Pierre Ardouvin

Killing me softly

1 - 28 October 1999

For artconnexion Pierre Ardouvin chose to occupy the corridor in the flat on rue du Priez. By means of a partition made of transparent corrugated plastic dividing the space into two lenghwise, he established a compulsory double system of circulation. The passage which had become too narrow to allow two people to pass one another immediatly created a feeling of oppression, both physical and psychological (brushing against one another, meeting or avoiding one another).

We can evoke here a collective apartment, the shared spaces of which generate claustrophobia and everyone takes refuge behind closed doors. Images are hung on the walls of the corridor but their visibility is blurred by the translucent partition that separates us from them or they appear oversized in relation to the restricted space that prevents us from standing back. These images, on which the artist has intervened, represent very kitsch visions of happiness. These representations are ambiguous, disturbing, as if contaminated, underlining the extent to which these archetypes of beauty, purity, flowers, children, birds might be dangerous, morbid, and in them carry their counterpart of anguish. "Every image of happiness contains its opposite”.

The spectators are then confronted, not without humour, with their own vulnerability to the image of happiness. Ardouvin stabs the blue sky with the roots of the palm tree and we laugh and grind our teeth.