About the exhibition
From Bankruptcy to Sublimation: New Monetary Landscapes
Decoupage and collage
Samuel COISNE and Yann DUMOGET
From Bankruptcy to Sublimation: New Monetary Landscapes. Art and money get along well. As far back as the 1st century, Pliny the Elder (23-79) spoke of the capital gain in art, of the riches accumulated by the artist, but also of a painting “worth its weight in gold”.
If the price of an artwork is important to the artist, money often holds a central place in a composition: from a shiny gold coin to a simple silver ditto, from a bank note to a monetary symbol, representations of money, whether metaphorical or realistic, fluctuate up through the history of art, between vice and charity, between denunciation and consecration. Money evokes power, the power that commands the world, man and art.
In 1981, Andy Warhol produced the series Dollar Sign, a set of silkscreen prints representing one, two or several $ signs, drawn by the artist with vivid colours. These works, representations of a symbol having become the golden calf of globalisation, were soon fetching record prices. Warhol had ‘made’ money from the reproduction of a symbol.
In 1984, during a television programme, Serge Gainsbourg set light to a 500-franc note, denouncing the French tax system. The performance caused an immediate outrage, and until this date, the scene remains intact in many people’s memories.
In 2010, Hans-Peter Feldman, recipient of the Hugo Boss Prize, lined the gallery walls of the New York Guggenheim Museum with one hundred thousand 1$ notes, the exact amount of the prize awarded to him the same year. The used notes were simply pinned to the walls, without any protection. Their green foliage effect would wear off as one’s gaze moved closer to the work, merely seeing a worn, shabby aspect.
Whilst some accumulate, whitewash and venerate money, others destroy, disfigure and glorify it.
Samuel Coisne and Yann Dumoget, both gallery artists, destroy banknotes in order to only retain their aesthetic value, thereby sublimating their triviality.
Samuel Coisne draws and cuts out, with elaborate, refined and precise dexterity, minute geometric and vegetal forms in the banknotes. Playing with the fragility of the note, he pins it to a cardboard background and transforms this power icon into a rectangle (or circle) of lacework, enhancing the shadows and the light. Humour and cynicism are never far away: each work, of an initial value of 1$, could fetch, if sold, several hundred dollars.
Yann Dumoget has for many years collected banknotes from all over the world. The inevitable destiny of these notes, over a long period of time, is to lose their financial value as they are replaced by new series of notes. All that remains of these small, engraved masterpieces printed on precious paper are their colours and their motifs. By cutting out, assembling and then gluing his pieces onto sheets of cardboard, Dumoget creates new landscapes; he outlines cities, brings together colours from all around the world and revisits history in the light of humanity, both destroying and enhancing money, the object of all covetousness.
Samuel Coisne, born in France in 1980, lives and works in Brussels.
After completing a Master of Fine Art at the École Supérieure des Arts Plastiques et Visuels in Mons (Belgium) in 2004, Coisne was granted a one-year residency in Brussels with the artist collective UPDLL. After a pause from his artistic career he began working again in 2008, resulting in a series of group exhibitions. In 2011 he was shortlisted for the Prix Médiatine and the Prix de la Jeune sculpture de la Communauté Française de Belgique. During a residency at La Malterie (Lille) he presented Tours
et détours d’une disparition programmée, an auto-functional micro-factory, where the disappearance of one element makes another appear. In 2012, he presents Monographies d’artistes Arts 10 + 2, a solo exhibition gathering together a large part of his work, accompanied by a catalogue. In 2013, having been working the gallery for several years, he was represented at the Art Paris Art Fair at the Grand Palais on the Galerie Alice Mogabgab booth. In 2014, the gallery presented his first solo exhibition in Beirut entitled Sweet Cuts. In 2015 The Glory of Broken Things was organised by the MAAC (Maison d’Art Actuel des Chartreux – Brussels). Samuel Coisne has participated in numerous group exhibitions.
His work resides between deconstruction and reconstruction. From Bankruptcy to Sublimation: New Monetary Landscapes is part of this research. Fragility, chance and appearance constitute the core of his practice. By playing with the codes, with different materials and even with the notion of true and false, of reality and illusion, he gives his work a poetic dimension at the same time as making it a reflexion on society today.
Yann Dumoget, born in France 1970, lives and works in Montpellier.
After graduating in history of art from the Université Paul Valéry in Montpellier in 1993, Dumoget began his career in the visual arts in 1999 by doing the performance of painting a painting a day for a whole year, meaning 366 paintings during the year 2000, a process culminating in his first public exhibition at the Carré Sainte-Anne in Montpellier. Represented at the time by the Galerie Didier Vesse, he thereafter moved to Berlin, and went on to exhibit in France, Germany, Spain and Japan.
In 2002, during the 11th Documenta in Kassel, the artist enjoyed a great success with his pirate exhibition Doklomenta. In 2004 he returned to France where he developed a painting style combining ‘relational’ aesthetics and post-graffiti. In 2008 he embarked on a two-year long tour around the world, taking him to thirty countries for his ‘relational’ work Le Chant des pistes. Upon his return in 2011 he was invited by Paul Ardenne to take part in the exhibition Ailleurs at the Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton in Paris. It is during this period that his work became diversified, taking different forms as in, for example, the photography for the exhibition Krisis at the Artothèque in Caen, the installation for Economie Humaine at the Espace Contemporain HEC Paris, both in 2014, or the video and Internet for Global Snapshot at the arts center La Panacée in Montpellier in May 2015.
With an interest in economy, and particularly finance, many of his works are created with real banknotes, notably More is not Enough, at the Centre régional d’art contemporain in Sète in 2016, Mon veau s’appelle TAFTA, in 2017 at Moulin des arts in Saint-Rémy and From Bankruptcy to Sublimation: New Monetary Landscapes at the Galerie Alice Mogabgab – Beirut, in 2019.