of bodies, which are commonly at the centre of gay representation. By avoiding the question of the body, I don’t prioritize normalized bodies and bring the viewer closer to the painting, allowing them to interpret it as they wish. I made one exception (Untitled 1) to stand by my belonging to the gay community.
All the paintings originate from images stored on my phone—pictures I took or stole from Instagram and the whole wide web. These are the chosen ones, selected from the digital mass to exist in the real world through my perspective and the imperfection of human hands. I transport them from the digital realm to reality, reinforcing the fetishization of the objects.