Galerie Jousse Entreprise, 6 rue Saint-Claude, 75003 Paris, Tel 00 33 (0)1 53 82 13 60
April 13, May 13, 2017

XEROX – Matthew Darbyshire

There appeared out of the darkness, suddenly and in increasingly greater number, DOUBLES, MANNEQUINS, AUTOMATONS, HOMUNCULI. Replica, duplicate, clone, twin, facsimile, model, doppelgänger, dummy, surrogate. How many ways to say the same? A surfeit of terms for the duplicate, triplicate — multiple — and so — and on — ad infinitum. Imitation, impostor, mimic, mime, echo, fake, ersatz. How many ways, and why, to say the same, but different; for better and/or for worse?
How to overcome, how to liberate something from itself — subject, object, symbol, likeness — in order that we might see it better? For each approximation is also an absence, a prosthesis: the phantom limb that flushes in its proximal want, in its embodied remembrance, as it hovers over the form of the original.

In Matthew Darbyshire’s series of sculptures, process is a critical strategy by which to address this question of liberation. Objects are re-interpreted on-screen into digital models which are then then printed in concrete by the artist, using a crude 3D print nozzle fashioned from a hand-drill and a concrete filled hopper.
10 new works exhibited at Jousse Enterprise are entitled Xerox Series and invoke Darbyshire’s ongoing interest in dismantling, through aspects of craft, mechanical and digital means of reproduction. Each object  is fed from 100 litres of concrete, the volume of the average human body — rendering all of the new works, regardless of their original references, identical in volume.
Surfaces of rough concrete extrusions are tightly pressed, rigid intestinal coils that curl towards the fleshy heart of the matter: process achieves gradations of similarity and difference that pull us inside of the object to see what it is really made up of, the messy organic materials. In form and content alike: take it apart to put it back together. The same, but different. And it is the almosts, the not quites — ever the never, even the impossible — that sustain us, inside and outside of objects, alive in the knowledge of their contours. Length, width, height — volume — which is to say — dimensions, in three.

While Darbyshire’s sculptures explore the complexities of replication, and the rich possibilities therein, they are also studies of repetition — reversion, inversion, perversion. Compulsive attention to serial repetition, embedded in the artist’s process, highlights the structural and aesthetic distinctions of each new object. As the objects inexorably repeat their altered forms, tensely suspended between the digitally printed and the handmade, they give rise to the freedom of obsessionality as a form of company that departs from the exact to embrace skill, craft and the ardently belaboured. Immaculately ordered filth, carefully contained extrusions are frozen mid-coagulate, as if at the heart of the heart — beating or no — is the hopeful truth of repetition: it brings into being that which otherwise passes unseen.

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