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La perte du bonheur

Patrik Pion - La perte du bonheur
A series of sculptures, drawings, and videos that question alienating norms through the lens of sociology and psychoanalysis.
On the occasion of his exhibition La perte du bonheur (The Loss of Happiness] at the Centre d'art contemporain—la Synagogue de Delme, Patrik Pion used a quote from Sigmund Fcreud to question the future of the notion of happiness in the contemporary world. Now emerging as an order in a society relying on well-being, care, and positive psychology, the search for happiness—or an obsession with it—appears more as a reflection of "happycracy" (a failure to prevent the rise in depressive states and reliance on antidepressants) rather than as a sincere accompaniment to the emancipation of peoples. La perte du bonheur questions, through a series of sculptures, drawings, and videos, the future of this essential notion for the construction of the subject and its undeniable need to be reclaimed by liberated subjectivities.
This publication is probably more an artist's book than it is the catalogue of the exhibition. It documents the artist's studio and notably how he displays there his "White objects", made of folded white paper since the 1990s,and conceived in connection with the workshops in psychiatric hospitals that Pion organized during several decades. These uncanny sculptures question alienating norms through the lens of sociology and psychoanalysis: how we look at the objects in our surroundings, and how they look at us.
Published on the occasion of the eponymous exhibition at Synagogue de Delme in 2023.
The artistic practice of Patrik Pion (born 1954) combines sculptures, photographs, drawings, sounds, and videos in a coherent ensemble in which each medium  dialogues, reproduces, responds, and aligns in a profound and muted mise-en-abyme. Having worked as a duo with artist Paule Combey until 2013 under the name of CombeyPion, he now pursues his research by developing new experiments.
Fuelled at once by psychoanalysis, philosophy, electroacoustic music, and the German (expressionist) and Russian (constructivist) avant-gardes, the works of Patrik Pion appear as doubles, mnemonic images that do not aim to represent the real at all. While his research focuses on the way in which the mind constructs itself based on this reality, it is more the representation of this construction that is at play in his creations. Among them are found "white objects", objects from everyday life (lemon squeezers, shoes, toothbrushes, flashlights, guns, syringes, etc.), object-sculptures created from blank stapled newspapers. While their disproportionate scale lends them a burlesque appearance reminiscent of the sculptures of Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen, the austerity of their whiteness actually distances them from an attempt at fascination with the manufactured object, as developed by pop art and its corollaries. Without seeking to represent or reproduce, these objects are imperfect doubles, made from memory. Because they emerge as memories, from photographs of the mind, from ghostly traces, they do not figure the object as such, but invite introspection, a dive into the individual or collective psyche, which entirely constitutes the subconscious of our world.
The videos, photographs, and drawings of Patrik Pion created based on these objects multiply their presence through a spectral imagery akin to expressionist cinema. As photographs, they are enlarged to a monumental scale. As drawings, they clash on paper in very large formats and appear to float, weightlessly. The artist's recent video works present a series of short sequences illustrating snippets of daily life (a fragment of a ride on the metro, traffic on the Parisian ring-road, etc.) or videos of phrases scanning pathological states, essentially emerging from mass movements. Excerpted mostly from books by Sigmund Freud, Cynthia Fleury, Hermann Broch, or Axel Honneth, and decontextualised, they turn on helicoidal axes against an empty background. The artist accords great importance to auditive atmospheres, recordings that are also reworked elements from daily life, elongated, distorted, and producing—in unison with all of the artworks— something like an echo perceived in the deepest part of our consciousness.
Edited by François Piron.
Text by François Piron.

Graphic design: Bureau Roman Seban.
published in February 2023
bilingual edition (English / French)
20 x 27 cm (softcover)
76 pages (ill.)
ISBN : 978-2-918252-78-8
EAN : 9782918252788
in stock

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