Born in Lille in 1971. Lives and works in Paris.
Guillaume Leblon’s artworks depict unstable landscapes featuring phenomena of submersion, burial and disappearance. His work seems to show traces of what has stood the test of time and it is perhaps for this reason that most of his pieces have a certain precarity, as if their present condition was the recording of a moment in time which, by its very nature, won’t last forever. Oscillating between recognition of a familiar shape and resistance to the development of a defined meaning, his artworks thus maintain an ambivalent relationship with the viewer.
The artwork displayed in the exhibition reproduces, in real size, the tree commonly used in architectural models. However, the collection of branches attached to the trunk and painted dark grey, and the artificial foliage also covered with paint ranging from dark grey to white, is not really supposed to mimic an existing and recognizable tree but to give the sculpture the appearance of a tree. Suspended 10 cm above the ground, it takes possession of the space and manifests itself as an artifice, something opposed to nature, an image or memory that has absorbed its model.
According to the artist, “The tree questions the reception of the work as an image. The work presented is its own document, its representation. It therefore distances the viewer because what should be considered is the image as a whole and not the details that are often deceptive. The treatment of the tree and its disposition uproots the object from the space and shifts it in the image where fiction is introduced. The choice of Ginkgo foliage was motivated by its unique history. Ginkgo is considered a living fossil because it has never mutated in 250 million years. It is also the only plant to have re-sprouted after the Hiroshima bomb. Similarly, research is currently being undertaken to extract a substance from the leaves that could prevent Alzheimer’s disease. It’s this coming and going of memory that interests me: on the one hand a witness to history and, on the other hand, a regenerator of memory”.