Lionel Estève – Wijkgezondheidscentrum
Lionel Esteve (Lyon, 1967) lives and work in Brussels. Over the past several years, this artist has established himself as an artist displacing the object-making in favor of other strategies of experiencing, inhabiting or transforming the exhibition into contemporary archeology composed of all kinds of found, used or recycled materials. The primary characteristics are never flagrant and seldomly represent something : they are made out of small, tiny elements of something, which was formerly part of another object. They apparently seem to belong to the order of the diminutive, the minuscule or the infenitesimal. This small scale of Estève's work is both a corrective and a warning : he wishes to transform penchant of grand gesture and consumerism into efforts in which focus and intensity become substitute for large scale and romanticized ambition. Estève knows that there is such a phenomenon – formally and thematically speaking – as too much of a good thing. The tiny and invisible dimension of his work – for example his drawings carved onto white paper – implicitly deny that art should or must be outsized in order to be large in other ways. For Estève diminution, fragility, invisibility and informal is not only a formal ploy but an ethical assertion, a sign intimating that it is concentration and depth, rather than physical size, that determines the success and even the reach of a piece. The whimsical choice of materials : spaghetti, Styrofoam, etc.. and its denial of grand in the most obvious way shows a profoundly antiheroic stance : a piece of art can be made of just about anything, which suggests a close tie between the claim of art and life.