Michel François: La Plante en Nous – The Plant Within Us

EXHIBITION 15.12.00 – 04.03.01

With the exhibition title "La Plante en Nous – The Plant Within Us", borrowed from Carlos Castaneda, the Belgian artist Michel François, born in 1956, alludes to Castaneda's experiences with mind-altering hallucinogens. Transferring these experiences to his own work, the artist reflects on the fundamental question of the relationship between external reality and the self, by making human skin – as the interface between the external and the internal – the motif of his works exhibited. The attention to the small and inconspicuous is accompanied by his unorthodox use of all possible materials and media: the pit and the peel, the curtain made out of pill capsules, the light bulbs filled with liquid glass, a belt wrapped around a plaster waist, the skin-wounding cactus and the soothing remedy ribwort, the skin-cleansing sponge that is then cleaned by a jet of water, Styrofoam balls floating in the water, clothing as a second skin, or pant pockets filled with clumps of plaster. These are just a few examples of the works with which François makes the function of skin the subject of his art as a sculptural category, in the sense of enclosing and excluding space. 

For François, the interrelation of external and internal goes hand in hand with physical touch and spiritual understanding. He even regards an exhibition as a living organism, since the exhibition space's walls symbolize the skin in which independent body parts are encased. Just as every person is not only limited by his or her body but also communicates with the outside world through it, the exhibition intends to open up to the exterior world and engage with everyday non-art things, just as every organism should. 

Michel François, Octopus, 2000 © Michel François / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2000
Michel François, Octopus, 2000 © Michel François / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2000
Michel François: La Plante en Nous – The Plant Within Us, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 2000, photo Wilfried Petzi, all works © Michel François / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2000
Michel François: La Plante en Nous – The Plant Within Us, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 2000, photo Wilfried Petzi, all works © Michel François / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2000
Michel François: La Plante en Nous – The Plant Within Us, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 2000, photo Wilfried Petzi, all works © Michel François / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2000
Michel François: La Plante en Nous – The Plant Within Us, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 2000, photo Wilfried Petzi, all works © Michel François / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2000
Michel François: La Plante en Nous – The Plant Within Us, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 2000, photo Wilfried Petzi, all works © Michel François / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2000
Michel François: La Plante en Nous – The Plant Within Us, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 2000, photo Wilfried Petzi, all works © Michel François / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2000
Michel François: La Plante en Nous – The Plant Within Us, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 2000, photo Wilfried Petzi, all works © Michel François / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2000
Michel François: La Plante en Nous – The Plant Within Us, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 2000, photo Wilfried Petzi, all works © Michel François / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2000
Michel François: La Plante en Nous – The Plant Within Us, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 2000, photo Wilfried Petzi, all works © Michel François / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2000
Michel François: La Plante en Nous – The Plant Within Us, installation view, Haus der Kunst, 2000, photo Wilfried Petzi, all works © Michel François / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2000

Stretch your view


Stretch your view

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