Le Syndrome du sommier (The bedspring syndrome), an exhibition by Hugo Avigo. From 18 december 2020 to 31 january 2021.
Curation : Salomé Burstein with the help of Yvannoé Kruger
With the support of the Île-de-France Region’s FoRTE grant
“ What does a horizontal life look like? What are its colors, its scenery, what is its wallpaper? Let us imagine our lives when we are lying down: the long-awaited reunion with the covers, the pillow talk; the sting of the alarm clock and the languor of sleeping in; the torture of insomnia, of recovery, the queasiness after napping for too long. From relaxation to apathy, there is only one step – one must only get up on the right foot.
Le Syndrome du sommier (The bedspring syndrome) crosses these borders. It plays with variations on the electrocardiogram of rest. In this installation, Hugo Avigo seizes an object that has the peculiarity of also being a place: the bed. It is the quintessential “common place”: where we dream, where we cry, where we have sex, sometimes where we die. The bed singlehandedly creates its own space and time. It symbolizes the time of dreams, of physical and intellectual relaxation; when the body flattens and is subjected to gravity, when the mind reflects on the day that is ending and dreams of the one that is coming…
So here we are in this strange dormitory, or in the aisles of a furniture store. Since we cannot get inside, we examine the different models. Here, everything goes in the direction of the minimum effort. The good customers even get tailormade items: the table’s handle is a mold of a hand. The reading light is also the result of an imprint. “What’s the use of getting up ?” Oblomov asked. The ergonomics are perfect and the rest of the world is just a click away: eating, working, dating, buying… In bed, our every appetite can be satisfied. And when we start to miss the nightlife, we invite the bar counter to our bedside table. A ring demands a game of ringing the bull; nearby, a chameleonic bed turns into a disco ball. On its sheets, mirrors mix with pixels: leaving a photograph behind them, dreams have imprinted the pillow. They have a
lso contaminated yesterday’s objects: the grass, still wet with beer, has covered the cans; the bedside table purrs like the cats of Instagram. Under this halo of neon lights, it even looks like the concrete is levitating. There is mystery in the pneumatics of the mattress.
High in the sixteenth heaven, Le Syndrome du sommier (The bedspring syndrome) hovers above the contraries. It becomes a crossroads where labor and idleness converge; intimacy and publicity; consumption and dissent. Because it fulfils “the dream of a domestic connectivity”, the bed simultaneously claims its right to laziness. Grafted to the wall, the elevator has gone on strike. On the other side, the bay window reminds us of the Bed-Ins. John and Yoko hover above the Périphérique; Bartleby roams through the corridors of this office tower… All bedsprings are teeming with ghosts. Tall stories, bedtime stories… These beds tell us countless stories. They tell us about laziness and fantasies; quietude and emergency; togetherness and isolation. Now “the face of viral catastrophe”, they are the symptoms of a social ill: that of a world where hospital beds are lacking and where daily life is confined to the edge of the mattress.
Hugo Avigo evokes and wards off reality in the same movement. He erodes the ordinary with absurdity, irreverence and poetry. Misappropriating familiar elements, his pieces disturb our field of perception. They offer a surface to all of our projections. Ultimately, what do we see in these alcoves on acid? A strip-tease, maybe. Because Hugo’s beds have lost their blankets, his disco ball has lost its glitter, and even the chicken has lost its feathers. The rotisserie becomes a hypnotic device: it makes thoughts go around in circles, while we digest our chuck roast with hot sauce. Here, mattresses are primarily monochromes. The bedsprings, like chassis, frame our sleepless nights. Yawning one’s life away is an art too.”
– Salomé Burstein
About Hugo Avigo: after graduating from Central Saint Martins School and the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris in 2015 (Diplôme National Supérieur d’Arts Plastiques with congratulations from the jury), he was awarded a residency program in Zhouzhuang, China in 2014 and the Prix Jacob Epstein for sculpture in 2016. Drawing upon his collaborations (Rêvez#2, Collection Yvon Lambert à Avignon…), he has founded Feÿ Rencontres d’art. Seeking to renew our emotional connections to public space, his practice focuses on “exaggerating the codes of sculpture, (…) redefining the limits of the body and of gravity, of places and their functions.” He recreates sensorial spaces, disrupted, sarcastic and poetic, “not to save the world from its absurdity, but to exacerbate it.”