Even though most of John Armleder’s and Sylvie Fleury’s works are dated 1999, one
immediately senses déjà vu, mostly because this recapitulation comprises new versions of works produced throughout the ’90s. Hallmarking this
look at interlocking leitmotifs,
Camouflage, Fleury’s eyeshadow compact replicated as their wall motif, appears first.
Just a casual glimpse into any of Armleder’s surveillance domes encapsulates four of his most rambunctious works: a pattern-defying discordant wall painting, a raging scaffold that supports six competing video and sound sources,
flickering Pink Neon Rings, and an unsettling spliced mirror framed amid a ring of bubbles. Fleury’s Legs, Body, and Mind, which features a dozen exercise shows blasting out of a writhing pile of monitors, rings equally chaotic but more painfully so.
Most impressive is Global
V, Armleder’s series of six
mirrored domes that coat
the whole room with layers of rotating reflections, levitating you into an ecstatic free fall. Thus, Global V poses the
perfect complement to Fleury’s mauve neon motto, Life Can Get Heavy, Mascara Shouldn’t, and anticipates her five fluffy white rockets and satellites floating amid an atmospheric soundscape. A giant red flame, painted like a tentacled pillow, stands ready to engulf her
Fleury’s headline, “Want
a Killer Body?/Read This,” painted on the wall at the level of Skin Crime #6, a bifurcated, semicrushed Camaro sprayed (guts-and-all) with sparkly mauve enamel, cautions against glamour’s lure. The conflict between reality and
our ideals comes to fruition
in Be Amazing, her double-edged slogan.
These installations demonstrate how readily their serial endeavors maneuver glory and defeat, straddle cacophony and quietude, and recast the mundane as remarkable.