In 2010, with ‘‘oak parquet, 1964’’, Maxime Bondu transforms the floor of the gallery DMA, Rennes, on an archaeological dig site. By directly attacking the floor of the exhibition space, in a gesture recalling the installation titled «You» by Urs Fischer (Gavin Brown Gallery, 2007), he discover the differents stages of recovery from the soil. If the approach of the Swiss artist was demolition, Maxime Bondu’s gesture is more methodical, more close of the archaeologist’s practice, seeking to find in the soil, the physical and temporal strata of the place. The invocation of Johann Joachim Winckelmann figure (1717-1768) in his work, Anmerkungen uber die baukunst der alten, seems then so clear, but here in a more literal and literary declination. Indeed, researches by the German theorist of antiquity made him the thinker of the neo-classicism, but also the founder of art history and archeology as modern disciplines. Maxime Bondu decides to make a rug with the title page of his treaty called ‘‘Architecture of the old (Anmerkungen über die baukunst der alten, 1762) and make this page “digitized by Google” something domestic, involved in the decoration of the Villa. In his work and his thinking, the artist has often raised the issue of registration surfaces of our contemporary images, now digitized and virtualized. Already in The Battle of Qal ‘atjaffard (2008), he covered a wall of the representation made by a video game of that battle. Wood and painted plaster, the work took the form of a bas-relief (vector for transmission of history in antiquity) and wondered about the weight of virtual representations of historical events, in a subtle telescoped time, where high and low was based on the same surface. Here, the carpet is a scanned image support, rendering indistinct and porous boundaries between art, furniture and archives.
A revelation of the buried memory of a place (oak parquet, 1964) now succeeds with The Library its recovery. The action is now that from a builder (architect or sculptor) who wants to create a new space within a given environment. In one of the rooms of the Villa Cameline, the are now a library, classical furniture element of domestic housing. Centerpiece of mansions, it shows a taste and knowledge but also a form of cultural pageantry. Here more than a library, we are dealing with its essence, its generic version, because deliberately emptied of its contents and purpose of its construction, it seems to lose its functionality. Volume devoted to storage and organization of books, it become sculptural. The wooden structure alters our understanding of the space, and refers to a minimalist aesthetic. Abandoned house, dispossessed of its original status, a place for living, the Villa seems to return for a while, to a semblance of domestic life.
Mathieu loctin, 2010.