Nicolas Daubanes, Calepinage


Nicolas Daubanes, Calepinage, Montluc prison in Lyon, 2017,

Three color silk-screening,
70 × 50 cm

“Daubanes discovers here a more formal dimension of his work, which is translated in an even more frank way in the mural work laid out opposite. This set of more than one hundred and fifty silkscreens, reproducing a red and white tile, in some places cracked, is the copy of the floor of the prison of Montluc, place of Nazi detention associated with the names of Klaus Barbie or Jean Moulin. By adopting the drawing of a calepinage, Daubanes puts on the same level the “second work” and the plastic work, and pleads for a resolutely worker art. Its apparent insignificance, this surface ornamentalism that allows the work to be confused with the original decoration of the chapel, links it to Support-Surface more than to Carl Andre, especially since the vertical placement reinforces the effect of exposure. The mural work nevertheless retains its documentary dimension, no doubt in a stronger way than in his previous pieces. It is a question here of presenting a sensitive, non-discursive archive, of seizing a perceptive impression, a memory of the places, which could have constituted one of the last memories of the tortured prisoners.”

Extract from “No building is innocent” by Florian Gaité, about the exhibition “No building is innocent”, Art press number 456.

Nicolas Daubanes

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