Jérôme Allavena


Opening Sathurday 03 September 2016 from 04.00pm
Exhibition from 03rd Sept. to 23rd Oct. 2016


La galerie Houg is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition of the French artist, Jérôme Allavena.
On this occasion, Jérôme Allavena shows unseen artworks.

 Three memories of my adolescence that might seem unrelated to Jérôme Allavena’s work

- Music theory class, discovery of the ostinato, also known as “obstinate bass”. A musical phrase is repeated “obstinately” throughout a piece, whilst the other parts evolve. As I am very stubborn myself, I enjoy this obstinate motif marked by spontaneous variations.

- Physics class, we are studying electricity. The principle of voltage equality teaches me that the terminal voltages of two dipoles connected en dérivation (in a parallel circuit) are equal. I then take a liking to the term “dérivation” (drift), which seems particularly poetic to me.

- Of the “theory of the dérive (drift)” of Debord (1956), I wish to remember only that it is a “technique of rapid passage”, voluntarily cutting out the rest of its definition.


New drifts (written by Camille Paulhan)

I do not know if Jérôme Allavena is obstinate or if he is adrift, but I cannot help but consider the collection of works that he is presenting at the Houg Gallery as a prolonged variation of intertwined shapes and media. At the root of his exhibition “Effectivement” are small objects, the like of which we sometimes collect: bande dessinée, comic book or manga characters, made of colourful resin, frozen in an instant which on paper would have developed in the following boxes. On these figurines, strange cottony shapes appear, expressing movement, explosion or action: the cartoonist Mort Walker humorously listed several of these “symbolia” in The Lexicon of Comicana (1980), under comical names he invented: emanata, quimps, plewds, agitrons, grawlixes and other terms describing the forest of symbols – lines, clouds, various shapes – used by illustrators to convey speed, anger, fear, joy or even illness. Those preferred by Jérôme Allavena are apparently named “briffits”, clouds that remind us of the gas ectoplasms vomited by the medium Stanisława Popielska at the beginning of the twentieth century, and which are used in bande dessinée to express the hasty departure of an object or character from a place to another.

In this exhibition, we will find neither the figurines in question nor the drawings based on said “briffits”, but rather an entire process in the form of small hops. We will sail from drawing to gifs, from gifs to lenticular images, to drawings which can be read not only on the two-dimensional surface of the page but in three dimensions and later in four, as time is materialised on bas-reliefs which have themselves been rethought as temporal slices stretching out in space. A bande dessinée seemingly brings an end to this drifting stroll, but within this booklet, one of the original “briffits” is deconstructed rather than restored, fragmented further from page to page, as the comic’s boxes multiply: in this mental crumbling, the initial cloud, an evanescent mirage of speed, appears to be made of plaster and is shattered into smaller and smaller shards, the dusty remains of a mass that was only fiction. And it is through these small losses, these light particles, that Jérôme Allavena manages to extract the essence of drawing, which would seem to emerge from in between things rather than from things themselves.

(translation by Frederic Beriro)

Download this file (Effectivement-JA-PresentationUK.pdf)Presentation - EFFECTIVEMENT[Presentation - EFFECTIVEMENT]