"Cessez le Feu !" - Geneva

Jean Boghossian is a multidisciplinary artist whose artworks all bear, to varying degrees, traces of burn degradation. Through this process of willful damage and the use of a blowtorch instead of a paintbrush, Boghossian raises the question of what it means to create an inextinguishable art with an invasive and violent, yet poetic, method that intends to combine media by creating a construction through the deconstruction of flames.

For this exhibition, the artist presents a series of large-scale paintings and installations. At the entrance, burnt books - which the artist calls "saved books" or "Phoenix" - are exhibited. Saved from the flames in extremis, these books demonstrate a mastery of the combustion which preserved the recognizable form of the book and the tactile aspect of the pages on which certain inscriptions can still appear. Far from being an attack on the book, it is rather a reference to the deep attachment of the Armenian people to sacred books. As they managed to save them from destruction caused by the many invasions and genocide, their vast majority currently reside in Yerevan's Matenadaran, one of the world's richest monuments dedicated to the preservation of ancient manuscripts.

It is also a way for the artist to save books from indifference into which they fall little by little with the rapid evolution of new technologies. By turning them into black and shiny sculptural objects, he invites the viewer to contemplate them again. He gives them a new life.

Untitled_Mixed_Media_195x295 cm

Its main installation consists of a succession of canvases whose center was pierced by the flames provoking the emergence of smoke. Supported by a wooden frame, they seem to float in the space. This invitation to enter the canvas symbolizes the commitment of the artist totally immersed in his art, who is led to go ever further and to never stop his matter’s experimentations: "I enter my painting of fire and I come out, at the end, released! ".


 © Jean Boghossian 2019.

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