Jérôme Baccaglio – “En tonnes et en grammes”
Thirty is the number of drawings made by the artist Jérôme Baccaglio for his first institutional exhibition in the “Space Project”, a space dedicated to young creation at the Centre d’art contemporain de Genève.
Of an identical format, these drawings seem at first glance to be simple pieces of paper taped to the wall, whose jerky vision creates a visual and formal uniqueness. This nudity in the exhibition calls out to us, it leads us to approach the wall to detect the leaf, to grasp the gap that separates it from its wall support. After the astonishment comes the misunderstanding of what is exposed. This unstable position of our feelings goes against Jérôme Baccaglio’s approach, which attempts, on the contrary, to find a balance between the different motifs that compose his drawings.
It sometimes takes time for the work to take its rightful place in our eyes, to put aside our insatiable desire to always seek meaning in what is presented to us. This is undoubtedly the strength of Jérôme Baccaglio’s drawings. It gives us nothing to understand but everything to look at. Thief of images, the artist captures in this multitude those that he will fix in his drawings. He translates with his own language the images that have been displayed in tons before his eyes, and modifies, through his filter, their aspects. The representation does not displace any theme or prioritize them: the human figure, quite distinct or only discernible by its outline, is on the same plane as an exaggerated typography, any shape or only a delimited coloured area. The resulting precision is incredible and this meticulousness reminds us of the work of the designer who, alone in front of his support, guides his patient and submissive hand by his desire.
Observing the content should not make us forget to consider the container, and in the artist’s practice, paper has an obvious place. The exhibition of the thirty frameless drawings allows the visitor to really consider the surface on which the motif takes shape. The quality of the drawings differs and impacts the rendering, some are very smooth, others by their specific grain suggest the repetition of a temporary gesture acting on the leaf which, trembling, deforms under its weight and acts in an organic way. With freedom, the artist selects on this virgin area the space where a mass, according to an inconstant balance, will be assembled and confronted with another. As in a melody, the overall vision is punctuated by the motifs of the drawings on which our view stops.
Finally, Jérôme Baccaglio reminds us of what a drawing is, this humble art that represents objects, ideas and sensations through graphic means. And how beautiful it is.
Diane Der Markarian
Jérôme Baccaglio was born in 1983 in the Philippines and currently lives and works in Geneva. In 2015 he obtained a Master’s degree in Visual Arts at Ecal, Switzerland. He has participated in exhibitions in Ribordy (Geneva), Circuit (Lausanne) and the Fondation d’entreprise Ricard (Paris). He recently presented his work at Artgenève 2018, from February 1 to 4, 2018.
Featured image : Jérôme Baccaglio, Sans Titre (détail). © Jérôme Baccaglio.