A Blot on the landscape
By Ellen Turner Hall
Bastien Blot bills himself as an Upcycle artist. To upcycle, as he explains it, is more than to recycle. It is as if having come full circle, an object is projected into another, higher orbit: Art.
Bastien’s boots with leg bones projecting upward, his flying plastic horse with jagged teeth and his spears with little plastic hands holding credit cards aloft all call into question what we know about the real world.
The block of stone wearing feathers is a perfect example of what Bastien calls “assemblage dualist” – basically throwing together two diverse materials with the aim of creating a new harmony. Can the stone, given wings, become airborne? Or will the feathers be tied to the earth?
This “what if…?” impulse lead Bastien to explore life’s incongruities in an early experiment: A man wearing a business suit and carrying a briefcase travels the world on a commando course without food, without shelter, in deserts, mountains , forests and jungles.
Bastien feels that it is important for him to work with what is real. For the present show he has quite literally “taken things in hand”. Intuitive, like a child at play, Bastien manipulates an object to find out what it is and how it works. Hundreds of cigarette butts become a brown and white mosaic. Charred computer keys encircled by driftwood are transformed into a hearth. His materials, given a new context, reveal their essence.
Be prepared for the sheer fun of discovering the component parts -from computer chips and electronic circuits to shredded supermarket receipts – and how these objects we take for granted can be infused with wonder.
Bastien Blot’s objects can be seen at the Galerie Profil, Collioure throughout the summer. What if… you go and see them?