Celestial, impressive expanses, studded with a thousand sparkling points; the specific beacons of a still virgin territory, a vastness to be trodden upon. The perception of a huge emptiness we dream of filling, organizing, making live. Windowless towers from the roof of which improbable smoke rises, such revealing a hypothetical presence. The ground used in a vertical way, upwards, a completely irrational, outrageously human manner.
For his new exhibition, David Renaud, whose work questions the perception of geography along with its various representations (paintings, maps, reliefs, virtual images), wonders about the potentiality of fictitious scenery. By focusing on science fiction, a definitely figurative sphere, he attempts to draw a map of the unknown. First, we have drawings, the mere representation of landscapes. Negative Day On Mercury, diurnal, barren, spangled. One Night On Earth, evocative of spatial cold. Astral perspectives stretch from one panel to the other and hypnotize the viewer : on the ground, strata pile up in stages. Their layers emphasize the movement, the flight.There is something to be climbed up or crossed. Our eyes move on without focusing. They see a rain of stars, but concentrate on their bright, stratified haloes. Beyond the image, our mind is lost in introspection and gives form to some optical reality, a line, a fold. A mental territory. Maybe we are asked to explore this place shown as a Borgesian maze.
Then we have volume, its representation in three dimensions. With organizing an “architectonic” device, like Malevitch, David Renaud carries on his questioning. Two monolithic buildings rise in the center of the arrangement. Two long lines, an incentive to elevation, transcendence. Apparently impenetrable towers, since with no openings. However, the bases of the buildings show intaglioed furrows, stripes. A ridged, right angled movement which reveals the possibility to get inside, to reach what is essential. As with the two panels, Negative Day On Mercury and One Night On Earth, there again, a line takes us inside. A line as a vector, geometry as the only illustration of reason. Paradoxically, the dehumanized aspect of the towers, which we do not know whether they are inhabited, lived in, emphasizes what is the specificity of man, his autonomous mind, freed from the body which keeps it. Man dreams, draws, designs his ideal environment. He does not have to represent himself any longer since he has become this very environment, out of his physical envelope, beyond his corporal limits.
Influenced by post space conquest science fiction which seems to reconcile cosmic immensity and human consciousness, David Renaud wonders about the worth of this Utopia. By trying to map a boundless perimeter, beyond the line , exceeding it, he questions the very notion of boundary.